March 2011


Independent Pizzeria Good for Picky Eaters

Pizza purists are flocking to Madison Park for fine pies and great wines.

Madison Park, long marooned at the farthest reaches of E Madison Street with just ice cream, burgers and pub food to stave off its residents’ hunger pangs, is in the midst of a culinary rebirth. Not only has the Madison Park Conservatory been making waves in the old Sostanza space (more on that in a…


Book Bindery Speaks Volumes

Does superstar chef Shaun McCrain live up to high expectations?

As a psychology major in college, I studied expectations. How both low and high expectations can turn into self-fulfilling prophecies. Part of my job as a restaurant critic is assessing what kind of potential a place has, and then judging whether it lives up to that potential. But there is also our expectation of a…


Sweet Streets: Westlake Avenue North, South Lake Union

Between Mercer and Thomas streets, lies Seattle's new pearl.

PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE: Tech-savvy, young professionals Once mostly an area passed by commuters heading to I-5, South Lake Union now boasts some of the city’s most booming blocks of shops, restaurants and urban residences. Philanthropist/entrepreneur Paul Allen, the CEO of Vulcan Inc., has made the area his own Monopoly board, with developments including the…


Seattle’s Best Neighborhoods in 2011

Seattle’s most livable, walkable destination neighborhoods. Plus, what it costs to move in now

Neighborhoods are like family members. They all have distinct personalities. Some may evince a casually cool charm, while others have a decidedly dynamic vibe. The best offer up their own compelling mix of restaurants and retail, sundries and services, daytime and nighttime diversion options. Make no mistake. We adore Ballard Avenue. Can’t get enough of…


Editor’s Note: Street Smarts

Rachel Hart on Seattle's rich, vibrant neighborhoods, micro-neighborhoods and more.

Seattle is a city rich with vibrant neighborhoods, but what we are especially in love with lately are micro-neighborhoods, those pockets of a few blocks here and there that pop up, sporting a cute shop, a tasty bakery, a new eatery and maybe a wine shop, making you swell with pride—and hope that the real…


Parental Guidance: Beyond Story Time, Pet Project and Mother of Invention

Dog-meet-baby orientation classes, a functional and super cute car seat cover, and new media storyte

Pet ProjectAs if there’s not enough stress with bringing the new babe home from the hospital, you also have to worry about Fido and all the canine complications that can arise (like jealousy and aggression toward the new bundle). So before the homecoming, plan for a crash course with Wallingford’s Susan Oshie, a former veterinarian…


Local Authority: Ben Thompson Writes a “Badass” Book

A mild-mannered chronicler of the famously flinty releases his second brawny book.

If you took a history textbook, injected it with tiger adrenaline, dipped it in molten lava and encased it in armor, you still wouldn’t come close to the level of badass found in Seattle author Ben Thompson’s collections of essays. Thompson’s blog,, led to his 2009 book, Badass: A Relentless Onslaught of the Toughest…


Local Apps that Do the Deciding For You

UrbanQ, Gruburg and Chewsy make for an easy-to-follow evening.

STEP 1: Get out of the houseHoused in Redmond and developed by locals Maria Zhang and Tao Huang, UrbanQ recommends cafés, restaurants, concert venues and clubs based on your geographic preferences. Wondering where to go for date night this weekend? Select the “nightlife” theme and narrow your feedback by adjusting location, price and date. Rate…


Scenic Drive’s Handmade Bicycling Accessories and Clothing

A bicycle-friendly sewing sanctuary helps crafty dreams come true.

Harmoniously fusing Seattle’s love for cycling and its penchant for DIY undertakings, Scenic Drive E. Pike Factory (611 E Pike St.; 206.300.8799; is best described as a cycling paraphernalia workspace. Open since October and run by Nikki Mazzei and Rachel Ravitch (of Seattle’s cycling dance troupe the Bicycle Belles), Scenic Drive sells handmade bicycling…


Local Coffee Shops Showcase Caffeine in Artful Receptacles

Cool coffee jars from Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Blackbird Coffee and Caffè Fiore.

Stumptown Coffee RoastersStumptown now offers its popular Hair Bender blend in a container as iconic as its name. The retro-pharmaceutical look of the glass jar suggests the medicinal effects of staying caffeinated, while the amber color helps block bean-damaging UV rays. Once you’ve sipped your way to the bottom, bring back the jar for a…


Road Trip: Tofino, Vancouver Island, B.C.

Got a gray whale costume? Pack it up and head to Tofino.

WHERE: Tofino, Vancouver Island, B.C., for the 25th Annual Pacific Rim Whale Festival (3/19–3/27; WHY: Live music, guided hikes, film screenings, cookoffs, children’s fairs—in all, more than 75 events celebrate the migration of the world’s largest population of California gray whales to the Arctic. BRING: Binocs for a shoreline glimpse of the more than…


Nathan Myhrvold’s Modern Food Manifesto Causes Quite a Stir

Get the scoop on Myhrvold's manifesto, which clocks in at six volumes and 2,438 pages, covering ever

Critics seem helplessly drawn to hyperbole when it comes to reviewing Nathan Myhrvold’s new encyclopedia of cooking, Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking ($625; Already considered the guide to molecular gastronomy (the foodie discipline interested in the physics and chemistry of culinary techniques), the tome has been lauded as “the most important…

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