Bick's Broadview Grill

10555 Greenwood Ave N (Greenwood), 367-8481. Open daily 4-10 pm. $$

With its abundance of light wood, cathedral ceilings, and multi-leveled seating areas, sitting in Greenwood's Bick's Broadview Grill feels as good as coming in from a long day of tough competitive skiing, the kind of skiing that makes you really hungry for big portions. Nasty winter evenings provide the ideal backdrop for a BBG trek; in the chill of an inclement evening, the cozy and warm cuddliness has a natural appeal. The Smoked Duck and Roasted Vegetable Quesadilla ($7.95) packs a voluminous wallop, with a bronzed and crusty tortilla sheltering tender little chunks of dark duck meat, squash, mushrooms, and onions. If you're in the mood to deeply satisfy the unique and disturbingly human desire to devour various sub-species, try Bick's Grilled Boneless Rib-Eye Steak ($16.50). JIM ANDERSON

The Buffalo Deli

2123 First Ave (Belltown), 728-8759. Open Mon-Fri 10 am-6:30 pm. $$

Kathleen Haggerty, proprietress and head chef of the Buffalo Deli, throws herself into her work with a passion and verve worthy of a nobler cause. Cold cuts, hard rolls, and chicken matzo ball soup -- all traditionally the fare of fast, unmemorable on-the-go lunches -- are all composed with the pedantic precision of an artiste. In the short year since she opened her doors she has gathered a loyal herd of followers from the businesses and residents surrounding the Deli, and the same faithful faces can be seen every day. The menu seems dauntingly expensive at first glance, and a simple soup-and-sandwich combo for two can run close to $20. But the portion size (enormous) and the quality (exceptional) fully justify the expense. The Roast Beef on Kimmelweck ($6.25) and the New York Penicillin (chicken matzo ball) Soup ($2.95 cup/$4.50 bowl) are quickly becoming Belltown legends. ADRIAN RYAN


2576 Aurora Ave N (North Queen Anne), 283-3313. Mon-Sat 5:30 pm-midnight; closed Sun. (Jacket recommended; no jeans, shorts, sneakers, athletic wear.) $$$

On the cusp of the Aurora Bridge, dangling over Lake Union, Canlis looms over Seattle like a benevolent patriarch. Decorated in soothing earth tones, the ambiance is modern-classic, designed to give every table an advantageous aspect to the walls of windows. Canlis is impeccably unobtrusive: The staff, the decor, and even the food exist in quiet perfection, allowing diners to enjoy their company and view unfettered. The omniscient waitstaff describe the origin and preparation of your dish as you order it -- no verbose descriptions of menu items you're not interested in -- and then disappear. The menu is not elaborate and the presentation is not a spectacle, but the food is superb. Grilled Alaskan Weathervane Scallops ($26) and Peter Canlis Prawns ($28) are prepared with restraint and simplicity to highlight their freshness. Filet Mignon ($35) and Wasyugyu Steak, a Kobe-style, New York cut of Washington beef ($49) also avoid the pomp-and-circumstance vulgarity so common to the presentation of premium meats. Nothing at Canlis boasts; instead, dishes arrive with confidence. That's the secret of true class: The best of everything should be assumed, not flaunted. ERIN FRANZMAN

Catfish Corner

2726 East Cherry St (Central District), 323-4330. Mon-Fri 11 am-10 pm; Sat noon-10 pm; closed Sunday. (Cash only.) $

Even with a worn-out facility and slightly dim feel, Catfish Corner continues to dish out dependable and satisfying Southern cooking. With Southern, farm-raised catfish as the showcase item, the food's quality remains consistently high, while prices hover at bargain levels. The mild Catfish Fillet Dinner ($8.25) shows off a generous portion of fish jacketed by a crunchy cornmeal coating, free of greasiness and dry without being burnt. The usual Southern sides dot the menu: A nice serving of fries runs 75¢; cornbread muffins are a steal for a mere quarter; and the tasty collard greens ($1.99) are far less buttery and salty than on previous visits, marking CC's ability to adapt to customers' changing expectations. Dinner items allow a choice between potato salad (yay!), or cole slaw (boo!), and come with slow-cooked beans the likes of which legends are made. I wish the Corner would experiment with more grilling and less frying, but there's still no denying their kitchen's talent. JIM ANDERSON

Longshoreman's Daughter

3510 Fremont Place N (Fremont), 633-5169. Sun-Thurs 7:30 am-10 pm; Fri-Sat 7:30 am-10:30 pm. $$

As Fremont's certified Hangover Helper, Longshoreman's Daughter has a number of ways to soothe "the morning after." First, there's the bed-headed help, who look both friendly and sketchy, much like your dealer last night. Then there's the fat, warm stack of Buckwheat Pancakes ($5.75) to kill the throbbing, and the real maple syrup to speed up the chemical detox. If that doesn't work you can follow the yellow brick road back to sobriety with fresh-squeezed mimosas ($3.75). But this trendy Fremont spot is not your typical diner at all. Like a fat line of Friday night coke, the Longshoreman's Daughter manages to be all-natural yet still have that brash, in-crowd appeal. NATHAN THORNBURGH

Taste of Addis

4106 Brooklyn Ave NE (U-District), 634-1916. Mon-Fri 11 am-9 pm; Sat 1-9 pm; Sun 5-10 pm. $

The traditional Ethiopian stews here are outstanding and finely detailed, served on large enameled trays in dreamily bright colors. Cabbage, concocted with carrots and potatoes (traditionally called Atkilte Alitcha), blooms with a surprising delicacy and whispers of flavors that are deft, slippery, and mild. Chef/owner Mesekir Belay renders the vegetables extremely tender, and their own succulent properties stand up nicely alongside the mild spices and olive oil. In the face of this humble yet superior cooking, it is not embarrassing to become sentimental about a mound of spinach. Belay's Vegetarian Combo ($3.75/$5.25), which includes cabbage and spinach as well as garlic, yellow and red lentils, and salad, is comfort food of the highest order. But the most popular dish on Taste of Addis' small menu is Tibs ($3.75/$5.25), a spicy, bold meat stew with undertones of buttery onions. Despite eschewing some standard Ethiopian dishes like Kitfo (steak tartare), this scaled-back menu suits the U-District's gangly crowd, and keeps the prices almost absurdly low. STACEY LEVINE

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