Seattle Restaurant Week—the two-week "week" that comes twice a year—is baaaaack, and it's bigger than ever. This week and next week, from Sunday through Thursday, 170-plus restaurants offer set-menu, three-course dinners for $30 (and some $15 lunches).
I'm not the biggest fan of Seattle Restaurant Week—generally, it's like getting dessert free, and not getting to choose from the whole menu. But I live to serve! So when asked on Twitter, I looked through the very long list of participating restaurants and came up with these best bets:
For @aliluhrs: best @SeattleRW bets! @kisakusushi @mktseattle @monsoonNW @OchoBallard @poppyseattle @ORigoletto @RouxRestaurant @ShanikRest
— Bethany Jean Clement (@BJeanClement) October 20, 2014
Here's a little more info on the places above: Kisaku, Mkt., Monsoon, Ocho, Poppy, Roux, and Shanik. Rigoletto is brand new, so that one's a bit of a wild card, but the chef's work at his South Lake Union bakery La Toscanella seems great, and the space in an old brick laundry building with an enormous smokestack is intriguing.
Also, Rigoletto looks expensive, and it makes sense to try expensive places you're curious about at the Seattle Restaurant Week discount. If, for instance, you've always wanted to eat at Six Seven at the Edgewater, just because its dining room is pretty much floating on Puget Sound, Seattle Restaurant Week will save you some money.
But don't forget happy hour! Almost every place has one now, and if $30 represents a real splurge, you'll probably get more for your money by going a little early and sitting in the bar. (Six Seven's bar is Soundside, too—go right when happy hour starts to get the best seats.) Scope out a place's regular menu and happy hour menu online, then compare with their Seattle Restaurant Week menu (just click on the name), so you can do some math and see how much you will (or won't) save, depending on how much you want dessert.
Then there's the drinks—that's where these restaurant promos try to get you. Have a beer, house wine if they have it, or the lowest-price wine by the glass—it's unlikely that it'll be swill at these kind of places. If you're going with a friend and you'd both like to have a couple glasses of wine, get a cheap bottle; you'll save a few dollars. (If they have a cava or another low-priced bubbly by the bottle, get that and feel celebratory and special with your silvery ice bucket.)
Finally, and this is important: If you go, tip well—these things are hell for servers. (And if you don't get around to Seattle Restaurant Week, note that the similar Dine Around Seattle starts November 2 and goes for a full month.)