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Seattle Dining Authorities Describe Their Favorite Meals of 2017

“...sizzling barley with spot prawns, tender leaves of pea shoots, and smoky lardons....”

A plate of buttery tajarin topped with cheese and sage.
Spinasse’s chef menu ranked as one of the best meals of 2017.

As is tradition, Eater closes out the year by surveying local food writers on various restaurant-related topics. Readers, please feel free to chime in with your own thoughts in the comments section below.

What was your best Seattle restaurant meal of 2017?

Leslie Kelly, Seattle-based food writer:

In early spring, a gorgeous halibut dish adorned with the first tender greens at Terra Plata was like the best kind of tonic to shake off the gloom of winter. Chef Tamara Murphy and her crew are brilliant at showcasing the freshest ingredients from the farmers markets, something she's been doing for decades. Oh, and those damn churros! Best fried dough dessert ever.

Nicole Sprinkle, food writer and critic, Seattle Weekly:

Dinner at Cook Weaver. A snack of beer-battered nori dumplings; a fava bean and barley salad with a dollop of farmer’s cheese, a black sesame cracker and a sweet, acidic carrot vinaigrette; coconut-poached chicken salad over red coleslaw, strewn with fried peanuts and crispy fried shallots, and a drizzle of black pepper oil; crab seasoning fried chicken; braised brisket with hominy, a fried egg and ribbons of butternut squash sauced with miso, and a spoonful of mustard seed on top; sizzling barley with spot prawns, tender leaves of pea shoots, and smoky lardons; “gooey caramel cake” made from sunflower seeds, with red wine-soaked cherries, compote-like on the side, and a canelé of cream cheese.

Allecia Vermillion, deputy editor, Seattle Met:

My husband and I did Spinasse’s chef menu for our anniversary. You sit at a table near the kitchen and Stuart Lane serves a lineup of dishes that aren’t necessarily on the regular menu. It’s been nearly 10 years and that place is still nails it.

Jackie Varriano, editor, Zagat Seattle:

Oh wow, so many for so many different reasons. I had a gorgeous birthday dinner with friends at Brimmer and Heeltap that I still think about, I had amazing uni at Sushi Kashiba that I can’t wait to go back and get, and I spent a memorable evening at Junebaby just before they opened where not only did we eat all the wonderful things Seattle now loves about that restaurant, but we heard from artists, singers, and people involved with the space from conception to finished product and you could just feel the love in every square-inch of that restaurant that night.

Rosin Saez, associate food and drink editor, Seattle Met:

Whatever Eric Rivera made and wherever he made it. Weekend brunch, midweek Puerto Rican food, bonkers tasting menus with a ribbon of apple and fermented black bean sauce on the same plate — his perma-popup Addo, dwelling inside the former Crush space, is no joke; I might move into the upstairs of this Craftsman.

Angela Garbes, Seattle-based food writer:

On a random Monday night, my husband and I took our three-year-old out for her first Ethiopian meal. We were planning to go to Meskel, but it was closed, so we ended up at nearby Zagol (which I believe used to be Assimba). Watching her use her little fingers to greedily tear injera and drag it through lamb tibs and yellow lentils, and then seeing her eyes light up as she discovered new flavors reminded me why I love dining out — and how lucky I am to live in a city where excellent Ethiopian food is so easy to come by.

Providence Cicero, food critic, The Seattle Times:

We celebrated our wedding anniversary with friends at Cafe Juanita. The food and the service were flawless, which is what I've come to expect from Holly Smith and her team, and now they have a facility that rises to that same high standard. It was a four-star experience in every respect.

Tan Vinh, food and drink writer for The Seattle Times:

The dry-aged Cote de Boeuf at Seven Beef, though I have to give a shout out to the crab butter at Rider. That is an evil, evil spread.

Sushi Kashiba

86 Pine Street, , WA 98101 (206) 441-8844 Visit Website

Terra Plata

1501 Melrose Avenue, , WA 98122 (206) 325-1501 Visit Website

Cafe Juanita

9702 Northeast 120th Place, , WA 98034 (425) 823-1505 Visit Website

Cook Weaver

806 E Roy St, Seattle, WA 98102 (206) 324-0599

Brimmer and Heeltap

425 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107 (206) 420-2534 Visit Website


2122 Northeast 65th Street, , WA 98115 (206) 257-4470 Visit Website


1531 14th Avenue, , WA 98122 (206) 251-7673 Visit Website