Category Archives: Seattle Tips

Seattle’s Hidden Treasure : The Art Institute of Seattle’s Portfolio Restaurant

Where do you find an unforgettable view and delicious food at a reasonable price created by the chefs of our future?

Portfolio Restaurant located on the 5th floor of the Art Institute of Seattle is a hidden treasure near the water. Beautiful views of Elliott Bay, white table cloths and fabulous food all come together harmoniously. Lead by Chef David Wynne, culinary students get to practice their trade and diners benefit from a 3 course dinner for $23 plus tax, a la carte is available as well. No tips allowed but donations to the scholarship fund are accepted (though not required). The menu is seasonal and local and Washington wines are available by the glass. If you want to learn the basics of wine tasting, call and ask about the wine tastings lead by Sommelier and Restaurant Manager Dieter Schafer where you can taste 6 wines for $12 on Friday evenings.

To make reservations, call Portfolio restaurant (206) 239 2363, 2600 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98121. Note: The best time to come is at least a few days into the quarter when the students have gotten adjusted. Fall Quarter opens October 12 and continues to Friday, December 9.

For more about where to shop and eat as well as insider tips on the Seattle food scene, pick up a copy of my new book ” The Food Lovers’ Guide to Seattle.”

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Filed under Restaurant Gossip, Restaurants, Seattle Food Scene Tips, Seattle Tips

Cake VS Pie. Do you want to enter?

photo credit: Ronald Holden

And before I start. If you need pie lessons. Check out. Art of the Pie, a fabulous class.

I got this email and thought that many of you would love the opportunity to bake. Here it is. Enter and let me know how it goes.

Crust or Crumb? A Cake vs. Pie Rematch
Call to Bakers for October 10 Faceoff
Bakers from both sides of the fence will have a chance to put an end to that age old debate in households across America…cake or pie?

Last year pie reigned victorious. But the crown, once again, is up for grabs.

On October 10, bakers will “bring it” with their favorite cake or pie creations. Bakers, both amateurs and professionals alike, will be competing for prizes and the ultimate bragging rights to the best baked goodness in Seattle.

If you bake, bake your favorite cake or pie for a chance to win culinary related prizes.

If photography is your thing, snap photos for an opportunity to be published online at Seattlest.

If you have stories to share about cake or pie, then consider this event your soapbox.

Prizes will be awarded based on overall appearance, taste and texture (crust or crumb) by judges who rock the Seattle cake, pie, culinary and media scene.

To be one of the 20 bakers, RSVP to by September 30. Please include your name, if you’ll bake cake or pie, phone number and email.

To enter the photography contest RSVP to by October 14. Please include your name, email and flickr ID. Submit photos to

Cake vs Pie is presented in conjunction with media partner Seattlest.

WHAT: Jenise Silva’s Cake vs. Pie

WHEN: Monday, October 10

WHERE: We’re keeping that under wraps for now.

WHY: To compete for great prizes and settle the age old debate…Cake or Pie?

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Filed under Baking, Seattle Food Scene Tips, Seattle Tips

Seattle Food Scene Tips and Gilt Giveaway

What is the one question that people ask me when they meet me and learn that I work with food?

“What makes the Seattle food scene different?”

I have to say, it is community. It is a lack of distance between the chefs and the people. The chefs are approachable, friendly and everyone is connected somehow. Chefs take the time to say hi if they can and there is overall support, the customers support the chefs, the chefs support the purveyors, the chefs like to mingle with their customers and first name basis is pretty common in the food world.

I love exploring this city, so here is a giveaway to get you exploring.
But before that, I thought that you would like to catch up on where to go.

Photo credit: Jackie Donnely Baisa

I compiled of list of some recent posts with a glimpse into the Seattle food scene.

A visit to the Herbfarm

Have you been to the Melrose Market?

Looking for new places for lunch? Find them here

Want to learn how to make cocktails? Follow Kathy Casey’s show.

Food Lovers’ Launch party and fundraiser for Farestart

And the ultimate list

Wait! Do you know about Gilt? Do you know about Gilt City Seattle? I have a 50 dollar gift card to giveaway,

When I heard Gilt City was coming this way, I was flabbergasted. I have a love-love relationship with Gilt. I have been a member of the site getting their daily deals for over a year. Every morning at 9 am, or whenever I can, I check their website for the deals. There is just something liberating about seeing beautiful stuff in the morning. They have everything from bedding to clothes to weekend getaways. And Gilt City Seattle recently launched with tasting menus to some of the favorite places, special cocktail evenings, movie passes and more. You need to be a member so check it out.

You can follow them @giltcityseattle on twitter and sign up for their website, here is the friend link for you to sign up. And now for the giveaway. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me about your favorite place to eat in town. I am thinking the place that you go when you need a bite, it doesn’t have to be fancy. The place you drive to after a bad day at work or just where you go when you need a snack.

How to enter and win $50 at @GiltCitySeattle
1) Each comment is one entry.
2) Each Facebook share is 4 entries (Make sure to tag the Food Lovers Guide to Seattle page so I know)
3) And each twitter share is an extra entry (@foodloversea or @franticfoodie)

Got it! The winner will be announced on Monday next week.

To order my book or get more information, click here.


Filed under Restaurant Gossip, Seattle Food Scene Tips, Seattle Tips, Uncategorized

A Visit to The Herbfarm

I believe that there is a time and place for every type of restaurant. Some days all I want is a massive burger and a shake but on other days, I want to be wooed, dazzled and spoiled. A visit to The Herbfarm, just a drive to Woodinville is like going to a private island where everyone knows your name.

A dear friend once told me that she lost her glasses at this restaurant and when she came back they were promptly perched on her plate. There is always someone to assist you, bring you a glass of wine or just lead you to the enchanted garden where you can actually feed the resident pigs. It almost feels like this kind of service doesn’t exist anymore but it does. And the thing about the Herbfarm is that you can get away with being pampered all night without feeling uncomfortable. It is not stuffy, everything seems natural and not having to worry about things like what to order and where to park (they have valet parking) is an experience on its own. I do suggest you make accommodations afterwards because if you are going to have wine with every course, you might as well let yourself go and finish the evening in one of the Herbfarm suites or at the Willows Lodge.

The night of this basil-themed dinner, I was already very pregnant. I had to give the usual ” I don’t eat ….” mantra. Luckily all this was taken care of advance with the confirmation phone call. I had nothing to worry about for every dish, if there was something raw in it, a substitution was handled and I never had to think twice. I wish I could have done the wine pairings with every course but the non-alcoholic pairings were definitely gratifying with infused herbs and so many selections.

The Herbfarm is where you take your lover or your friend that you haven’t seen in months, the course by course banquet is a reminder that you can sit and eat and engage in the art of conversation. The decisions are made for you, each plate a work of art and observing the wait staff is a symphony in itself.

Before you sit down to eat, join the garden tour where you will be educated on all types of herbs (a bonus lesson in botany) and take the time to feed the pigs, alternatively you can do that later during courses, when you are welcomed to step outside for some air and a little bit of nature. They even hand you a little feeding kit (yes, they have thought of everything!)

My long lost love other than food is getting all dolled up and I love wearing dresses but don’t be intimidated, the dress code is dressy casual, meaning don’t dress like a shlump but no need to dazzle it up with diamonds.

When you decide on when you want to go, log into the website to choose your theme. There are ideas like Indian Summer, Mycologist’s Dream, Uber Tuber and many more and these themes will further help you decide on when to go. In these photos are the Basil Banquet. For more about the Herbfarm visit here or follow Herbguy on twitter.

I had to start by sharing one of our desserts because I absolutely love this idea.

Little White Strawberry Hood: White Pineapple Strawberries and Hood Strawberry Gelee with Garden Cucumber-Lime Basil Sorbet.

For more about where to eat in Seattle, pick up a copy of my new book ” The Food Lovers’ Guide to Seattle”.


Filed under Food Lovers' Guide to Seattle, Restaurants, Seattle Tips

Ice Cream Social

photo credit:

What are you doing Wednesday? Ice Cream lovers take note! This is the event for you.

Date: Wednesday, August 31st
Time: 5:30-7:30
Location: The Palace Ballroom, 2100 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

The Palace Ballroom is hosting this ice cream party! On hand will be delicious cold treats from ice cream superstars like:
Bluebird Homemade Ice Creams
Full Tilt
D’Ambrosio Gelateria Arigianale
Old School Frozen Custard
Fainting Goat Gelato

The cost of admission gets you a sample from every vendor, entertainment and access to a full bar. They will also have a specialty ice cream cocktail available for purchase for those who want a little bit of booze with their chilly treat (for 21 and over folks only of course)!
Tickets are $15 tax included and can be purchased at

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Happy Hour at Capital Grille

Happy Hour Hounds. Here is a new one for you.

The Capital Grille (located in the Cobb Building at 1301 4th Avenue) is now offering a new Happy Hour menu, featuring signature cocktails and culinary delights from Executive Chef Mark Schultz.
Between 3:00 and 6:00 p.m. on weekdays, guests can stop by to unwind, relax and mingle in the lounge.
Selections include the Miniature Tenderloin Sandwiches, Pan-Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers, Prawn Cocktail, Parmesan Truffle Fries and Miniature Lobster and Dungeness Crab Burgers, as well as tantalizing signature cocktails like the pineapple-infused Stoli Doli, all for just $6 each. Select wines by the glass from The Capital Grille’s award-winning wine list will also be offered for $6 in the lounge during Happy Hour.

Complimentary Valet Parking is Available.

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Sunset Supper at The Market

Top Northwest restaurants, wineries & breweries to participate in Sunset Supper at the Market on Aug 19

WHAT: 16th Annual Sunset Supper at the Market
Pike Place Market is transformed into a delightful al fresco dining experience for one of the most anticipated summer events in Seattle. Sample and sip your way through the booths of many of the region’s best restaurants, wineries and breweries, and dance under the stars to live music by the Dudley Manlove Quartet.

All proceeds benefit the Pike Place Market Foundation and the Market’s human service agencies (preschool, clinic, senior center, food bank) for low-income and elderly residents of downtown Seattle.

WHERE: Pike Place Market
Parking garage is located at 1531 Western Ave

WHEN: Friday, August 19, 2011, 7:30 – 11:00 PM

PRICE: All ticket levels include unlimited food and beverages, while supplies last. Must be 21 to attend.
· General Admission: $85 ($95 after 7/18)
· Reserved Outdoor Seating: $110 ($135 after 7/18)
· Patron (7:00 PM admission, free parking, reserved seating under canopies, beverages at your table): $175 individual, $1,750 for table of 10

Tickets available for purchase at

Patron ticket sales end August 1. All advance ticket sales end at noon on August 17. General admission tickets may be available day of the event at 5:00 PM on Pike Pl. at Pine St.

About The Market Foundation
The Market Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve the traditions and diversity of the Pike Place Market neighborhood by supporting the Market’s human service agencies – Pike Market Child Care & Preschool, Pike Market Senior Center & Downtown Food Bank, and Pike Market Medical Clinic. Since 1982, the Market Foundation has raised over $17 million for these agencies, which serve more than 10,000 low-income, homeless and elderly residents of downtown Seattle each year. For more information, visit

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