What is your favorite go-to restaurant besides your own?
Dimas: I eat at my restaurants three times a week, sometimes on the same day, so eating at new places can be a challenge. I'm also a total creature of habit and prefer to stay close to home/work/Capitol Hill. That being said... Stateside. I think the food is always on point, tasty, and the space is beautiful (the roasted chicken & ginger rice are perfect staples). Ba Bar for pho because Seattle weather (and hangovers) need excellent hot soup. Chungee's for a post-work midnight fried chicken snack and whiskey (but only on Wednesday or Friday). Le Caviste for wine and little snacks because it's a perfect Seattle gem and we are lucky to have Caviste -- I start with a glass of Champagne, order a petit garçon or tartare, and end with a glass of red. Juicebox for a midday snack or green juice. I'm partial to the Turmeric Green with extra turmeric and no coconut water. Single shot for dessert or post-work drink -- they have the dreamiest chocolate cremaux. And Cafe Presse for a breakfast or lunch meeting. Or if I'm catching up on my Sunday NYT and it's a Tuesday.
What do you wish we had, either a food or restaurant style, that Seattle is still missing?
Dimas: I'm writing this from Paris and loving how accessible good food is here -- and I'm not a romantic! Europe in general has a better understanding on how to eat and drink -- even wine pours are more sensible here. Places here feel like an extension of a living room or home. It's a fundamental ideal that I strive for and one that I hope is obvious in what I do. Creating an inviting and comfortable neighborhood restaurant is something we have yet to truly tap into (that aren't bars). I'm so happy my career supports me having fallen in love with dining out, seeing new restaurants, and supporting my regular ones. But we need more options that are solid, won't break the bank, and where people feel comfortable coming back to. A new Seattle resident or someone passing through should feel equally at home dining at a restaurant as a regular.
[We need] more mid-level restaurants at better price points. For example: Perfect risotto shouldn't be an exception, it should be the norm and not the price of an entree. Preciously decorated restaurants serving equally precious food can do it without a pretentious attitude -- I want to support them but I can't give space to bad and unwelcoming service. At the end of the day, it's just food. As for Seattle diners -- get dressed for dinner! Your flip-flops can go to hell.
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