Seattle Restaurants

May 31st, 2005, 01:17 PM
  #1  
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Seattle Restaurants

I've read old posts about Seattle restaurants, but I need some additional information.

We are looking for a place to have a dinner party...something with good food, very casual and pretty inexpensive too. This is during a convention time, so I'm not sure how many people we'll be entertaining yet. I think it's safe to assume it won't be more than 50. We could either have a sit down meal or a cocktail buffet. We need to keep the cost no more than $40 a person, and that includes drinks. Does anyone have a fun idea for a bunch of tourists?
SusanCS is offline  
May 31st, 2005, 02:07 PM
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I'm eager to read what others suggest. The only place that comes to mind in your price range is Buca di Beppo, but I'm not sure they can handle a crowd of 50--ditto more conveniently located P.F. Chang's.
happytrailstoyou is offline  
May 31st, 2005, 03:16 PM
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I checked the menu at Buce di Beppo and I'm not sure we could get under the $40 limit per person. We entertain like this often enough to know it's usually most economical to have a buffet-type setup unless we find a REAL dive, which is actually more fun.

We'll be at the Grand Hyatt and others will be at the Renaissance and Sheraton. Ideally, we'd like someplace convenient to those locations. Is the downtown area busy at night, or fairly empty?

My husband tells me we may well have more than 50 people, so that narrows our options even more.
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May 31st, 2005, 04:31 PM
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You checked out the menu, but did you check out the size of the portions at Buca di Beppo? They are beyond huge.

I wish you lots of luck in your search, and I await news of where in Seattle you can get what you're looking for for $40 a person.

happytrailstoyou is offline  
May 31st, 2005, 06:14 PM
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I didn't check out portion size, but I may need to do that!

Hopefully being tenacious will win the day. In recent years we've had parties in New Orleans (Pat O'Brien's - awful food but wonderful ambiance), Denver (beautiful cocktail buffet at our hotel, whatever the heck it was), and NYC at a great Greek restaurant. I know prices are hiking daily but I've still got my fingers crossed.
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May 31st, 2005, 06:47 PM
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Susan, you've got me thinking. Check out Fox's Sports Grill, Elephant and Castle, and Rock Bottom--all three conveniently located in downtown Seattle. They are all big places and may be able to work a deal for you.

More upscale, Cutter's Bayhouse, near the Pike Place Market has a view of the water. Your group would love it if it's within your budget. McCormick & Schmick's has two down town locations; they are very well-equipped to handle big groups.

Il Fornaio is a good Italian restaurant that may be able to work a deal for you. It too is more upscale. Good big city atmosphere, delicious food, and fun attitude.
happytrailstoyou is offline  
May 31st, 2005, 07:26 PM
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Got me thinking too - it's a big group for most of the restaurants many of us would tend to suggest, and the larger rooms would probably blow the budget.

I'm not particularly a fan, but Tom Douglas, our local celeb chef wanna, has a new banquet hall across the street from the Palace Kitchen that does a pretty good cocktail/munchies spread - http://www.tomdouglas.com/

No idea if they would cooperate (can't imagine them not), but a minor thunder rumble in my brain threw up - no, no - evoked - the Todai Japanese buffet in the Pacific Place center, easily walkable from the convention center and all the downtown hotels. Your budget would be safe, and the food is really quite good, and unusual for those that haven't experienced it. A couple of Kirins and a plate or two of sushi and you got a party on your hands. It's a smallish chain, as is Il Fornaio (in the same building) which I also agree is a great choice, albeit maybe one challenging the budget for a sitdown. But again, Il Fornaio does excellent buffet service and cocktails, so maybe it might work.

I'll try to think of some others.
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May 31st, 2005, 07:27 PM
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The dishes at Buca are served family style, so one dish alone will serve 4-8 people.

We had a terrible service at Il Fornio back in November. The manager was aware of what was going on, but did nothing to remedy it. Many people in the restaurant were upset. I always try to give places second chances, etc, but based on that evening and how the manager decided to not do anything I would have to recommend against that establishment, especially for a group.
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Jun 1st, 2005, 06:42 AM
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Shallot's Asian Bistro does catering for our office downtown often. I have not been to their restaurant, so don't know ambiance there. But the catering office has always been very helpful and budget minded on our behalf.
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Jun 1st, 2005, 09:40 AM
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Thanks to everyone for your suggestions; they all sound great!
I have to keep reminding myself that this event doesn't necessarily have to be a meal...it can just as easily be drinks and hors d'oeuvres, so that'll keep the cost down, too.

The places that most peak my interest are Cutter's Bayhouse and Etta's, though I'm afraid the private room at Etta's may not accommodate enough people. I think for their first night in Seattle our guests would love a water view.

Gardyloo, I'd already checked out the banquet hall across from the Palace Kitchen and it rents for between $1,000 and $1,800...a little out of my price range!

Thanks again to you all...I'll keep you posted.
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Jun 1st, 2005, 10:56 AM
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We enjoyed Anthony's and Elliotts, both on the waterfront down at the piers. I don't know if they have a room available for your party but they both had great food.
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Jun 1st, 2005, 11:51 AM
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Check with either Cutters or Anthonys if they have a private party room with water view. I know Cutter's does. They are both great and VERY "Seattle".

Etta's is a tiny place and I don't think has a private room available (unless they were willing to give you the bar area). And would be hard pressed to keep their menu within your budget. I give nearly $40 for a salad for lunch with a couple glasses of wine and a tip!
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Jun 1st, 2005, 11:55 AM
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Nope, Anthony's doesn't have a private room (I just called them for you).

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Jun 1st, 2005, 01:35 PM
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I worked myself up into a total lather thinking how wonderful a water view would be for our first night in Seattle.
I called Cutter's and talked to a charming woman named Jennifer, who later identified herself as General Manager. She told me about the private room (which sounds spectacular), said $40 per person would be ample, but when she checked on our date - a Wednesday night in August - it was already booked She said Harborside on Lake Union is very nice and was willing to give me a contact name there, but I just don't think the location is as convenient as I'd like it to be.

Elliott's can accommodate 50 standing, but I'm afraid that won't be enough space. Etta's can take 40 seated...not sure how many standing.

Suze - Does that mean Pier 66 doesn't have a private room? That's another place I was going to check.

Any other ideas? You're all being SO helpful.
SusanCS is offline  
Jun 1st, 2005, 01:59 PM
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Hmm... I'm not sure, but the woman at Anthony's mentioned their restaurants in Kirkland or Shilshole/Ballard for groups (so I'm guessing nothing at the downtown waterfront location, but I did not ask about Pier 66).
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Jun 1st, 2005, 02:19 PM
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You might try Cafe Maxilien in the Pike Place Public Market and ask them if they will turn over to you the upstairs bar/lounge area overlooking the bay. They might fix you up with their Happy Hour selections of both wine/beer and small plates.
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Jun 1st, 2005, 02:57 PM
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Thanks...I've emailed Maximilien for information.
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Jun 1st, 2005, 03:02 PM
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Is your convention at the convention center or somewhere else? How would you handle logistics for an out-of-downtown location? (Thinking Ray's Cafe upstairs at Shilshole - a perfect venue if you can get there.)
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Jun 1st, 2005, 03:02 PM
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If it's not a meal, we had a great catered event in the dome of the Seattle Aquarium (swim with the fishes).
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Jun 1st, 2005, 03:22 PM
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you may also want to try the Crab Pot or The Fisherman's located at the Bay Pavilion on the waterfront. The Crab Pot's website says they can accomodate any size group.

Good Luck!
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