Seastar: My Favorite Pacific Northwest Restaurant

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As much as I love New York City’s foodie scene, I have yet to find a restaurant to top the one place I’ve been in love with since high school – Seastar. Founded by chef John Howie, Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar encompasses the best of what the Pacific Northwest has to offer: comforting dishes, fresh produce, and some of the best seafood you’ll find anywhere in the US.

Whenever I visit my parents, one of my top priorities (aside from rest and relaxation) is to stop by this place for a swanky night out or a posh lunch. I love the interior, with its warm lighting and spaciousness; and it’s one of those rare spots that is clearly upscale, yet relaxing. In other words, you’ll be paying a lot more than you would at Taco Time, but the ambiance is still laid-back.

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The staff is always friendly – not at all like those typical, uppity restaurants – and they’re beyond accommodating. MINI STORY: When I was accepted to Richmond University in London, one of the only other students from Washington, Amy, worked at Seastar as a waitress. So my first visit here was extra special, because I was able to meet her as well. 🙂

This year, I treated my mommy to lunch and ordered the crab bisque. Even though I’m not typically a soup person, Seastar’s crab bisque is one of my go-tos with its rich creaminess and big lumps of fresh crab. Not gonna lie… the best lunch menu option is the grilled crab sandwich, but they ran out by the time I got there there time around. And I’m still upset I didn’t get my crab sandwich fix, because it’s my favorite. MOVING ON…

If you ever find yourself in this neck of the woods, I swear by each of these amazing dishes:

California Roll

I’m a sushi snob, but Seastar’s Cali roll is bomb.

Maytag Blue Cheese Pear Salad

A chic presentation, and the perfect starter.

Dungeness Crab and Sweet Corn Bisque

Too good. Rich, filling, and something I wish I could eat by the bucket.

Dungeness Crab Cakes

I’ve tried crab cakes everywhere ever since I moved to the Northeast – from swanky spots in Rockefeller Center, to Bobby Flay’s restaurant in Atlantic City. Their crab cakes were great, of course, but they can’t compare to those found at Seastar. I’m not sure if it’s the burre blanc it’s served with, or the touch of cream in the crab mixture, but it remains undefeated in my book.

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Northwest Seafood Stew

I haven’t tried it, but it’s my dad’s regular order. Chocked full of clams, mussels, scallops, and shrimp, it sounds bomb enough for me.

Crispy Fish & Chips

Sorry England (you know I love you), but Seastar’s fish and chips takes the cake. They use mahi mahi, and the breading is SO much lighter than the typical greasy stuff.

Grilled Crab and Cheddar Sandwich

In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m obsessed with crab [enter obvious crab jokes here]. This sandwich is hot, decadent, creamy, and one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced. As I previously mentioned, I’m still sad they were sold out when I visited this year.

Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

If you’re looking for the ultimate, most decadent thing ever, order this. I’ve had it twice.

Parmigiano Reggiano Crusted Tilapia

This is probably my favorite non-crab dish at the restaurant. The butter sauce and mashed potatoes are super yummy.

Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee

My first creme brulee experience was at Seastar, so I love it.

Mind you, Seastar’s menu changes slightly throughout the year, in order to serve up in-season produce and seafood. So you’ll have to come here several times in order to experience all of their amazing dishes. But trust me, it’s definitely worth the repeat visits.

 

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