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Today marks the start of the tastiest week of the season- the triumphant return of Seattle Restaurant Week!

We here in Seattle are so blessed with an abundance of fabulous dining options, ranging from simple and inexpensive to exotic, lavish and extraordinary, which usually doesn’t come too cheap. Seattle Restaurant Week is an opportunity for people to explore many incredible restaurants they may not normally spring for by offering fabulous deals you won’t want to miss out on.

Every Sunday through Thursday from April 2nd to April 19th, over 165 restaurants across the city will be offering up $33 three-course dinners, with many also offering $18 two-course lunches as well. These restaurants range in price, type of cuisine and location, giving you tons of options to choose from, in every department!

To maximize your SRW experience, check out a list of participating restaurants here (click on the name of the restaurants to see their location and view their SRW exclusive menu) and be sure to check out The Seattle Times lists of best overall value, best ambiance, neighborhood favorites and SRW newcomers.

If you are going to explore SRW (which we highly recommend you do!), remember to be patient, make reservations and tip your servers well! While SRW is a great opportunity for diners, restaurants do tend to get swamped, and the nicer and more understanding we are as patrons, the better the experience for everyone!

Now, go out and get a healthy dose of YUM, before it’s too late!

Gather up your squad and head down to the market on Friday, March 23rd for a fabulous, fun event that brings together a diverse selection of over 70 local vendors to delight you with tastes of their delectable products. And their vendor list is still growing!

Arcade Lights is a wonderful opportunity to sample a selection of delicious drinks, foods and sweet treats, from a wide array of local, small-batch, and artisan vendors. Arcade Lights is always a great time and a wonderfully festive event, where you can enjoy something local and tasty, try something new and have a blast, under the Arcade Lights!

Year after year, Arcade Lights brings new comers and local favorites together to showcase their products and have you wanting more, and this year looks to be no exception. Where else will you find Elleno’s Greek Yogurt, Etta’s, Swede Hill Distilling, Fremont Brewing, Poquitos, Nutty Squirrel Gelato, Schilling Cider and many more local loves all at the same place? Only in Seattle, and only at Arcade Lights.  Be sure to check out a full list of vendors and brace yourself for taste bud nirvana!

 

2018 brings with it a couple new and exciting additions to Arcade Lights. Explore the brand new MarketFront expansion and be sure to check out the new and improved Night Market at Arcade Lights! On top of the already incredible 70+ artisanal food and drink vendors, some the Market’s own artisan crafters will be getting in on the fun! Night Market vendors will be there to show off their unique, hand-made goods and crafts, all available for sale. Come for the food and drinks, stay for the cool, locally made stuff!

This year’s event is sponsored by Seattle MetDRY Sparkling, DEI Creative, American Lamb and Edelman. As always, proceeds go to benefit the Pike Place Market Foundation which helps to maintain our beloved Pike Place Market and keep the community thriving.

 

 

Grab your tickets before they’re gone, and get ready for fun under the Arcade Lights!

Arcade Lights at Pike Place Market, 7:00 pm, Friday, March 23rd

Tickets-

General Admission – $75
Tickets include tastes of as many of the hand-crafted savory and sweet bites as your heart desires – while supplies last – and include five tokens for tastes of beer, cider, non-alcoholic drinks such as root beer and sodas and wine. Tasting glass included. Additional tokens will be available for purchase.

Premium Entry – $90
Limited Quantity Available! Premium Entry into Arcade Lights 30-minutes before the General Admission crowd takes over the Arcade! Includes 5 drink tokens, unlimited food, plus EARLY ENTRY at 6:30PM.

VIP with Early Entry – $150
VIP guests have exclusive access to the VIP Lounge on the *NEW* MarketFront, which includes seating, music, and sweeping views of Elliott Bay and the Seattle Skyline with exclusive food and beverage tastings from elite vendors. VIP Guests receive 5 drink tokens and unlimited food, and can enter the VIP Lounge at 6:00PM to begin celebrating before entering the Main Arcade at 6:30PM with Premium Entry. VIP guests can use the VIP Lounge at their luxury anytime throughout the night.

Arcade Lights is a 21 and over only event, so please plan accordingly.

For more information, visit the Pike Place Market website.

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, there’s no better time to celebrate the beauty and depth of the Irish culture, and Seattle Center’s Festal is gearing up to do just that!

Head to Seattle Center on Saturday, March 17th and Sunday, March 18th and find a serious taste of the Emerald Isle right here in the heart of in the Emerald City. Festal’s Irish Festival will bring to life a multifaceted, in-depth adventure through Ireland, its history and traditions, no passport necessary.

Enjoy a fun and fascinating exploration of Irish cultural heritage, past and present, through visual arts, live performance, games, activities, and of course, food! Explore the market place featuring Irish handicrafts, live Irish music and that famous and oh-so-impressive Irish step dancing.

Do you have the luck of the Irish? Find out by tracing your own roots in geology workshops (yes! That’s at the festival!), and learn a bit of the Celtic language while you’re at it. The festival also promises Irish movies and short films, cultural exhibits and live demonstrations and maybe even a few Irish celebrities!

 

Festal is a series of multi-cultural events presented by and at the Seattle Center each year. Now in its 21st year, Festal continues to shine a light on the beauty and majesty of cultures across the globe by showcasing their rich and complex traditions, histories, art, music, dance, food and much more. Festal’s Irish Festival is presented in partnership with the Irish Heritage Club of Seattle.

 

Whether you’re looking to learn more about your own heritage, wanting to learn more about Ireland and its culture in general, or you’re simply tired of leprechauns and green beer and looking for a more authentic experience, Festal’s Irish Festival is sure to be a fun and fabulous way to spend your St. Patty’s Day weekend.

Seattle Center Festál
Irish Festival
March 17-18, 2018
Armory Main Level
http://www.irishclub.org

A smaller Italian restaurant, Mercato Stellina, opened December 1st less than a block from the north end of Pike Place Market. It creates a diverse compliment to its neighbors in the same building: the long-established and fine seafood restaurant Cutters Crabhouse, and Mercato Stellina’s also newly-opened sister restaurant Chavez, which serves Mexican food.

Mercato Stellina has an intimate feel: the narrow galley shape of the space, low lighting, sophisticated high-end music, and the combination of tables and counters, some at which you can directly watch chefs/cooks as they prepare your dish. Seated at another counter, you can sometimes glimpse head pasta maker Joe Obaya creating fresh pasta for the restaurant through a glass pane. He has worked extensively in the restaurant business, doing his internship at the Herb Farm after culinary school years ago and now exclusively forms pasta for both Mercato Stellina as well as Cantinetta’s two locations. Last summer, Joe spent time in different areas of Italy researching and shopping for good Italian pasta-making machines and also studying techniques used by generations of pasta makers in the little town of Lecco.

Mercato Stellina’s Tagliatelle and also Sausage Pizza.   All photos:  Alethea Myers

Some of the ingredients on the menu are somewhat adventurous, such as utilizing unusual seeds grown at Steel Wheel Farm in Fall City, WA for pickled watermelon pieces (similar to sharp chutney) which accompanies honey on the burrata cheese antipasti. Or giant Alaskan octopus, cracked raw egg, rabbit, and toasted grasshopper, all featured on different pizzas or pasta.

Aspects of the menu will be changing out 4-5 times per year depending on the season, including some cocktails, and eventually may include a special Market Menu that features specials of the day. If you live in this zip code or work in the restaurant industry, you can receive 10% off your bill with their Neighborhood Discount. A 20% service charge is added in lieu of tip.

 

1 of 6 great entries for the Gingerbread Village: Historic North Seattle.  Design/Creation: Callison RTKL, Hargis, and Chef Lee Baldyga.  Photo: Alethea Myers

“While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads” seems an apt description of what creators were thinking for this year’s Gingerbread Village in downtown Seattle. The Sheraton Seattle Hotel has hosted the display for 25 years and they’ve moved it this year to the main floor of nearby City Centre (1420 5th Avenue). Our city’s top architects and master builders team up with Sheraton Seattle chefs and their culinary teams to create what could be termed “advanced gingerbread”: sugarplums & other candies, colorful Chiclet gum pieces symmetrically adhered to create a wall, gingerbread pieces become brick walls or a bridge, LOTS of frosting, and some even feature moving parts (such as a trolley on a track, or the Ballard Locks doors swinging open). This year’s theme is “A Celebration of Seattle” and each fairly-large creation features areas of the city, either in the past or in the future. They are a delight to look at, and you can vote for your favorite one.

Not only is the village visually appealing, but donations made (online or at the exhibit) will benefit the research of the JDRF Northwest Chapter, a non-profit with a vision to see “a world without Type 1 diabetes”. Previously the organization focused on diabetes in children only, but that has expanded since it affects adults as well. Different children were chosen to be JDRF Elves, and are represented by each team that completed each gingerbread creation.

The WA Athletic Club parking garage is located right next to the City Centre entrance on 6th Avenue, and after 5 pm on weekdays, it’s currently a $7 flat fee to park there. This is one of the parking options if you don’t live or work downtown and need to drive to see this year’s display.

Gingerbread Village Viewing Hours (until January 1st):

Mon.-Thursday    6:30 am- 11:30 pm
Friday                      6:30 am- 12:30 am
Saturday                 8:00 am- 12:30 am
Sunday                    8:00 am- 11:30 pm

MORE GINGERBREAD EXTRAORDINAIRE

The life-size gingerbread house in the lobby at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel.  Photo: Rachel Dooley

Another fun and labor-intensive gingerbread display is at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel (411 University St.).  Walk through a life-sized gingerbread house in the hotel lobby, admire the Festival of Trees which has been hosted for 40 years, or take your kids to the Teddy Bear Suite. Donations benefit the Seattle Children’s Hospital, another worthwhile cause.

Come enjoy these “sweet” holiday traditions!