• Best Chef: Northwest
    James Beard Foundation
  • Winner
    Iron Chef America
  • Top 50 Restaurants
    Gourmet magazine
  • Best Italian Restaurants
    Wine Spectator
  • Four Stars
    Seattle Post Intelligencer
  • Top 21 Restaurants in the USA
    Esquire magazine

My Restaurants

Where I Eat

Behind the Scenes

Fried oysters
"I once had to eat here two nights in a row just to have the fried oysters again. These are totally craveable and worth the short and beautiful ferry ride to Whidbey Island. Crazy good."
Chef Holly Smith reviews  at
"Spinasse almost always has a savory flan (or sformatino) on the menu, and my favorite is the bagna cauda version. It's a delicate flan flavored with toasted anchovy and garlic with a very silky, simple sunchoke purée to accompany it. It's intense and delicious. I could bathe in it!"
Chef Holly Smith reviews  at
Kelp-cured scallops
"Traditional rolls and other Japanese goodies are always on the menu here, but if you're up for it, try some of the more adventurous stuff like the sea cucumber, sea snails and, my favorite, the kelp-cured scallops. When I am able to get them, I love them so!"
Chef Holly Smith reviews  at
Oysters on the half-shell
"I love the elegant and comfortable setting at Renee Erickson's Ballard restaurant. Sitting at the bar watching each pristine oyster being shucked makes it all the better."

From My Menu

Chef John Sundstrom reviews Blackmore wagyu flatiron at Cafe Juanita
$$$$ | Italian
1 Review
"When I'm feeling celebratory and in the mood for something rich and delicious, Cafe Juanita is where I go. Save room for a big Barolo paired with a wagyu flatiron steak, cipollini onions, and truffled fonduta. You'll be tempted by much, much more!"
Chef Jason Stratton reviews Veal sweetbreads at Cafe Juanita
$$$$ | Italian
1 Review
"This dish is perfect. Exquisitely cooked sweetbreads have the slightest crust, and taste simply of themselves. A scattering of Pantellerian capers, fried until they open like little flowers, top the dish, with a generous amount of intensely green, fried parsley. A drizzle of gorgeous, buttery olive oil completes the plate. Each element is essential, and comes together as a minimalist’s delight. This is the dish that made me want to cook for Holly Smith at Cafe Juanita. It took a single bite."