Although it's 30 minutes outside downtown Seattle in quaint Woodinville, The Herbfarm is absolutely worth the drive. Begin the evening with a garden tour, then step into a Victorian-era fairytale. Husband-and-wife co-owners Carrie Van Dyck and Ron Zimmerman greet guests warmly with herbal tea and their pride and passion for food is tangible. Themes for the nine-course tasting menu change every few weeks, spotlighting local ingredients at the peak of their season like native Oregon truffles shaved generously over heirloom Abenaki flint-corn polenta in winter.
The wine pairing highlights unique gems from the Pacific Northwest, including a rare traditional method sparkling Nebbiolo rosé and non-alcoholic pairings are equally beguiling. You'll be here for hours, but like Rip Van Winkle, it feels as if no time has passed at all.
Canlis was the first fine dining restaurant in Seattle, and the family-run institution is still hitting every note 70 years later with artful service and flawless Pacific Northwest flavours. Last year, Canlis won two James Beard Awards honouring the best restaurants in the United States. Executive chef Brady Williams took home the Best Chef: Northwest award and Canlis was also recognised with the Design Icon Award.
In Bellevue, Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi is a glamorous venue for contemporary Asian food, lavish cuts of meat and seafood served with showmanship. Seasonal specials might include a whole 10-lb giant king crab from the Barents Sea presented with shaved truffles and truffle butter for $1,000.