Hanna Raskin visits Madison Park Conservatory and finds "the precocious restaurant, which opened late last year, oozes civility." She's not much for the grilled beef tongue, or the signature deviled eggs, but otherwise loves the "extraordinarily rich" octopus bolognese, husky pork chop, and a duck breast that "incites the eater to picture jaunting through a summer landscape with a duck, surveying fruit trees and leafy green plants." And despite its tony neighborhood, the restaurant is keepin' it real:
Madison Park Conservatory is never goofy, but it tempers its reserve with bouts of genuine playfulness that make dinners a real pleasure. While the restaurant's execution is sometimes a beat behind its ambitions, especially on busy weekend nights, diners who sample broadly from the menu will almost always be rewarded with a few exquisite dishes that a more staid kitchen would never concoct.
Good news for diners who might not be into chef/owner Cormac Mahoney's octopus, or anchovy crostini: "There's no shame in ordering more standard-sounding dishes. A chef who's capable of elevating a taco, it turns out, can do the same for pizza and Caesar salad."
Bethany Jean Clement is "not on board with the street-food backlash," but "an upholstered booth is always in season." Her praise for food truck expansion Skillet Diner covers every meal of the day. "Breakfasts at Skillet are lumberjack-sized—the size of an actual lumberjack." As for lunch, "In a city with many, many more fancy-burger options than there were in '07, the burger remains at the top of the heap." And "if everything at Skillet is good, dinner is great—except for fried chicken with "honey drizzle." Service "can be squirrelly," but you can bet the servers will be wearing plaid shirts. [Stranger]
Tan Vinh happy hours at Suite 410, which just marked its anniversary under the ownership of Oliver's Lounge and the Mayflower Park Hotel. The downtown bar "keeps it simple and is better for it." The new owners have installed "better tequila and whiskey" and more classic cocktails. [Seattle Times]