In the mornings I often hear Mitch in the Morning on KJR radio talk about his love for the Daniel’s Broiler Prime Steaks & Chops. But even without the advertisements, Daniel’s is well known as one Seattle’s premier steak restaurants. Probably the best known is Daniel’s on Lake Union or even in Bellevue, but the original is Daniel’s in Leschi. It was started by Dan Sandal, who family roots took him back in the Seattle food business. His grandfather, Dan Zido started two separate meat markets in the Pike Place Market. Dan Zido’s son in-law, and Dan Sandal’s father sold to restaurants, thus Sandal had a great deal of exposure to the food industry. With his experience, Sandal and partners started Benjamin’s which they later sold to the Schwartz Brothers. Then in 1980, Sandal decided to open a restaurant bearing his name: Daniel’s. A year later, he again sold to Schwartz Brothers who continued the tradition of his fine dining steakhouse. Perfectly located on the shores of Lake Washington in the Leschi Marina it was a very convenient location for Mercer Island and Bellevue until they closed the I-90 entrance and exit on the east side of the tunnels when the second bridge was added. In 1989 around the time I-90 was being upgraded, Daniel’s opened their Bellevue restaurant and shortly thereafter the restaurants went to exclusively serving USDA prime beef with the goal of becoming a world-class steakhouse. In 1999, the former Benjamin’s space on South Lake Union became the third Daniel’s location.
Today, all three Daniel’s restaurants are Seattle favorites to eat a great steak and have a good time.
Pritty Boys Family Pizza had a food booth at Madrona Mayfair this past Saturday – which was not only a good place to get pizza, but also a place to find the scuttlebutt about the restaurant. First of all, the pizza was very good. The peperoni were small (about half the size of peperoni on typical pizza) and flavorful. I did pat it with a napkin to soak up some grease, but to me that is not a bad thing.
Since I have been anxiously awaiting their restaurant, I asked when they expected to open. They told me that there was no official opening date because they have had some delays, but they were trying to open next weekend. So whether it is this weekend or not, it is good news that Pritty Boy Family Pizzeria is coming soon to Madrona.
In addition, to speaking to the pizzeria employee at Mayfair, I walked by the restaurant this weekend. The place is really shaping up. In the northwest corner of the restaurant, they have a play area set up with a various toys for small kids to play with. In the south end of the restaurant, they had a video game machine. This portion of the restaurant is set up for young teenagers. With about 20 tables, the Madrona pizzeria should be a popular place for Seattle families to hang out whether their kids are 2 or 14.
Food & Wine magazine voted Chef Jason Franey of Canlis as BEST New Chef in the Northwest. Canlis is a famed Seattle restaurant in the Queen Anne neighborhood, and the owners brothers Mark and Brian recieved a lot of media attention for their recent campaigning. The brothers used social media outlets to campaign for Franey, taking pictures donning signs that said “Vote for Jason”. The coolest shots were those of the brothers atop the Space Needle, a feat that was daring, creative, frightening, and probably seriously cold-and it was all worth it. The campaign got the vote. Franey is the executive chef at Canlis and the position is well deserved. Congratulations to Canlis in all of their recent success. Follow the link below to see a video of the Canlis brothers in action.
I recently had the chance to go to one of Seattle’s great restaurants: The Ruins. Located at the base of Queen Anne near Mercer Street and Aurora Avenue, not a place to hide, but that is what this private restaurant has done from most of Seattle since it opened in 1993. And that is how Joe McDonnal, who opened the restaurant with his partner in business and life, Virginia Wyman, wanted it. The Ruins website proudly states “Seattle’s Best Kept Secret.”
When I was invited to The Ruins recently (inquire about membership to The Ruins here), I had no idea Joe McDonnal, 79, was very sick with pneumonia in Palm Springs, CA. Mr. McDonnal passed away on January 31st. During his lifetime, he not only created The Ruins, a restaurant as well as a base for catering and a place to host weddings and corporate events, Mr. McDonnal was a mentor to many of Seattle’s restaurateurs. Both Ethan Stowell, who owns four Seattle restaurants including Anchovies and Olives, and Joanne Herron, who opened the French bistros Le Pichet and Cafe Presse, worked under and were encouraged by Mr. McDonnal.
Mr. McDonnal is survived by his “unmarried spouse” of 32 years, Virginia Wyman, his sister Maribel Cadmus, and his brothers Bill and Fred.
The other day I was out and someone brought up Canlis Restaurant, which I believe is the best restaurant in Seattle. There are many restaurants that I enjoy, but to me, when it comes to ambiance, food, and service, there is none better. The discussion about Canlis that night had varied opinions, but no one could sway mine. Then the inevitable argument against Canlis came up: “But it is so expensive.” I realize the economy is struggling, so my argument is much weaker than before. Nevertheless I argued, as I have for years, that Canlis is not expensive, at least in comparison to other top Seattle restaurants. So this time, I decided to back up my assertion with a simple search.
I personally love to order the New York or Filet Mignon at Canlis, thus I thought I would see how their steaks compare to other restaurants where I have enjoyed a great steak. The competition was chosen from memory with relative ease: Daniel’s, The Met, and El Gaucho. I know I am leaving out some great steak houses, but these were the first that came to mind. When I checked each of their websites, I found the following:
Some of the restaurants stated the size of the cut, others did not. I cannot remember what sides come with a steak in one restaurant versus another. And like I said, I only compared the price of two different steaks and nothing else on the menu. But to me, this proves my point that Canlis is not expensive when contrasting it to what I think are comparable restaurants……but really does any restaurant compare to Canlis?