In advance of next month’s roundup, here’s what I need to know: Where do you take friends and family from out-of-town to show off our fabulous food scene? The answer can be a restaurant (see me with friends, below), a public market, a specialty foods store, a hole-in-the-wall they’re unlikely to find in guidebooks or anyplace else that makes you say: “Yep! This is one of the many reasons why I love living here!” And one more important favor: Please tell me why you like the place, and who — particularly — you might take there.
For instance: I’m crazy about Staple & Fancy (and so were my pals in the photo), but it’s loud and festive. Which is to say that’s not the restaurant I’d take folks who’d appreciate an equally memorable Italian meal in a more restrained environment (I’d take them to Cafe Juanita).
Feel free to offer up a list, which might say: “I’d take my father-in-law to Ray’s Boathouse, because he loves fresh seafood and has a thing for sailboats, and my brother-in-law to Mutual Fish for seafood, then hand him an apron and a spatula and introduce him to my Weber.” Or, “I’d bring my best pal from high school to Elemental, because she enjoys surprises, and my cousin Paul to Mike’s Noodle House, because he likes Chinese soup noodles, and then I’d march him right over to Uwajimaya because I know he’ll move here after he sees that place.”
It’s been 25 years since we all hung out together in Alaska waiting tables. But within two minutes of sitting down for a “fancy” meal at Staple & Fancy last week, it seemed like only yesterday. We laughed till we cried, and that was before we finished the first bottle.