FOOD MATTERS | Sweep off the patio

Keeping fingers crossed, but June-July-August is Seattle’s best outdoor season, so let’s take a look at where to eat “al fresco” (as the Italians say). 

There are literally hundreds of eateries with a table or two outside, so we can’t possibly list them all. We’ll get you started with the most celebrated (and newly remodeled) Ray’s Boathouse (6049 Seaview Ave. N.W.). The cafe, upstairs, is particularly nice, with a big deck. Right next door is Anthony’s Homeport (6135 Seaview Ave. N.W.), whose smaller outdoor seating is literally on the water. 

Anthony’s has another restaurant downtown, at Pier 66 (2201 Alaskan Way), with outdoor seating and plenty of fresh seafood. Also big on seafood are Aqua by El Gaucho at Pier 70 (2801 Alaskan Way) and Elliott’s Oyster House, (1201 Alaskan Way) on Pier 56. 

Overlooking the Ship Canal, don’t forget Ponti Seafood Grill (3014 Third Ave. N.). 

Down at the Pike Place Market, three standouts: Steelhead Diner (95 Pine St.), which specializes in seafood; Maximilien (81 Pike St.), with a French menu; and Pink Door (1919 Post Alley), with a very Italian menu. 

Downtown, there’s a newly remodeled restaurant, Frolik (1415 Fifth Ave.) on the terrace level of the Red Lion — no water view, but it’s outdoor seating surrounded by skyscrapers. 

In Belltown, the latest Tom Douglas restaurant, Tanaka San, is about to open in the Via 6 building (2121 Sixth Ave.) with a cluster of sidewalk tables. 

On Magnolia, Palisade (2601 W. Marina Pl.) has a terrific view and a revamped menu. 

In West Seattle, the best view is from Salty’s on Alki (1936 Harbor Ave. S.W.). 

At the north end of Lake Union, there’s a spot that’s often overlooked: Ivar’s Salmon House (401 N.E. Northlake Way) has a deck that’s as close as you can get to the waterline without getting your feet wet, and a new menu that retains the clam chowder and adds some delectable happy-hour salmon skewers. 

At the south end of Lake Union, a trio of inviting spots. Duke’s Chowder House (901 Fairview Ave. N.) has happy-hour drinks that are well worth the trouble, along with top-flight seafood. Daniel’s Broiler (809 Fairview Ave. N.) emphasizes steaks. And Chandler’s Crabhouse (also at 901 Fairview Ave. N.) offers…well, the name says it all.

Do you live in Fremont? You’re in luck. Joule and The Whale Wins (neighbors at 3506 Stone Way N.) share an outdoor deck. And Agrodolce (709 N. 35th St.) has outside seating in good weather. 

More to come this summer

Still not open, but coming this summer, is Josh Henderson’s new waterfront spot, Westward (2501 N. Northlake Way). Also coming from Henderson: a second Skillet Diner — this one in Ballard (2034 N.W. 56th St.). 

There’s more on the horizon from celebrity chef Matt Dillon, too: He’s opening London Plane (322 Occidental Ave. S.) in Pioneer Square, as the bakery for all his restaurants. 

Capitol Hill’s Thai takeout Little Uncle is opening next month, also in Pioneer Square (88 Yesler). 

Two brothers, Jim and Brandon Marsh, will open a sort-of wine bar called Triumph on Lower Queen Anne (114 Republican St.). 

The biggest news, though, is probably Jason Stratton’s new Spanish venture, Aragona. It will take over the space 

currently occupied by Thoa’s at First and Union. Stratton’s longtime deputy, Carrie Mashaney, will run the kitchen, and newly minted master sommelier Chris Tanghe will direct the wine program.

Other food news

ART, the restaurant inside the Four Seasons hotel (99 Union St.), is about to celebrate its fifth birthday. There’s a fine happy hour, including some holdovers from Chef Kerry Sear’s old Belltown spot, Cascadia: the Alpine martini (Absolut Citron, Douglas fir sorbet) and the ever-popular miniburgers. 

At the very high end of luxury and personal service, the Four Seasons chain encourages its hotels to source its provisions locally, so Sear and his crew can often be found a block away, talking to (and buying from) the farmers at the Pike Place Market.  

RONALD HOLDEN is a restaurant writer and consultant who blogs at and To comment on this column, write to

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