Collections Café Offers Good Food and Eye Candy

Chef Ivan Szilak has created an all-day menu that is well-suited for ladies (and gents) who lunch.

These days, it’s not unusual to spy diners whipping out their cameras during a meal and snapping shots of food porn. But, what’s this? People focusing their lens on the tables instead of what’s on the plate?

That’s fairly routine at Collections Café— at the Chihuly Garden and Glass—where Dale Chihuly’s vast assortment of amusing vintage objects are on display. There are vintage accordions hanging from the ceiling—both his father and brother played—and all sorts of antique toys and treasures tucked under the glass of each table. It’s mighty clever eye candy.

Chef Ivan Szilak (formerly of the Sorrento Hotel) has created an all-day menu that is comfortably casual, well-suited for ladies (and gents) who lunch: the must-try, ultra-juicy burger; a spectacular chopped salad that’s so loaded with grilled chicken, bacon bits, olives, artichoke hearts, chickpeas, Peppadew peppers and cheddar, it’s easily enough for two; and the terrific pork sandwich wearing a crown of tangy slaw.

During the lunch rush, the dining room is jam-packed with museum visitors, but the vibe is much more chill in the evenings. The lineup of stellar shareables, which come in two sizes, are fine candidates for a pre-theater nosh, especially when paired with a glass of wine or a microbrew from the Northwest-centric list. Nothing coming out of the kitchen is going to be declared a “work of art.” Still, this well-prepared fare is plenty satisfying.

Lunch and dinner daily. Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St.; 206.753.4935;é $$