Food & Drink

Apples, Clams & Pinot Noir: Belltown’s Shaker + Spear

Walter Pisano serves seafood chic at Shaker + Spear in Belltown

By Seattle Mag June 26, 2015


This article originally appeared in the July 2015 issue of Seattle magazine.

With picture windows overlooking Virginia Street and clean, crisp, modern lines, Shaker + Spear, the newly opened restaurant in the new Palladian Hotel, serves chef Walter Pisano’s take on seafood. And it’s a restrained one; Pisano, best known for his famed gnocchi and Tuscan plates at Tulio in the Hotel Vintage, takes an almost spa-like approach to the menu here. The open kitchen produces tasty-enough plates, including roasted chopped clams in their shells wearing a buttery breadcrumb topping ($12), and a sharable romaine salad with apples and Quillisascut cheese in an inspired black pepper dressing ($11).

But while service is friendly, there seems to be a style-over-substance issue at play when it comes to the food: the cooking comes across as tight and rehearsed, and intricate plating can take away from the finished product (the romaine salad is dressed on only a portion of its full-size leaves, so that the diner must do the messy job of mixing and cutting the salad). Seasonal entrées, such as the spring morel mushrooms, garden peas and pan-roasted yellowtail ($29), fare best. Forgo the overpriced wines-by-the-glass list (the only Pinot Noir available during our visit cost a dear $16) and instead opt for a bottle—or a perfectly lovely French 75, this one with a warming hint of sherry ($10). Belltown, 2000 Second Ave.; 206.826.1700; 


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