While the vibe is festive and the wine list local, Hanna Raskin confirms that SkyCity, the restaurant on top of the Space Needle "isn't a good choice for a great meal." Try as she might, it was impossible to find any 1960s-era reviews of the restaurant. "Food, it seems, has never been the focal point." Prices are high; think $63 for a "decently cooked" steak." But most dishes have a "soul-wilting flavor" common at places where diners come for something other than the food. Anyone who has ever "eaten a stuffed chicken breast at a wedding or grilled salmon aboard a cruise ship" has a good handle on the food here:
There are kitchen sins aplenty at SkyCity, but keeping score feels tantamount to ruing a fourth-grade orchestra's intonation or besmirching an old woman's name because she can't keep time with the other dancers in her clogging club. Nobody expects an edible epiphany at a revolving restaurant; diners who go to SkyCity for the food probably read Playboy for the articles.
The highlight of Raskin's visits ? the legendary lunar orbiter dessert. It's essentially an ice cream sundae swathed in dry ice and desrcibed on the Space Needle blog as "an atomic explosion in reverse." It's been on the menu since 1962, says Raskin, and "cataclysmic analogies aside, the silly dessert is fabulous." [Seattle Weekly]
Seattle Met's review of 50 North is online, and Kathryn Robinson says the U-District restaurant "is not unsophisticated but its chipper accessibility gives it a genuinely populist vibe." Owner Melinda Sontgerath, of popular Vashon Island restaurant Hardware Store, amps up comforting foods like fish and chips, pomegranate short ribs, and crab cakes with liberal doses of fresh produce. It's home cooking the way we would have eaten in the ’50s had fresh vegetables been invented yet." In its own way, the restaurant is "pioneering radical territory" by "presenting the rarefied foodie model of sustainable sourcing and vegcentric cooking in a package aimed at everyman." [Seattle Met]
Hugo Kugiya finds the poetry in pho, specifically the ID's Pho So 1. It's the go-to for Seattle-based Jack Prelutsky, the nation's first children's poet laureate who claims to eat pho just about every day for lunch, despite the new owners' recent Italian-themed remodel. Kugiya's writeup is reminiscent of Seattle Weekly's departed Jason Sheehan ? awfully rambly, but gets around to some good points. For the Bronx-born Prelutsky, "taste is relative, but an appetite is constant." [Crosscut]