The gist: Edmonds's favorite lobster roll takes on the big city as it opens a Downtown location inside the Seattle Art Museum. Shubert Ho's Feedme Hospitality shows off its mix of Northwest and Asian cuisine at a half-dozen spots north of town (Bar Dojo, Salt & Iron, SanKai Sushi) and now the suburban mini-group demonstrates its sharp service to city-dwellers.
The food: Beyond the oddly popular East Coast staple, this counter-service spot serves a plethora of seafood classics, including clam chowder and cioppino, plus its own unique creations like "crab in a bag" and lemongrass shrimp and grits.
The cost: The famous lobster roll and its crab-based sibling raise eyebrows at $29 but much of the menu goes for less than $20, including fish tacos, fish & chips (or vegetarian alternative), and grilled salmon banh mi.
The gist: This second spot from Preeti Agarwal, the owner of Fremont's Meesha, quietly took over the vacated Salare space in October, taking cues from the upscale sports clubs of India, which Agarwal describes as similar to country clubs. But instead of bland finger sandwiches, she serves complex craft cocktails and a spice-driven menu of South Asian specialties.
The food: Indian street food goes upscale, with beets replacing potatoes in the vada pao and sandwiches modeled after Mumbai frankies. Theatrical tiffins and biryanis make up the main dishes and the large menu includes a "Bread bar" with chickpea roti and lamb-stuffed kulcha.
The cost: Most of the main dishes run in the $20s.
The gist: After leaving his spot as the top chef at Canlis, Brady Williams decamped south to open this deeply personal mash-up of Northwest, Japanese, and fine-dining influences. The quiet, narrow space feels out of place in lively White Center, but the eclectic assortment of dishes, like a dessert of sorel kakigori (shaved ice) topped with local camembert-style Dinah's cheese, feels right at home.
The food: Vegetables take center-stage, as a recent menu kicked off with chilacayote squash two ways—pickled and marinated in shio koji then roasted—served over butter made from its own seeds, in a stained-glass sea of gream. Even the meaty main, a pork collar, came cozied beneath a blanket of shaved kohlrabi.
The cost: The five-course set menu dinner runs $78 while the a la carte runs from $8 marinate olives to a $32 pork chop for two.
The gist: Nasir Zubair's mash-up of Texas barbecue culture and Pakistani home cooking show off his own heritage in a tantalizing array of color and flavor from the Capitol Hill home where it has finally settled after two years in pop-up mode.
The food: Aloo sliders with tamarind barbecue sauce, salad with fenugreek ranch dressing
The cost: Mains start at $14.
The gist: This Central District stalwart returns to the heart of its original neighborhood, splashing a little hot fryer oil on the forces of gentrification. After a few attempts around the city and suburbs, Terrell Jackson, the grandson of the couple who started the restaurant in 1985, brings the famous tartar sauce back to where it belongs.
The food: As the name implies, customers keep coming back for the catfish, though there are also a slew of other fried items here—snapper, prawns, chicken, and more—plus a slate of soul food staples.
The cost: A half-pound of the signature dish with cornbread or hushpuppies runs $14.99, a catfish sandwich, $12.99.
The gist: A sweet Lebanese restaurant that embodies the charm of a neighborhood restaurant while serving some of the city's best Middle Eastern food and keeping a killer whiskey list.
The food: Seasonal mezzes incorporate local ingredients like kale, pears, and yogurt into traditional Lebanese dishes, while stars like the lamb-topped hummus and chicken skewers stick around all year.
The cost: Mezzes run $7 - $9, mains around $18.