As the tango dancers that perform inside Buenos Aires Grill strut and twirl, they enact a wide range of dance influences—traditional polka, Cuban habanera, candombe rhythms from Africa—that reflect the same melting-pot culture that shaped the country’s food and, thus, the restaurant’s menu. Authentic asado—or grilled beef—cooks over a mesquite charcoal fire to ensure that fillets, rib eyes, skirt steaks, and porterhouses retain their natural juices. Chefs also stuff ravioli with ricotta cheese and crown angel-hair pasta with Pacific prawns, an option that most guests prefer to gnawing on a halo. Diners pair their entrees with pours from an extensive wine list that includes options from Argentina as well as France, Chile, Portugal, Spain, and California.
Where to Sit: If you'd like privacy to propose to your partner—or to discuss a proposal with your business partner—request to be seated in one of the high-backed booths.
Rib-eye steak: a tender, flavorful cut of beef from the rib section that is prepared either bone-in or boneless.
Steak oscar: steak served with toppings of crabmeat, asparagus, and a creamy sauce—either hollandaise or béarnaise.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
For the art collector: Admire the work of local and national artists at Jeffery Moose Gallery (1333 Fifth Avenue).
For the theatergoer: ACT – A Contemporary Theatre (700 Union Street) houses five theaters in one building. Past performances have included Little Shop of Horrors and Arthur Miller's The Price.
For the fashionista: Butch Blum (1332 Sixth Avenue) currates high-end collections from European clothing and accessory designers.
When to Go: Dine to a soundtrack of live piano tunes Tuesday–Saturday evenings.
Where to Sit: Ask for a table close to a window for breathtaking views of Lake Union at sunset, or request outdoor seating for harbor-side dining.
Inside Tip: Check out the seven-day-a-week happy hour for generously portioned bar snacks—such as prime steakhouse sliders or marsala chicken skewers—that can curb the sticker shock of the pricey dinner menu.
While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Scope out the 360-degree view of Seattle from the periscope at the top of the Museum of History & Industry (860 Terry Avenue, Lake Union Park).
After: Take in a classic performance at the Seattle Shakespeare Company (305 Harrison Street).
The doors aren’t even open when the crowds start to gather for happy hour at Jak’s Grill. The West Seattle location only has 20 seats, and come 4:30 p.m., the scramble can resemble a game of musical chairs. If you’re lucky enough to nab a seat, you’ll be treated to a full hour of food and drink specials. The Jak’s burger is the top-ranking item on this truncated menu, described by the Seattle Times as “the kind of burger your neighbor grills on the Weber during the July Fourth weekend.” The smokey half-pound patty is topped with the basics: tomato, lettuce, and onions, with cheese available for an extra dollar.
Burgers aren’t the only well-grilled treat on Jak’s menu. You’ll also find prime top sirloin, new york strips, and even filet mignon—all aged a minimum of 28 days and cooked simply without pretension. And while you won’t get an elaborate plating or fancy garnish, you will get a bearnaise or demi-glace, a large cut of steak, and hearty portions of salad, veggies, potatoes, and fresh bread to round out your meal.
Weekend brunches also bring long lines to Jak’s reservation-free dining rooms. During this time, you can nab a burger, a steak sandwich, or a jazzed up breakfast benedict served atop Jak’s famous potato pancakes. As if that weren’t enticement enough, a brunch happy hour rewards early birds with discount mimosas and breakfast basics.
Entering The Metropolitan Grill is a bit like stepping back in time––1903 to be exact. Tall mahogany doors swing open slowly, revealing 20-foot ceilings elegant crown molding, and rich, tufted velvet booths. A tuxedo-clad maitre d escorts guests to the 60-foot black marble bar or past the rich mahogany walls to a private table dressed in crisp white linen. But as luxurious as the atmosphere is, it quickly melts into the background once the menu is opened. Steaks, hand cut by the executive chef, are grilled to order over mesquite charcoal, and available in every type of cut, from Delmonico to a 42-day aged ribeye. Then, of course, there's the American Wagyu, which comes from Idaho's Snake River Farms, where Black Angus cattle have been bred with Japanese Wagyu to create a USDA Prime beef with higher marbling, richer flavor, and a more delicate texture. And while steak may be the star of the menu, The Metropolitan grill also excels in other timelessly elegant dishes such as lobster tail, bacon-wrapped pork chops, and a classic iceberg wedge salad, served with a tiny ice pick.
Business diners and out-on-the-towners look to The Capital Grille steakhouse for luxe food in a stylish setting. The beef is top-notch, with an array of popular cuts, including Delmonico and dry-aged porterhouse. Non-beef lovers can revel in thick lamb chops, wild salmon, oysters and lobster, and there’s a wine list full of Northwest bottles to complement your meal. The Capital Grille’s location inside the 1910 Cobb Building, a Beaux-Arts treasure and national historical landmark, makes the room feel like a true Northwestern gem: sophisticated and dim, with dark woods, interesting fixtures and posh upholstery. But a close look at the art adorning the walls brings many happy surprises; those formal portraits on the wall are of local Seattle celebrities like Jimi Hendrix and martial arts star Bruce Lee.