In the past week, the city's restaurant critics have reviewed Pioneer Square's Girin, Columbia City's Super Six, and downtown's Carlile Room, and Seattle Met has just named Capitol Hill's Stateside its restaurant of 2015. Here's a roundup of what they're saying:
Angela Garbes enjoyed Steven Han's Girin, and says it offers something new on the local Korean landscape: "At its essence, Girin is a high-end steak house—a really good one, too. While you can get great kalbi (barbecued short ribs) at Korean restaurants throughout Seattle, as well as in Federal Way and Lynnwood, what you can't find at these places is precisely what Girin does best: high-quality, carefully sourced meat, much of it butchered in-house, that's prepared and presented with reverence. And just like any other fancy, pricey steak house, you're paying the big bucks for a few other things: a swanky setting, knowledgeable and graceful service."
Nicole Sprinkle says that Super Six pleases Marination-loving palates, and its higher prices are warranted by the larger portion sizes and ingredients: "We went with the traditional ahi tuna [poke], which comes with slivers of sweet onion and scallion and is sprinkled with sesame and crushed macadamia nuts, beside a small bundle of ogo (Japanese seaweed, with a surprisingly delicate flavor). It's on the pricey side at $18 (wild shrimp or grilled mackerel poke was $12), but it was fresh, and four of us each got a few bites."
Jessica Yadegaran feels T-Doug's veg-centric Carlile Room offers many highlights, especially the duck-fat hushpuppies: "Dishes came out all at once, and the only disappointment was a side of country natural prime rib roast ($17; $40/regular portion; $65/slab). It was tender and delicious but cold on arrival both times it was ordered . . . The star was duck-fat hushpuppies ($14), a starter that will top my 'favorite dishes of the year' list. The combination of hot, crunchy, cornmeal, silky duck liver mousse, sweet blueberry conserve and tangy tomatillo pickles gave my palate goosebumps."
In selecting Stateside as Seattle Met's restaurant of the year, Kathryn Robinson calls it "a genuinely extraordinary culinary destination masquerading as a casual Vietnamese restaurant": "The extraordinary thing about Stateside is that it delivers both exactitude and exuberance consistently—a feat so momentous as to make Stateside the hands-down Restaurant of the Year in a year filled with more notable openings than Seattle's seen...maybe ever."