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Best Restaurant – Pacific Alaska Region

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | May 17th, 2010 | Restaurant News
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Think Tasty is searching for the best restaurants from coast to coast, beginning with the Pacific Alaska region of America.  (This region includes Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.)  After reviewing suggested restaurants, we have created a list of ten restaurants from which you can choose.  After ten days of voting, we will announce which restaurant is deemed the best in the Pacific Alaska region.

1. The Narrows, McCall, Idaho
The Narrows — a fine-dining establishment operated by Shore Lodge resort in McCall, Idaho — boasts floor-to-ceiling views of beautiful Payette Lake and the Gem State’s central mountains. The Narrows offers equally compelling fare with a menu that focuses on fresh, seasonal, local and regional ingredients. “The menus are changing weekly, if not daily,” says Executive Chef Eric Gruber, who graduated from Scottsdale Culinary Institute with honors and has worked at several 4-star, 4-diamond restaurants. “They’re like living, breathing entities. We talk to purveyors throughout the Northwest to find out what’s available and then we build our menus around that.”

2. H50 Bistro, Portland, Oregon
H50 Bistro is a fresh and fun restaurant located at Hotel Fifty in downtown Portland, Ore. Executive Chef Nick Yanes creates contemporary cuisine with a focus on flavors and textures using the freshest ingredients, many of which are locally and/or organically grown. Guests can dine on classic fare from the Steak House menu or seasonal selections from the Chef’s menu, including Roasted Greek Branzino with toasted couscous, saffron tzatziki and smoked tomato jam, and the 24-Hour Beef Short Ribs served with smoked white grits and a dark cherry and chocolate reduction.

3. The Landing, Reedsport, Oregon
The Landing is a surf and turf restaurant; it is built from an old science ship’s wheel house and sits on top of the dock out over the Umpqua river. Two items you must try are the Steak Au Gratin, and Barbara’s Cheese Bread. The Steak Au Gratin is a New York Strip wrapped in bacon, seasonings, onions and COVERED with cheese. The Steak Au Gratin by itself is a meal, let alone any sides. Barbara’s Cheese Bread is a sourdough loaf cut in half lengthwise, toasted, and covered with Barbara’s special mixture of cheese. This appetizer is a cheese lover’s dream with loads of melty cheese and just the right mixture of flavor and so much cheese, it melts down the individual slices.

4. Terrace Kitchen, Lake Oswego, Oregon
Terrace Kitchen is not simply a restaurant, it is a social mecca where foodie acolytes go for cooking classes, wine tastings, educational seminars, book signings, poetry readings, music, art shows, afternoon tea, fashion shows, lectures, socials and culinary tours. In addition to executive chef roles in several acclaimed kitchens, Fernando Divina, with wife Marlene, is author of the James Beard award-winning cookbook focusing of Food of the Americas. Terrace Kitchen’s cuisine has been said to “…open the mind to the culinary wisdom and ingenuity of the Native peoples of the Americas, while opening up an enticing world of new flavors, ancient and indigenous.”

5. Allium, Eastsound, Washington
What makes Allium special is that: The menu will focus on ingredients sourced from local island farms and the Puget Sound. Chef Lisa Nakamura hails from The Herbfarm and The French Laundry. The deck and space are spectacular, with sweeping views of Orcas Island. Though the restaurant will be casual, carrying on the tradition and warmth of the previous owner (Christina Orchid) is fundamental to Lisa Nakamuras ideals. Half of the adventure lies in the travel to the ferry.

6. Anchovies & Olives, Seattle, Washington
At Ethan Stowell Restaurants they are about keeping it simple, using fresh ingredients and allowing the food to do the talking.  Anchovies & Olives is not your average Northwest seafood restaurant. It’s an Italian-inspired seafood and pasta joint where fish and shellfish are sourced from near and far to bring diners the most unique flavors and highest quality products available.  According to GQ, it’s one of the ten best restaurants in America (2010).

7. Bookwalter Winery & Bistro, Richland, Washington
An experience unlike any other, Bookwalter Winery is close to town yet miles away from ordinary. Relax and enjoy fine wines, carefully selected farm cheeses and artisan bread in an uncomplicated yet seductive décor. We select the best regional and seasonal foods to compliment our wines and your evening. Join us under the stars this summer, for a warm and memorable experience. Come soon, our garden wants to see you!

8. John Howie Steak, Bellevue, Washington
Chef/restaurateur John Howie has opened the definitive NW steak house, serving 28 and 42 day custom-aged USDA Prime steak from Omaha, Nebraska; American Wagyu “Kobe style” beef from Snake River Farms; and true Japanese “A5” 100% Waygu beef from Kagashima Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan. Also featured on the menu is fresh seasonal fish, seafood and chops. Chef Howie uses mesquite coal and apple wood grills to bring out the best flavors.

9. Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar, Bellevue, Washington
Seastar has an amazing menu that includes a wide variety of freshly prepared seafood, great steaks, poultry,and pastas. As you would expect, they also have raw bar items, which include fresh oysters, sushi, sashimi, ceviche, poke, chilled prawns, and crab. Seastar is an award winning restaurant having earned many titles, including Best Seafood Restaurant, Washington Wine Grand Award, and The Best of Western Washington, among many others.

10. Tulio Ristorante, Seattle, Washington
Chef Walter Pisano started this restaurant almost 20 years ago-named after his father-it’s a warm, cozy inviting place with rustic Italian fare made with seasonal Pacific Northwest ingredients.You can dine for any reason-whether it’s celebrating an event or bringing the family in for dinner or just having a plate of pasta and a glass of wine at the bar. Chef Walter has a few signature dishes-one being his sweet potato gnocchi that is a very well known Seattle staple-years ago he tried to take it off the menu and the people almost rioted.

[poll id=”2″]

Note: Our polling software edits votes that appear to be fraudulent and from the same computer and/or IP.  Think Tasty reserves the right to not count votes it deems to be fraudulent.

Voting will close at 5:00 pm EDT on Thursday, May 27th, and the winner will be announced on Friday, May 28th.

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39 Comments
  1. Joe Figone says:

    I vote fot Tulio Ristorante in Seattle

  2. DJL says:

    My wife and I were celebrating a special occasion with our friends and we had heard so much about John Howie Steak we had to give it a try. We had previously eaten at the sister restaurants Seastar but this was our first time visiting the steak house. The meal was incredible with the steaks meeting every expectation, which were quite high. Service was excellent and the Chef stopped by our table to make sure everything was to our liking . It wasn’t cheap but we left feeling we had received a very good value for what turned out to be a spectacular meal.

  3. Dan says:

    My wife and I stopped by when John Howie Steak first opened not sure of what to expect. Chef Howie spent time with us and gave us the inside scoop on how to choose a steak. In these difficult financial times, I often question dining out, but I can truly say it was worth every penny. I often recommend it to my friends.

  4. BrianE says:

    SeaStar is the best, bar none! John Howie has really hit a homerun this time! …and just to let you in a secret, his happy hour menu is underpriced! I reco SeaStar to my best friends and my fave out-of-towners.

  5. Bob Harrell says:

    The occasion was a business meeting at John Howie Steak. What a surprise to find that I discovered, in my estimation, the best restaurant in the Puget Sound region. Quality was excellent and the price was quite reasonabel. Chef John Howie spent some time at our table and made it a most memorable dining experience.

  6. Brittany says:

    Hi5bistro ALL THE WAY!! =) Its the best out there. Good prices, Great food, Great service, great EVERYTHING!

  7. Cathy says:

    H50 Bistro is my favorite restaurant!!! Chef Nick Yanes is amazing!!! 🙂

  8. Mario says:

    H50 Bistro all the way. It is the best restaurant i have ever been to. Chef Nick is Top chef.

  9. Duana says:

    I have had the pleasure of eating at the H50 bistro and the atmosphere is comfortable, relaxing… but more importantly the food was great! The chef, Nick Yanes, visited us at our table and shows great passion for his craft as well as his concern for the patrons and their experience at his restaurant. cant wait to go back!!!

  10. Kathleen says:

    H50 Bistro is my favorite restaurant because Executive Chef, Nick Yanes always takes a minute to greet his guests. His food is out of this world good!!! 🙂

  11. kathy neukirchen says:

    Stayed in Portland a few weekends ago at Hotel 50 and attended this most amazing beer tasting dinner. Five courses of local beers matched with a gourmet looking and tasting meal. Who knew!!! Anyway, the location is also fun – right across from the river. Place was packed, so it’s obviously “been discovered”.

  12. to'c says:

    Kudos to H50! Been there several times with groups sizes from 2 to 20. Even stopped in for a Venison Burger by myself. Service is always quick and attentive. Best Fries Ever! Don’t miss the Happy Hour. Have some appetizers then stay for dinner. Great food, great view, great chefs.

  13. Paul says:

    Seastar has been one of the most consistent high end restuarants for coming up on a decade now. I have never had a bad meal their, the service is always top notch, and the food is a treat for your tastebuds. It’s obvious they spare no expense when it comes to the product they use, and plate presentations are a work of art! I always walk out having had a great time, and thinking what a value this restaurant really is.

  14. Michael says:

    For my wife and I – we like John Howies Steak House.
    Dinners are great – and the appitizer bar is fantastic!
    Tempura Crab Legs and Aspargus Spears – are AWESOME !!!

  15. Rick & Pat says:

    The “Narrows” in McCall, Idaho is without a doubt a fine dining experience. Our food was exquisite and prepared equally as well, served with great care by the finest staff.
    Our dining experience, whether lunch or dinner is complimented by the view of Payette Lake.
    Any season.
    Our compliments to Chef Eric Gruber.

  16. Rachel says:

    I just saw this and have to say that Terrace Kitchen is by far the best thing going on and I’m hard person to make happy! You can just ask my last 6 boyfriends. This restaurant is liking stepping into another world each time with their different. I love their classes too (and I hate cooking!). Very fun! Man, gotta go and get ready for another blind date.

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Terrace Kitchen is the best thing that happened to our town….only the most fresh, regional ingredients, imaginatively prepared….although I have my favorites, I make a practice of “eating down” the entire menu for the taste-adventure.

  18. Ellen Pullen says:

    Terrace Kitchen is absolutely the best. The food is fresh, the menu imaginative, the wine list good — it is great to have san excellent restaurant in our city. Their classes are fun, too.

  19. Ellen Pullen says:

    We love Terrace Kitchen — it is excellent. The food is fresh, the menu imaginative, the wine list good — it is great to have a reallyfine restaurant in our city. Their classes are fun, too.

  20. Jimi says:

    This is my newtime fave, remember Fiddleheads? Great local chow (i’m biased ’cause they use loads of stuff from my farming buds), picked the pisco sour from the list made from Ellensburg Distillery ‘test batch’ pisco – drink rocked. Free jazz and with a vibe guy, doesn’t get any better for me, love this place!

  21. Jack says:

    I fly to Portland from Houston about once a month solely to have some of Nick’s H50 ribs and grits, and maybe catch a Blazers game. Keep up the great work!

  22. martin garland says:

    Terrace kitchen never ceases to amaze my family and friends with their culinary creativity. This a truly fine dining experience everyone should treat themselves too!.Fernado and family have been putting fabulous cuisine for well over 30 years.

  23. David Brudney says:

    Love the scallops sushi!

  24. Marty says:

    The Terrace is not just a great restaurant, it’s a whole culture built around a great meal. It’s more like going home than going home. The art, the classes, the wine, the happy welcoming smiles, mmm-mm good.

  25. JEAN TARVER says:

    No one can even come close to Terrace Kitchen. The seafood is the best I have ever had anywhere!!

  26. Meg Thompson says:

    Terrace Kitchen is great! Wonderful food, lovely ambiance, accessable chef, and superb jazz.

  27. David Thompson says:

    Terrace Kitchen is incredible. I almost hope it doesn’t get discovered! The jazz on Friday And Saturday nights is perfect ambience.

  28. steve grace says:

    Went to H50 for my anniversary and got the venison steak that was awesome! The steak was more mild and tender than the beef. Who would have known. Great restaurant, A must try.
    steve

  29. Donna says:

    The TK is my very favorite for intimate dining-as in individual rooms for birthday candles/graduation pop-
    of-the-cork as well as a quiet corner for special mo-
    ments-a must, my choice-individually presented salmon
    on a plank- make your reservation ASAP

  30. Barbara says:

    Terrace Kitchen embodies what fine dining should be: delicious, carefully imagined and prepared dishes, attentive, charming service, and a beautiful, welcoming atmosphere in a cute building, tucked away in Lake Oswego, a charming small city a few miles south of Portland. I drove up from Salem with my husband, heard of Terrace Kitchen from local businesses, and after eating the delectable pear, arugula, and blue cheese grill bread and the planked salmon with fritters, I think we’ll be making the trek from Salem just to eat here!

  31. Beate says:

    Great Restaurant, Food and Ambiance, we highly recommend it!

  32. Jason says:

    The Terrace Kitchen is amazing! Chef Fernando is hands down the best. The dishes are all original and perfect from taste to presentation. We frequent TK at least 2-3 times a month and have gone to special events, cooking classes, and artist’s dinners. TK served our family a private Thanksgiving dinner for 20 that was perfect and we are still talking about it. Make your first choice in Portland Terrace Kitchen!

  33. Maggi_&_Gary says:

    Great food, great friends, and don’t forget the great jazz on Friday and Saturday nights. Hikaru Okada sets the mood on piano and is joined by a marvelous group of very talented musicians. Terrace Kitchen is a wonderful place for a special meal or a regular night out. If you’re from out-of-town it’s well worth the trip. If you’re local, it’s Home.

  34. Roberts says:

    Love TK! The best around!

  35. Louis Taylor says:

    Terrace Kitchen is absolutely amazing. They have first calss service, first class people and a first class menu for your taste buds. Hands down they are in a class of their own!

  36. Congratulations, Terrace Kitchen, for your well-deserved award!

    All the very best,

    Berle “Rusty” Figgins, Jr
    Master Distiller
    The Ellensburg Distillery

  37. Duane Brown says:

    Terrace Kittchen is the best for food and music.

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