Welcome back to Week in Reviews. Seattle's food critics recently visited a notable number of West Seattle restaurants, including Marée Bistro and Bar, Dumplings of Fury, and Itto's Tapas, as well as Vashon Island's Gravy. Here's what they had to say:
WEST SEATTLE—Doling out just one-and-a-half stars, The Seattle Times' Providence Cicero praises Marée Bistro and Bar's wine program and "unfailingly accommodating front-of-the-house staff," but says the neighborhood French restaurant's high price points and "zigzag execution" dull her enthusiasm. Menu highlights include "sumptuous and satisfying" soupe à l'oignon gratinée and a "delightful" mini, unfrosted chocolate cake with chestnut pastry crème between the layers.
WEST SEATTLE—For Seattle Met, Darren Davis enjoys Dumplings of Fury, "a kitschy street food joint" with long lines and plastic takeout containers, even for in-house dining. "Nothing on the menu could be called subtle," he writes of the massive portions and intense flavors. "But the end of a long day doesn't call for subtlety—it wants cold beer and savory, unctuous comfort."
WEST SEATTLE—Seattle Weekly's Nicole Sprinkle is pleasantly surprised by "undeniably charming" Moroccan and Spanish Itto's Tapas, where tender "squid steak" with a "subtle, seductive zing" coexists happily with "the best beet preparation I've had in a long time." Even the cocktails, like the "beautifully balanced, robust" Marrakech Driver, come in for compliments, as "Itto's has the bar on lock."
Sprinkle sums up neatly: "West Seattle seems to be getting all the luck these days when it comes to restaurants. Do yourself a favor and don't let a bridge stop you from nudging in on the territory."
VASHON ISLAND—Theme-adjacent, The Stranger's Tobias Coughlin-Bogue threatens to become a ferry regular for Gravy, which, after an initial stumble, is serving "some of the most delightful, satisfying fare I've had on island or off." Even the service foibles "are not bad foibles." Pay particular attention to the Sunday barbecue at this pleasant neighborhood joint, when the $35 sampler platter "is a steal, allowing two hungry humans to conveniently traverse the galaxy of Gravy's meat specialties and get quite full doing so."