NFT Radar: Burgundian



The Burgundian isn’t Seattle’s only destination for chicken and waffles. But the malt batter and bourbon maple syrup makes it one of the best. The classic pairing is only one of numerous reasons to become a brunch regular. The wood-laden, 21+ establishment gives discerning grownups a comfortable place to recharge on a late weekend morning. Dishes like the veggie-laden winter hash, bruleed oranges, or fruit-filled steel cut oatmeal prove you don’t need a grease-bomb to satisfyingly soak up the previous night’s indulgences. Bread accompaniment options include brioche or a biscuit. Enjoy your meal with a hair-of-the-dog cocktail or a flawless latte.

From Not For Tourists – Seattle.


NFT Radar: Toronado



Do you love beer, but find yourself let down by the paltry 10-12 options you usually find at a bar? The California-originated Toronado has your back with 40 rotating taps and a giant LCD menu that’s just begging for you to make a night of it. View the live beer board on their website so you’re not so overwhelmed once you get there. They’ve got equally massive lists of bourbon, whiskey, scotch and tequila for the more spirited folks. Somehow, they also find time to maintain a farm-to-table menu full of decadent sandwiches and charcuterie plates. Or just get a plate of bacon for $10.

From Not For Tourists – Seattle.

NFT Radar: Sushi Kanpai

Sushi Kanpai


What’s better than an awesome happy hour? How about a happy hour that lasts all weekend and features what is practically a dinner-sized menu at low prices? Order more traditional sushi rolls or YOLO with the Heart Attack (basically a Japanese jalapeno popper). Don’t miss the tempura or the gyoza. The catch is a one-drink per person minimum, which means you can’t share that Saki unless you get a beer back. It’s a convenient spitting distance from Town Hall, so you get your buzz on and fill your belly before catching a reading by that author you heard on NPR. Of course, you can always order from their regular menu, where the food gets fancy but the prices stay reasonable. Kanpai!

From Not For Tourists – Seattle.

NFT Radar: Vittles

Vittles Neighborhood Bistro & Bar


This up-and-coming bistro in Belltown is poised for stardom. The soft brown décor makes it ideal for dates and parents alike. The classed-up comfort food and thoughtfully crafted cocktails have something for everyone. For me, the star attraction is the generously portioned Crispy Green Beans with Broccoli, tempura breaded with a truffle aioli drizzle for dipping. Make a meal out of one or two apps or share the love. Also notable: Crab and Corn Beignets and the House Poutine, which uses a cheesy sauce in lieu of traditional toppings. For even heartier fare, venture into the surf and turf laden entrees. The service is just how I like it–attentively laid-back. Things get even cheaper at happy hour.

From Not For Tourists – Seattle.

My Seattle

One of the best things about my job at NFT is that people ask me for advice on where to go. If you’re curious about what I usually recommend, I’ve updated my Custom Map with some of my new favorite places, as well as the timeless classics. (Anyone can create an account and do this, BTW.)

See my list and map here.

NFT Radar: Savatdee Thai

Look, I know there are about a million Thai restaurants in the Seattle metropolitan area. So when Savatdee opened in the old Blue Onion space, I too was skeptical. But they’re right up the road so I tried them anyway. It changed my life. Their food is incredible. They make all the pads and curries you’d find anywhere. However, every one of those usual suspects is the best version of that dish I’ve ever tasted. They also have some interesting chef’s specials and more unusual fare. I’d never heard of Pad Opp Woonsen (silver noodles and napa cabbage) but now I must order it every single time. For the more adventurous eaters, they offer a separate Lao menu. Perhaps this is closer to what it would be like to actually eat IN Thailand. If so, I’m booking a plane ticket immediately. If the service were terrible, Savatdee would still be worth patronizing, but it’s not. It’s excellent. They also deliver. The next time you crave Thai food, forsake all others and head to Savatdee. If these guys go out of business, I will be devastated. If you don’t want to do it for me, do it for yourself.

5801 Roosevelt Way NE

X-posted from Not For Tourists.

NFT Radar: Gainsbourg

I’m not crazy about authentic French cooking. I find it heavy and uninteresting. Apparently, all it needed was a Seattle twist! Gainsbourg is among Seatown’s best restaurants. We were lucky enough to dine when mac and cheese was the special. Not too oily, perfectly bread crumbed and Gruyere laden, it was unequivocally the best I’ve ever tasted. Gruyere. Other menu highlights include the Croque Monsieur, the French Dip, and Poutine. They season most dishes with pig, but will make vegetarian versions of practically everything. (Beware. They mustn’t clean the pans. A little chunk of ham was hiding in our Roasted Brussels Sprouts.) Their drink menu is as elaborate as the food, with an entire page devoted to Absinthe. The Lavender Lemonade (spiked with vodka) is as refreshing as it is dangerous. Naturally, they also offer a large list of French wines. The decor is dark and interesting. Real candelabras sit on each table, making you feel like characters in a gothic romance novel. But you might want to move it away from yourself after a few drinks. Francophiles might take issue. But for people on the fence about French cooking, Gainsbourg is a revelation.

8550 Greenwood Ave N

X-posted from Not For Tourists.

NFT Radar: The Pig ‘n Whistle

The P n’ W is a decent destination for dinner and drinks. There are delightful twists on classic apps like the breaded green tomato caprese and the revelatory pretzel crusted cheddar sticks. Their sandwich menu offers not only a competent burger (meat and veggie) but also surprises like the brat burger and the fried green tomato, ham, bacon, egg sandwich. They have a terrific list of micro brews and imported beers to accompany your meal. Save room for cobbler or perhaps a root beer float! Brunch, however, is another story. I don’t normally like to give a negative review based on bad service from one individual. But because the food wasn’t all that great either, it feels warranted. Our toast came out late and was still, somehow, cold and chewy as though it had been sitting around for a while. There was a (thankfully) long hair on my omelet and when I mentioned it, very politely to the already bitchy waitress (after I had eaten most of my mediocre breakfast), her response was “Oh.” I wasn’t looking for a comped meal but an apology would have been nice. I’ll be back for those cheddar sticks. But brunch? Never again.

8412 Greenwood Ave N 98103

X-posted from Not For Tourists.

NFT Radar: Salvatore Ristorante

Italian is one of those cuisines that, if not done right, is not only a huge disappointment, but also a waste of calories. What’s the point of ingesting all that oil and fat if every bite isn’t a transcendent experience? Fortunately, Salvatore understands this. A real guy from the real Italy he’s owned and operated his titular Ristorante for 20 years. Every night, he gregariously greets regulars like family and welcomes newbies into the fold like a cunning cult leader. You can leave eventually, but not before he stuffs you silly with traditional Italian flavors done right. Start with the luscious Bruchetta or just nibble on complimentary fresh bread. It’s wise to order from the lengthy specials menu, as it showcases a mixture of Salvatore’s recent whims (Salmon Ravioli) and classic family recipes (Spaghetti and Meatballs). The regular menu is also full of gems like the hearty Wild Boar. Pair your meal with a vino from their fantastic wine list. I’d tell you to pace yourself so you can cram in dessert, but they’ll do it for you. The Salvatore experience is Italian in every way, meaning you’re in it for the long haul. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the caloric orgy.

6100 Roosevelt Way NE 98115

X-posted from Not For Tourists.

NFT Radar: La Isla

I know that Madonna song is about San Pedro, but it’s hard not to get it stuck in your head when dining at La Isla. This amazing Puerto Rican restaurant in Ballard is certainly where my stomach longs for me to be. Popular for a damned good reason is the Pernil Special: slow roasted pork shoulder that’s been “marinated for days” in some kind of magic elixir, making it super tender and flavorful. Also mind-blowing is the Pastelon: a Puerto Rican “lasagna,” layered with sweet plantains and cheesy goodness, plus your choice of meat or veggies. All entrees come with a generous helping of house recipe rice and beans and tostones (or sub these with sweet mash or maduros), plus their incredible mojito garlic sauce. Smother everything on your plate in it or try to resist shooting it straight from the dish. Get a box for your meal so you can have dessert. They have the best Tres Leches in town. And with lunch and happy hour specials (half-price apps and strong cocktails, 3-6 and 10-1 nightly), there are plenty of ways to lower the bill. If eating and drinking isn’t enough to entertain you, they’ll set you up with Dominoes.

2320 NW Market St 98107

X-posted from Not For Tourists.