eating well in seattle

Seven years ago, we packed up a U-Haul and moved 2,000 miles away from Northeastern Oklahoma (where we both grew up). Our parents (who still live in OK), have been up to visit a few times before, but with the all the remodel craziness of the last few years, they’ve been keeping tabs on our progress from afar. Now that the house is sorta done and definitely habitable, they came up for a long overdue visit. Now, we always advise that people come in July or August, when it’s bound to be perfect Seattle weather – sunny and 76 degrees. Well, that wasn’t the case this time – but considering that OK has been hit with one of the hottest summers on record, there were no complaints about 65 and cloudy.

Kyle’s parents (and his aunt and uncle!) came for four days and then the day after they left my dad and step-mom flew out for four days. We had a great time with everyone and it marked the first time that people could actually stay in our house (without being relegated to the couch). During the first stretch, Kyle and I took the loft while his parents slept in our room and his aunt and uncle on an Aerobed in the flex room. It was cozy, but it worked!

Even though the weather wasn’t fantastic, we found plenty to do. In addition to hanging out around town and at chezerbey, we also went on a few day excursions. With Kyle’s family, we went to Whidbey island, where we stumbled across an art festival and took Bailey to an off-leash beach so he could work on his driftwood fetching skills. With my parents, we headed up to Mt. Rainier, where there was still 12′ of snow at Sunrise (6,400 ft.)! We even saw a bear! But probably one of the best things we did was eat. Seriously, sometimes I forget how good we have it here (probably because dining out for us usually means hitting up the local taco truck) and having visitors in town is a great excuse to show people our favorite places while also trying a few new ones.

Now, this is the point where I would have shown you a stream of artistically shot photos of what and where we ate, but my iPhone is 3 years old (basically obsolete) and nearly crashes Instragram every time I try to use it (I am stubbornly holding out for a white iPhone 5). So instead, I’m going to talk about the places we ate and show you pictures of Bailey. Because really, I know that’s the only reason some of your read our blog.

Kyle’s parent’s flight was delayed and they were starving by the time we picked them up. Instead of risking it with a long wait, we took them to Tutta Bella in the Wallingford neighborhood. Known for their Neapolitan pizzas and amazing salads, the food is delicious and the restaurant is spacious enough that we were seated immediately. We ordered a few different pizzas, but our favorite was the Gioia; an olive oil based pie with prosciutto, arugula and a fried egg on top.

A few days later, we stopped by Bastille in Ballard for drinks and snacks before going to the nearby Tractor Tavern for a concert. (Ironically, one of the two bands playing was Other Lives, a band from Stillwater, OK. And yes, Kyle’s mom totally rocked out.) Anyhow, Bastille’s slogan is “damn good French cuisine” and it really is. The main dining room is always crazy busy and that’s why we often head straight for the back bar – a dark and cozy space with a full bar and generous menu (the steak frites are always a good choice).

For our final meal of family visit #1, we headed to Ray’s Boathouse. We like Ray’s because you get the quintessential seafood experience while avoiding the downtown waterfront land o’ tourists. Located in West Ballard, the restaurant has a panoramic view of Puget Sound and on nice days the deck is where you want to be. Sadly, the deck was not open when we were there, but we did have some amazing food nonetheless.

After a day to do laundry and recoup, my dad and step-mom arrived. It was a pleasant evening, so we took them to Cicchetti in Eastlake, where we ate outside and they marveled that we didn’t have to worry about bugs. This was actually the first time we’d been there and it did not disappoint. The small restaurant shares a patio with Serafina (same owner) and focuses on smaller, Mediterranean style dishes. 

[This is Bailey’s equivalent to a kid throwing a tantrum in the middle of a store. He was not ready to go home!]

For lunch the next day, we met up with Kyle at one of our all-time favorite bakeries, Macrina. This is our go-to place for celebratory cakes. In fact, I have somehow convinced Kyle that I require a cake for my birthday, anniversary and valentine’s day. (I’m thinking about adding more holidays.) Everything I’ve had there has been delicious, so you really can’t go wrong.

That night, we went to Delancey. Located in a tiny “microhood” near our house, the restaurant is a little off the beaten path but always busy. Even though it was a Thursday, there was still a wait. (Fortunately, the bar across the street got smart and put in some outdoor seating.) We filled up on thin style pizzas, wine and raspberry pavlova. Our bellies were happy.

[Still not ready…]

On Friday night, we made reservations for Ethan Stowell’s newish restaurant, Staple & Fancy. Located in a renovated brick building on trendy Ballard Ave., the restaurant serves Italian-inspired cuisine with a Pacific Northwest influence. There are a few a la carte options on the menu (which is stapled to a cedar shingle, so Seattle), but the encouraged option is a multi-course fixed price meal. And it was worth it. For a party of four, they started us off with 6-7 small appetizers and then moved on to two pasta dishes, two main dishes and two desserts. It was a great way to try a bunch of different things without the risk of disappointment and hunger. It was our first time at Staple & Fancy and we’d definitely recommend it for a special night out.

[My attempts at stern parenting were blatantly ignored.]

Are you hungry yet? We also managed to cook at home a few times, grilling salmon and halibut (on the deck!) that Kyle caught on his sea-faring adventures a few months ago. (C’mon – you know how he is around the house, is it any surprise that he would DIY our dinner too?)

So there you have it – no new progress on the house, but instead we took some time off to actually live in it. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that that’s the whole point of this adventure.


23 Responses to “eating well in seattle”

  1. I have never been to ANY of these places and was looking for something new. Now I have lots to try and YES I am hungry!

  2. Valerie says:

    My mouth is watering! Hopefully the hubby, dog & I will be moving to Fremont or Wallingford in about 6 months, you have given me a long list of places to try. I have a foodie friend that lives in Wallingford so maybe I can go try some of those places out before then. Thanks!

    • Kyle Z says:

      did lauren mention our trip to molly moons ice cream in wallingford, it’s the best. salted caramel is ours, (and bailey’s) favorite flavor. Last time we went he rolled over on his back in front of the door and waited for belly rubs, then he proceeded to lick the sidewalk clean of ice cream droppings;)

  3. emilie says:

    I confessed: I skipped the text and just looked for Bailey’s pictures 🙂

  4. Cait says:

    I totally hear you on “Sometimes it’s easy to forget that that’s the whole point of this adventure”!

    Those pictures of Bailey are adorable, as is his equivalent to a kid throwing a tantrum! Also? I would have thrown a tantrum too, those plants look amazing.

  5. Dana says:

    I love Ray’s…always eat there when I visit my family in Ballard.
    I’m just gonna put this out there….Bailey webcam…. 🙂

    • chezerbey says:

      Haha, I thought about doing a video sometime. I’ve also thought about the webcam, just b/c I’m curious to know if he really sleeps all day. =)

  6. Brian says:

    Cool restaurant ideas. May have to check them out if the partner and I end up in PS area in early September for vacation.

    BTW, I bet Sunrise isn’t 65,000 ft tall. Looks like it is closer to 5000 ft. But maybe the (Colorado Rocky Mountain) high of being up there made it feel like 65,000ft. 🙂

    • chezerbey says:

      Haha, yeah, that was a typo! More like 6,500′ (or 6,400′ to be exact, since I just double checked). Thanks for catching that!

  7. Pam says:

    BAILEY! is clearly your most fun family member! Does anyone else roll around on the sidewalk?!

    I’m a new reader- great work you two!

  8. brooke says:

    We’ve been to all of them in some form (mostly just for drinks), but now I want to eat at all of them! I especially want to try delancy and staple & fancy!

  9. kerry says:

    Other Lives is my favorite band right now! we almost went to that show at the tractor – we actually walked past and listened outside the door for a second – we were with friends who weren’t into it 🙁
    We live in Ballard too! I think around the same area looks like. 🙂 Love your house and your dog 🙂

    • chezerbey says:

      Thanks Kerry! The Tractor is a fun venue…you should try the monthly square dancing events! We’ve only gone once but it was it definitely an experience.

  10. KeLLy Ann says:

    We are always looking for new places to try in New Orleans, esp off the beaten path {aka: unknown to hordes of tourists}. I will brave the crowd to get my beignets at Cafe du Monde, but other than that, we avoid.
    I will HIGHLY recommend Angeli’s on Decatur if you are ever in New Orleans.
    That’s what is so great about NOLA, it’s constantly changing, so there is always something new to discover.

  11. Jennifer says:

    I have to admit that I’m one of your fans that keeps coming back for updates on the house but mostly to see what Bailey is up to!! I had a mastiff that would plop down on the ground when she got too hot on walks and refuse to move unless I could convince her we were turning around to go back home…

  12. helloshiella says:

    i’ve been to a few of your places named and equally love them all! i want to try this staple and fancy. also, like our fine food selection i think seattle has the best summers. i am sometimes pleased when we get cool-off days.


  13. Maisie says:

    Wonderful links.Just added them to our future roadtrip plan.
    Thanks so much… and now I´m hungry 😀

    Bailey could be possibly the cutest thing in Seattle <3

  14. Holyoke Home says:

    bailey, bailey, bailey.

    How could they make you go home?!

  15. Matt says:

    Double Bluff Beach rules!

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