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A Rising Star Chef of the Year Nominee on Seattle Hot Spots

Maggie Borden

April 20, 2017

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The James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year Award celebrates the country's up-and-coming toques who are pushing the industry forward with their innovative techniques and styles. Since these tastemakers have their fingers on the pulse of today's dining scene, we asked this year's nominees to guide us through the best food and drink of their home base. Here, Brady Williams of 2016 Outstanding Wine Program nominee Canlis in Seattle, shares his recommendations for everything from tiki cocktails to superior sushi.

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Dinner: Wataru—"This little shop in Ravenna is the best sushi in Seattle, hands-down. Book early for the omakase at one of the six seats at the sushi counter. Kotaro-san is a master of the craft—he puts so much care into every detail—and his rice is some of the best I've had!"

L'Oursin—"This is a new, French-ish restaurant in South Capitol Hill that focuses on local seafood, and has a wine list that features some fun, natural wines, and excellent cocktails. The hospitality is some of the best, and most sincere, in town."

Delancey—"I like to go here for an easy, fun, night out. Order a margherita pizza, some amaro, then finish it off with a nightcap at their bar next door, Essex."

"You could also just go see Blaine at Willows Inn on Lummi Island. It's always a win."

Lunch / Cheap Eats:

Mean Sandwich—"Probably my favorite new place in town. Kevin and Alex Pemoulie were long-time Momofuku employees, then had a great spot in Jersey City, Thirty Acres. They recently moved to Seattle (where Alex is from) and opened this sandwich joint in Ballard. Get the steak tartare club or the chicken cutlet. Now that the weather's nice, they opened up their backyard, complete with picnic tables and ping pong." 

Il Corvo—"You'll have to deal with the long lines, but it's worth it to get your pasta fix at this lunch-only place in Pioneer Square. The pastas rotate daily, and there's only three to choose from (order them all)."

Coffee: La Marzocco Cafe—"The espresso machine maker La Marzocco, based here in Seattle, opened a cafe in Lower Queen Anne attached to KEXP: our legendary independent radio station. Each month, they highlight a different roaster from around the world, changing everything from the equipment to the menu to recreate that shop's experience." 

Dive Bar:

Streamline Tavern—"Streamline is everything you want in a bar. During the week, it's mostly people from the neighborhood, and it's the bar to go to for whiskey-ginger or beer and a shot after a long service."

9lb Hammer—"I go to this bar in Georgetown, one of my favorite neighborhoods, more and more. It's a big space and off the beaten path a bit, so it's replete with locals. Good vibes, and strong drinks." 

Cocktails: "I really only go to two places: Rob Roy or Bathtub Gin & Co. Which one I'll end up in usually depends on who is working, but on Mondays it's always Rob Roy for a piña colada on tiki night."

Bakery: Saboteur Bakery—"It isn't technically in Seattle, but it's a short ferry trip away. Matt Tinder cut his chops at Meadowood and Coi, then opened up a small bakery in Bremerton. They close early, as a bakery should, but it's a fun morning trip and always worth it."

Learn more about the 2017 James Beard Awards.

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Maggie Borden is associate editor at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on Instagram and Twitter.