With a palette of fresh local ingredients, The Islander's culinary team paints a menu of upscale dishes, carrying diners on a journey from the pubs of Middle America to the Great Plains and back to the coast. On the outdoor deck, stunning views of the Cascade Mountains and the town center keep guests grounded as fresh catches of wild salmon, prawn, and dungeness crab attempt to carry them out to sea. Indoors, flags of the world reminisce over the melting-pot nature of the menu, where half-pound burgers rolled in cracked peppercorn occupy the same space as prawn pasta and center-cut new york steaks with tempura shoestring onions. Ace barkeeps mix delectable specialty drinks, and pours of regional and international wines, microbrews, and rare European-style beers complement each dish. Frequent wine and beer tastings continue The Islander's flavor celebration, helping guests explore different pairings and fill their monthly friend-making quota. Sports aficionados, meanwhile, can get their fix by watching nightly games on the sports bar's eight high-definition televisions.
Preparing fresh broth is a daily affair at I Luv Pho, where cooks whip up each steaming, fragrant bowl from fresh, all-natural ingredients. Into the light, aromatic soup go rice noodles and a choice of veggies or protein such as rare beef, shrimp, or fried tofu. From there, a plate of garnishes such as basil leaves, carrots, and bean sprouts, enables diners to flavor their soup however they like or to practice newly acquired floral-arranging skills. While pho is the restaurant's specialty, diners can also feast on a variety of Vietnamese specialties including rice dishes, egg noodle soup, and vermicelli bowls.
The inside of ViaVita Café & Wine Bar traces the timeline of a single day. Floor-to-ceiling windows cast morning light onto a display case of pastries and cheeses—an addendum to the counter that bears morning coffee orders. Nearby, granite-topped tables sit far enough apart to suggest an open, Parisian patio, but close enough together to support a cross-stream of chatter over lunchtime sandwiches. The day ends on the other side of a semicircular wine bar. There, walls wearing distressed paint encapsulate a rustic alcove, where hanging plants and Greco-Roman-style pottery evoke the dining room of a hillside villa.
The decor and seasonal menu at ViaVita Café & Wine Bar champion a European-flavored escape, where diners can stop at any time for a meal, a snack, or a glass of wine. From the crepes and omelets of brunch—served with duck-fat potatoes and chocolate-orange butter—to afternoon paninis and dinners of pan-seared Alaskan salmon, meals realized by imaginative chefs spark and fuel long conversations. Imported and domestic beers, as well as wines from small vineyards on multiple continents, complement the diverse bouquet of flavors and pair especially well with cheese and charcuterie boards. During special events, guitar music acts as a soothing soundtrack for bites, and sommelier seminars instruct patrons on how to age libations without sending them to PG-13 movies alone.
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 resum? 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.
Decked out in retro kitsch ranging from vintage lunchboxes to video-game memorabilia, Lunchbox Laboratory - Bellevue celebrates the art of burgers and the culture of nerds in equal measure. Its creations have inspired both devotion and hyperbole: Seattle Times' Providence Cicero described one dish, the Burger of the Gods, as a "double-fistful of deliciousness"?a fitting descriptor for the gargantuan blend of beef slathered in gorgonzola sauce.
True to its name, the restaurant also loves to experiment with ingredients. Another burger, the Dork, takes its name from its blend of duck and pork?Seattle Magazine calls its "one of the most satisfying burgers in the city." The burgers are backed up by signature dishes, including Hong Kong?style buffalo wings and cheddar American mac and cheese. A range of milkshakes includes Butterfinger, Nutella, and Nesquick chocolate, along with booze-infused shakes such as the Drunken Elvis. Across its three locations, Lunchbox keeps diners entertained with bowling lanes, billiards, and classic '80s video games.