Behind the Name: Frank’s was not named by Frank but for Frank. Frank Duffin, the late grandfather of restaurant co-owner Sarah Penn, was a Bostonian whose hometown cuisine inspired the restaurant’s oyster-centric menu. His photos adorn the back wall and the Manhattan bears his name.
Inside Tip: Don’t just stick to stuff from the sea. Though Frank’s is an oyster house, it also serves critically-acclaimed fried chicken, which Eater listed on its “9 of the Bombest Fried Chicken Dishes in Seattle” feature. Cooks marinate free-range chicken breasts in buttermilk for three days, season them in a flour-and-cayenne mixt, and serve with gravy, biscuits, and honey butter.
Vibe: Stylishly rustic, yet elegant, with exposed ductwork, wood-panelled walls, and bulbous sconces.
While You’re In the Neighborhood
Before: Work up an appetite by perusing the off-beat antiques, handmade jewelry, and local art at The Curious Nest (2916 NE 55th Street).
After: Catch a unique comedy show at Jet City Improv (5510 University Way NE), which has a reputation for roping the audience into the fun.
If You Can’t Make It, Try This: Pair, Sarah and Felix Penn’s other restaurant, which serves up European-inspired farm-to-table cuisine.
Tempero do Brasil transports diners' taste buds to the northeastern state of Bahia and beyond with a menu of authentic Brazilian fare. Feijoada, a savory black bean stew and the national dish of the Portuguese-speaking republic ($17), swims with ham hocks, sausages, and beef and arrives with an entourage of rice, sautéed collard greens, and orange slices. In the traditional moqueca de camaräo ($18) expertly trained prawns and vegetables perform a smoldering samba amid coconut milk, lime juice, and palm oil and the festa ($15) loads sautéed mushrooms and parmesan cheese into a baked-squash boat and sends it sailing into tomato-sauce seas. Seal the meal with a dose of caramel-flan dessert ($5) trained in the art of capoeira. Tempero do Brasil showcases live Brazilian music Saturday nights, filling the air with the distinctly South American sounds of the bossa nova and the glockenspiel.
Tony and Thurston Tsui created Thurston's Bistro and Lounge by applying a simple recipe: great food, drinks, and music. In the kitchen, they cook everything from a classic French filet mignon in bordelaise sauce to mac and cheese in a homemade cheese sauce filled with buttery bites of lobster and crab. Meanwhile, bartenders prepare craft cocktails with house-made syrups and infusions. Local musicians such as vocalist Kate Rowley and pianist Matt McKlousky entertain four nights a week. On Saturdays, they relinquish the microphone to other patrons for an evening of karaoke.
At Ship Canal Grill, chefs give a nod to local cuisine with a menu largely composed of seafood from the Pacific Northwest. Though plates such as the salmon pesto and honey-walnut prawns dominate a good chunk of the menu, according to Thrillist(http://gr.pn/MKhCeh), turf-based dishes such as the Overboard lamb sliders with caramelized onions and aioli “pack a punch." The eclectic fare also encompasses petite pizzettas and Mediterranean dishes, which pair neatly with the creative cocktails or wines from a huge drink menu. But the eatery's decor inspires just as much intrigue as the edibles.
Bare light bulbs and rotund pipes hang overhead in homage to an industrial design, complemented by 20th-century construction-era photos from the Museum of History and Industry. An open loft looks out over the main dining area, aglow with candlelight and ringed with tan and periwinkle. At the lower-level bar, a bridge of wrought iron holds miniature vehicles over a marble countertop as light seeps in from tall windows.
In the loft, flat-screen TVs and one large projection screen broadcast games, and the billiards room hosts good-natured competition, as patrons unwind over a game of pool, darts, or dodge-darts. A steady string of events keeps other customers entertained: trivia on Tuesday, standup comedy on Wednesday, and live bands on Friday.
Tropicos Breeze specializes in Salvadoran food, especially pupusas: thick corn tortillas stuffed with a combination of savory ingredients, including cheeses, meats, and jalapeños. As filling as they might be, pupusas are generally just one component of the meals served here. Diners can save tummy real estate for house specialties, such as tacos and tortas, and for baleadas, flour tortillas packed with beans, avocado, cream cheese, and eggs. And, instead of wriggling a crazy straw into the nearest fire hydrant, they can wash it all down with refreshing sips of horchata de morro and passionfruit juice.
While guests ogle the boats and kayaks passing by outside, Chef Manual Frias stays in the kitchen, cooking up inventive takes on American comfort food. He seasons New York strips with house-blended rubs, smothers meatloaf in bourbon mustard glazes, and stirs bacon, pulled pork, and prosciutto into his aptly named three pig mac and cheese.
To complement each hearty dish, the tenders of Eastlake's tiki bar pour local microbrews and whip up tasty cocktails like the John Daly, a blend of lemonade and wild tea-flavored vodka. Though the deck and patio are seasonal, the dining room, complete with its own bar, is open all year. Here, rounds of trivia test knowledge every week, while flat-screens TV show the day's biggest sports games or rowdiest congressional boxing matches.