We’re here on the Left-coast at last! The speedy light rail rockets us into downtown Seattle, Washington, to the sprawling waterfront by 11:30 a.m.— just in time for lunch with my daughter, Rachel (whom I affectionately call La Rachel) at pastificio. “You’re in for a treat,” La Rachel says. As always, she is right. By the time we dig into our pappardelle bolognese, there is a queue around the block. This is serious pasta.
After lunch, we take in the brick and granite beauty of Pioneer Square where trendy shops play nice with old favorites like Glasshouse Studio and Stonington Gallery.
We love being tourists, and we cruise the city’s abundant galleries, coffee shops, cafés,weed emporiums and, yes, homeless encampments — all part of Seattle’s gritty urban fabric.
We discover Bar Ferdinand at the sunny end of Chophouse Row, a soaring wine bar that manages to feel intimate, with small plates and lovely wines by the glass or bottle.
We dive into the ongoing chocolate tasting at Intrigue Chocolate Co., sampling lavender, orange, habanero and sea-salt chocolates. Dazzled by Seattle’s bounty, we go a little crazy.
Food and Fragrance
We amble the food and flower riot that is Pike Place Market. Savoring Ranier cherries in the majestic shadow of Mt. Ranier makes them even more delicious – they are exquisite.
We leave carrying a profusion of blooms, and conclude our wonderful afternoon with sunny cocktails at the Edgewater Hotel bar and glorious, sweeping views of Puget Sound.
Late in the afternoon, we peek into Herban Legends, the world-class pot emporium. It’s vast and confusing array of marijuana products — from body cream to candy to kush—is amazing.
We hop a streetcar for the steep climb to La Rachel’s home. A charming sanctuary, it is one of Seattle’s signature bungalows — originally a kit from Sears & Roebuck.
Rachel’s garden is astonishing — look, a kiwi flower! Blackberries and raspberries! Fragrant jasmine, tiny ripe tomatoes and a giant fig. La Rachel lives in a gritty garden of Eden.
At a campaign celebration for mayoral candidate Harley Lever, we hail the worthy two-percenter and party like it’s 1969. We love the Left Coast and the Left Coast is loving us back.
We don’t remember getting home (the wine? the weed? the area’s gorgeous ambiance?). We think it involved an Uber and a bit of providence.
We awaken in Rachel’s urban sanctuary and it is H-O-T, unusual for an area renowned for cool weather. We head to Madison Park’s lake with-a-view. Soothed by melted Intrigue chocolates and lulled by lapping waves, we drift.
I’m trying to capture all this goodness on my laptop, but an irate dude yells at me for typing at the beach: “Unplug, lady! Unplug!” My phone tootles and he goes crazy, “Lady! I’m gonna pull the plug on you!” Duly chastised, I put my head down and continue to pound out my thoughts despite mounting full-on shame.
Sustenance and Spirits
Yesterday’s fare was so good, we head to Terra Plata‘s stylish rooftop for delights with locally sourced, farm-fresh fare. We start with fragrant Moroccan mussels in chermoula and preserved lemon.
We share Terra Plata’s legendary, succulent chicken with saffron couscous and lemon thyme…how do they DO it?
And move on to grilled octopus — wow. I lick my plate.
Almost anywhere in Seattle is a great place for a beer. We dive into many a ‘Manny’ beer at Oddfellows Hall . It’s both a sentimental and satisfying journey.
We don’t miss Rocco’s Pizza — they have gorgonzola on the create-your-own list and a cocktail called “Undeterred Destination” on the menu. I love the sound of that.
Handcrafted Rachel’s Ginger Beer also rocks the heat; an icy Fernet slushie is a wondrous concoction.
We savor ridiculously good dishes from Emilia-Romagna at La Spiga Osteria. We start with a fresh Caprese salad, which to me always resembles a messy Italian flag.
We enjoy simple dishes like gnocchi with arugula — che buono! and do not leave hungry. We love our Left Coast epicurious journey, and can’t wait to tell the story– Story and Photos by Libby Margolis-Pineo, RFT East Coast Editor