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March 13, 2009 at 8:33 AM

Mayoral agenda: Duke for mayor? And dinner with Norm Rice

You’ve got to love this: Duke Moscrip, best know for the chowderhouses that bear his name, is considering a mayoral run in Seattle. You can read about that here in Politics Northwest, as well as in Duke’s neighborhood blog (he lives above his Alki store). An astute businessman with six restaurants to his name, Duke already has plenty of endorsements. And if you’re interested in knowing how he feels about Seattle schools, or the use of taxpayer’s dollars, he’s got views you can use.

Duke’s mugshot, circa a while back. See! He’s got the wardrobe for the job

Duke won’t get my vote, though. Don’t worry. I’m not getting all political on you: I vote in Edmonds, where mayor Gary Haakenson isn’t above offering me unsolicited dining advice:

Mayor Gary Haakenson, hanging in my hometown

I greatly appreciate a mayor who has good taste in restaurants, which is one of the reasons why I’ve always been a fan of former Seattle mayor Norm Rice.

Rice: nice!

When I waited tables at Saleh al Lago, Norm and his wife Constance were regular customers. When the Dahlia Lounge moved to its present location, rest assured, Norm was there. And recently, on my way into Licorous, guess who was strolling alongside me heading next door to Lark? Yes: Norm, and his lovely wife.

Being a public figure, and a political one, can’t be easy what with all the people who want to glad-hand (to say nothing of complain!) when all you want is a little face time with your spouse, a glass of wine and some sustainably raised seafood. And as Norm will certainly tell you: that doesn’t stop after you’ve left City Hall. So, in the spirit of wining, dining and addressing your public, the Honorable Mr. Rice must have finally figured, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!”

To that end, he’s hooked up with Seattle’s seafood hotspot Flying Fish, for “Dinner and Conversation with Norm Rice.” This four-course family-style meal will be held April 5 at Chris Keff’s Belltown restaurant where Norm will eat, drink and make merry while expounding on “The Meaning of Citizenship Today.”

The conversation is set to be the first in a series of such events, where charismatic figures can meet discerning diners and bandy about such important questions as, “Where would you rather sit, on Flying Fish’s mezzanine level with a view of the entire room, snug in a booth, at the bar with a plate of oysters or at a storefront table with a view of the street scene?” (Mezzanine, says me.) And: “If you could only order one dish on Flying Fish’s menu, would it be the sister-in-law mussels, the ahi tuna poke or the whole fried Vietnamese-style rockfish?” (Ooh. Tough call. But it’ll have to be the rockfish):

The tab for dinner with Norm Rice is $75 per person with paired wines (plus tax and tip). Call 206-728-8595 for reservations. If you go, please tell hizzoner Nancy said that waiting on him was always an honor. If I had to give the big nod to a politician who always acted kindly while dining out, dealt with his celebrity with grace and good humor, and knew a great restaurant when he ate in one, he’s got my vote!

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