The culinary artists at Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar grant palates the royal treatment with their smorgasbord of fresh, regionally sourced seafood and oysters, hearty steak-house cuisine, and all-star wine list, which earned the restaurant the Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator. With a storied resumé that includes manning the kitchen at the prestigious Palisade Restaurant, as well as appearances on Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Presents: American Gladiators, executive chef and owner John Howie focuses his culinary aesthetic on the cuisine of the Pacific Northwest while he experiments with exotic flavors from around the globe. His menu of refined dishes and homey meals furnishes stomachs with alluring flavors from both land and sea, as tasted in the sockeye-salmon poke, dungeness-crab risotto, and fire-grilled filet mignon.
Each Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar location surrounds guests in a cozy cocoon of blond woods and warm light—an ideal setting for polishing off plates of shellfish stews, steak and potatoes, and fresh ice cream and chocolate truffles. While admiring each restaurant’s sleek interior, diners can also enjoy the many notes found in Seastar’s 14-page wine list.
Like the Danube River itself, the cuisine at Danube Bistro Restaurant winds through various parts of Europe, making for a menu as eclectic as it is satiating. Italian and German wines complement family-style cuisine of those same two nation. These two formative influences result in entrees such as house-made lasagna filled with a choice of meat, seafood, or vegetables. In true international style, Hungary scores some influence on the menu as well, with a goulash studded with chunks of beef simmered in a paprika sauce.
Once patrons enter the family-owned restaurant through its fountain-marked entrance on the ground floor of the Avalon Apartments, they'll notice the care the proprietors have taken to make the restaurant a relaxing dining experience. Patrons can sup indoors on one of the restaurants two floor, or choose to take their meals on the outdoor patio, where large red umbrellas and an invisible force field shield meals from the sunlight.
Gertrude Popp founded Poppinjay's Cafe more than 20 years ago, eventually recruiting her son and daughter to help oversee the expanding enterprise. Today, chefs at six locations across Bellevue and Kirkland craft creative breakfast and lunch items, mixing pastries from scratch and toasting fresh sandwiches piled with deli meats alongside ample vegetarian fare and healthy smoothies. They also load catering trays with enough snacks, full meals, and desserts to quell the hunger of dozens of revelers or one visiting mastodon.
Poppinjay's Cafe regularly supports its local community by making frequent donations to charities and organizations and hosting monthly meetings for All Women Empowered, an association dedicated to bettering the lives of women and children across the globe.
There was once a pair of friends who shared the same name. These friends—the Gregs—also shared the belief that even casual food should be fresh. So they put their heads together to found Zaw Artisan Pizza, where seasonal, organic, and locally sourced ingredients top carefully crafted take-and-bake pies. Diners can watch over the counter as pizza artistes decorate white, whole wheat, or gluten-free crusts with toppings such as free-range chicken breast, hearty spinach, and fresh artisan cheeses. Each pie leaves the shop unfrozen—as evidenced by the lack of freezers in all six stores—to be baked to a golden crisp inside the customer's oven or backyard iron forge. To further their commitment to quality, the Gregs strive to source local ingredients from neighborhood farmers' markets whenever possible, and craft each batch of dough with Bob's Red Mill flours.
Cafe Bella’s powder-blue and hot-pink storefront and walk-up window seem to disagree with the ultra-classy decor of some other cafés, announcing the establishment, instead, as a café with fewer rules. This laid-back approach manifests itself in the form of both light and dark coffees that steam alongside a menu of scones, muffins, and cookies. Patrons can customize their americanos, lattes, and mochas with their choice of milk, including dairy, hemp, almond, or soy.
Hailing from the Italian island of Sardinia, Fabrizio Loi graduated with honors from Italy's national culinary college. He's put that experience to good use as the owner and head chef at Ristorante Paradiso. There, Fabrizio orchestrates a menu of classic Italian dishes. But instead of strictly adhering to traditional recipes or reading the instructions embedded into every lasagna noodle, Fabrizio puts his own spin on things. Diners reap the benefits of Fabrizio's culinary creativity when they sit down for gourmet pizzas at lunch, or dinner dishes such as cannelloni gratinati—pasta crepes stuffed with ground veal, chicken, and mozzarella and enhanced with a tomato and besciamelle sauce.