As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of food writers, industry types, bloggers, and seasoned diners. Before we flip the switch on 2013, a select group will chime in on a handful of Eater questions ranging from Meal of the Year to Best New Restaurant. We've already visited Biggest Dining Surprises of 2013. Now, Restaurant Standbys.
Readers, please feel free to add your thoughts to the comments.
Allison Scheff, food & dining editor at Seattle Magazine:
Gastropod, for sure, before we went to press on Best New Restaurants (and tied it for #1). It's hard for me to have a standby because I'm out reviewing new places every week. For lunch with our kids, Mike's Noodle House. We order the noodle bowls, but we always make room for the congee, too. For breakfast, where else but Geraldine's? Been hitting Pine Box regularly, too, because the beer selection kills.
Allecia Vermillion, food & drink editor at Seattle Met:
I don't get to make too many return visits, but I did end up at Le Pichet quite often for lunch and one great dinner. I always come away from there all glowy and full of chicken liver mousse. Ba Bar is my standby when someone wants to brunch during prime weekend hours...somehow there's never a wait.
Jess Thomson, writer and cookbook author, Hogwash:
Bastille. I often feel like I need to find a restaurant that will satisfy a group with a huge variety of diets and restaurant habits, and it always comes in strong. Not tough to get into but always busy, decent prices, always a good steak frites. It's just easy, and close to home for me.
The Surly Gourmand, curmudgeon:
This year, as is the case every year, my standby is Le Pichet. It's almost as if they airlifted a bistro directly from the 7th arrondissement and dropped it into Seattle. The food is superb. The skin on the roast chicken is startling brittle and the flesh beneath melts like your mom at a Michael Buble concert. The charcuterie is pleasingly rustic, and here I mean it's ACTUALLY rustic, as opposed to menu items at lesser restuarants where "rustic" is merely a euphemism for "sloppy and lazy." The waitresses are appropriately patrician. Best of all, unlike all the trendy places, Le Pichet actually takes reservations, so you can, you know, call ahead like a grownup and stuff. J'adore Le Pichet.
Kristin Ackerman, publisher at SIP Northwest Magazine:
Joule. Great atmosphere, good cocktail program and the dishes are bold and never disappoint! It also happens to be a few blocks from my office so I've become quite the regular.
Naomi Bishop, freelance food writer, The Gastrognome:
Cafe Munir. Every time I go (which is embarrassingly often) I'm bowled over at how great the food is and how beautiful the space is — and it's quiet enough to actually hold a conversation. Which may be why I am still shocked at how affordable it is, every time I get the bill.
Nicole Sprinkle, food editor at Seattle Weekly:
Delancey. Knowing that I'll never be let down by their incredible pizza, that I'll get some terrific cocktail (like this summer's white negronis) and that I'll likely love their seasonal-inspired dessert as well (or default to their salted chocolate chip cookie) makes it a no-brainer.
Julia Wayne, freelance writer, Eater Seattle contributor:
Korean Tofu House.
Bryce Lathrop, founder of White Moustache Urban Adventure Co.:
Jen Chiu, Roll With Jen:
Art of the Table and Little Uncle. Westward is my standby on a sunny day.
Rachel Belle, radio personality at KIRO 97.3 AM and Open Wide columnist at Eater:
This year, and every year, it is Seven Stars Pepper for their hand shaven noodles. I can't get enough of those cushy, little, slug shaped things.
Julien Perry, editor at Eater Seattle:
Stoneburner. There is always something I crave on the menu and Jason Stoneburner is a magician when it comes to vegetables, which I didn't realize I loved so much. The staff is great, the dishes are always good, and now that I actually live across the street in Ballard, I've basically taken up residence in the bar. Outside of that, Lecosho. I have never been disappointed in the food (which is always comforting) or service (which is consistently upbeat). Plus, love the cozy "hidden" location on Harbor Steps. I always recommend it as a lunch spot.