Investing in a Second Northwest Home

By Shawna De La Rosa | December 28, 2017 | Courtesy of 425magazine.com

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raving a coastal getaway? Seeking a chalet on the slopes? Longing for lakefront sunshine?

Lives are hectic, but calming aesthetic beauty lies just hours away. Puget Sound is rich with jewel-like locales perfect for family and friends to disconnect, reconnect, and decompress in a vacation home.

The first step is deciding where to buy. Options range from the ocean to the mountains, from inland beach cabins to Eastern Washington lakefronts.

Depending on the location, square footage, and condition of the home, buyers can expect to pay an average of $300,000 to $1 million-plus for a second home, said Chris Murphy, Realtor at WashingtonWaterfronts.com. More affordable homes, starting at about $150,000, can be found in Packwood, just miles away from White Pass Ski resort southeast of Mount Rainier National Park.

Hood Canal offers miles of saltwater beachfront with clamming, crabbing, and water-sport opportunities, Murphy said. The shallow and narrow nature of the channel leaves the water warm and calm, making for easy paddleboarding and kayaking conditions.

Whidbey Island has beach properties in Useless and Mutiny bays, many that have been in families for generations. There, a 1,000-square-foot beach cabin may sell for $1 million, Murphy said.

Camano Island is another popular second-home location.

There, about 30 percent of 2016 home sales were second homes, said Marla Heagle, owner of Windermere Real Estate Camano Island.

Most second homes are purchased for family getaways, she said. But some buyers purchase specifically for the Airbnb or VRBO opportunities.

On the coast, Seabrook is a planned community that is able to maintain its value through the amenities available and the cache it has developed with Seattle and Eastside residents, Murphy said.

Casey Roloff, who founded Seabrook in 2002 with his wife, Laura, designed the community after historical towns centered on walkability and mixed-use planning. They were inspired by California beach towns like Carmel. At Seabrook, current for-sale home prices range from the low $400,000s to more than $1.5 million.

Fifteen years into the plan, existing homeowners are still considered the “first adopters.” Home prices remain relatively low, compared to what they will be when the retail town center is complete, Roloff said. Still to come: Fifteen businesses that will include an arcade, luxury theater, brewery, outdoor outfitter, jewelry store, restaurants, and ladies boutique. There’s even a high-end yarn store for all those knitters out there.

Some people prefer the sun over the waves. For those, Lake Chelan is always a good option.

Dustin Thomas, inside sales director at Nick McLean Real Estate, said houseboats are a fun second-home option for many buyers. Starting at about $300,000, the houseboats can troll around the lake and then park at a local marina.

Also there, The Lookout at Lake Chelan is a planned community popular with second-home buyers. So far, 104 homes have been sold, and 63 are complete. A total of 320 homes are planned. Prices range from $520,000 to $880,000.

The Lookout sits on a bluff looking out over the lake, said Laura C. Harris, director of sales. All homes share access to the lake, and development will only go about halfway down the property, allowing for good communal access to the beach.

Only 80 miles from Bellevue, Suncadia is a popular location for second-home buyers, as well. Current sale prices range from $695,000 for 1,900 square feet to $3.2 million for a 12,000-square-foot home. Hiking and biking trails, golf courses, a pool, and waterslides create plenty of fun for everyone in the family. Winter activities include skiing at Snoqualmie Ski Resort, tubing, and ice skating.

“I encourage people to buy what they are going to use, what fits them best, and what fits their specific needs. Don’t buy more than you are going to need when you are there with your family.”

– Casey Roloff, Seabrook founder

Like other second-home areas, Suncadia’s sales are booming. The community hit an all-time record in 2015 for the number of real estate transactions. It has increased every year since. This year, Richard Seay, the vice president and director of sales and marketing for Suncadia, expects transactions to be 22 percent higher than 2016.

Many second-home owners put their properties on the vacation rental market. If the home is well-cared-for, the homeowner can recoup between 50 to 100 percent of the cost of owning the home, said Murphy.

The Lookout at Lake Chelan runs a cottage-rental program in which about 65 percent of the homeowners participate.

It makes sense to consider the rental program, Harris said. The average owner spends about 45 nights a year in his or her home. Each cottage rents out about 120 nights per year.

Murphy has put together an Excel spreadsheet so buyers can assess what type of return on investment they can expect by renting out their properties.

That said, Murphy urges his clients to buy a home for its intrinsic value and to buy something their family will use.

Roloff concurs.

“I encourage people to buy what they are going to use, what fits them best, and what fits their specific needs,” he said. “Don’t buy more than you are going to need when you are there with your family.”

Suncadia’s Seay also believes second homes shouldn’t be considered a strictly financial investment.

“Vacation homes are investments in your family’s time,” he said.

Murphy, who owns a second home himself, said vacation homes are part of a renewal process.

“Going to a second home, or a vacation home, for the weekend leaves you refreshed and ready to go for the next week and gives families the opportunity to bring all the generations together under one roof.” 

Snow Much Fun

By 425 staff | December 22, 2017 |  Courtesy of 425magazine.com 

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The holidays are behind us, and the gray, cold weather is here. It would be easy to hunker down with a fluffy blanket, in front of a crackling fire, with a book, and hibernate until spring. Or you can go search for snow and make the most of winter. And then of course, come back inside and get cozy. Here’s your ultimate winter fun guide — hot chocolate recipe included!

CHILLING CLOSE TO HOME

Courtesy Icicle TV

Courtesy Icicle TV

You don’t have to travel far with the kids to have “snow much fun!” We’ve rounded up a list of options to suit everyone from your littlest snow bunnies to thrill-seeking teens.

Leavenworth

If you’re looking for a close-in adventure that feels a world away, head to Leavenworth.

This faux Bavarian village is beautiful year-round, but only a Grinch couldn’t be charmed by its storybook shops sprinkled with snow. Leavenworth also pulls out all the stops this time of year, with more adventure and entertainment than you can possibly fit in one long weekend. And now that the holidays are over, the crowds aren’t as thick, but the nostalgia is still going full blast.

The Leavenworth Ski Hill, just outside of town, is the place to head for tubing. There are also trails for cross-country skiing, two ski resorts nearby, and multiple companies offering everything from snowmobile rentals to horse-drawn sleigh rides. If the kids would like to get an idea of what Rudolph and his crew do in the “off season,” book a tour of the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm. They’ll also get a kick out of the Gingerbread Factory and The Nutcracker Museum.

If you happen to visit during Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, you’ll be there for IceFest,which features snow sculptures, games, a snowmobile sled pull, fireworks, and more fun.

If you like a slightly less crowded experience, you can still enjoy a festive atmosphere all winter long. The twinkling Christmas lights typically stay up through mid- February, and the other fun continues as long as there is enough of the white stuff!

 

Want to stay closer to home? Here are a few more options for family fun.

Shuttle to the Snow

Don’t want to drive in the icy weather and search for parking? The Seattle Ski Shuttle to The Summit at Snoqualmie runs Saturdays and Sundays and picks up riders in Bellevue and North Bend. Round trip tickets are $40. Reserve your spot at seattleskishuttle.com.

Hyak Snow Park

Hyak is less than an hour from Bellevue if the weather cooperates. Note that you will need a Snow Park Permit and a Discover Pass for this popular spot. Regulars suggest you go as early as you possibly can to snag a parking space. You won’t find rope tows or magic carpets here, but you will find a great big hill to sled down on your own sled or inner tube once you make it to the top. This is a multi-use area, so be prepared to share with cross-country skiers and snowshoers, and leave the dog at home!

Totally Tubular!

Hold on tight! The Snoqualmie tubing center features eight or more lanes. The hill is 550 feet long with about 40 feet of elevation. Your tweens and teens will be going so fast, they won’t even have time for an eye roll! You book your time here by reserving a two-hour session, and you will want to do that in advance, online, as times do sell out. While this isn’t a total bargain, it is a ton of fun, and getting everyone off electronics is priceless.

Paradise at Mount Rainier

Photo by Miki Yoshihito

Photo by Miki Yoshihito

The snow-play area at Paradise is the only part of the park where sledding is permitted. It usually opens late December, but do always check conditions before you head up. Families with children ages 8 and up may also want to sign up for ranger-led snowshoe walks!

ADVENTURES IN A WINTER WONDERLAND

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There’s nothing like experiencing the outdoors under a blanket of snow. Ride the Mount Rainier Gondola to the top of Crystal Mountain, snowshoe through old-growth forests, tube down hills under the stars, and more. Here are cool adventures for every kind of winter enthusiast.

Exploring is Easy at Suncadia

When Suncadia Resort and Spa in Cle Elum is covered in snow, it’s simple to get out and explore with rental equipment and activities nearby. Ice skate outdoors next to the forest and beneath twinkly lights at the Village Pavilion. Or, rent cross-country skies and snowshoes and set out on several miles of groomed trails. Want the view without the work? Tip & Lucky, two Percheron horses, will trot you around on a sleigh. And recreational enthusiasts might enjoy fly fishing for local trout at one of the icy streams with an expert fisherman. Warm beverages and snacks are packed for the two- to three-hour outing. There’s also a long drift-boat fishing trip available. But let’s face it: Not everyone enjoys the snow by tromping through it. Take in the winter season cozied up by the fire at The Lodge, or warm up in the hot tub.

Ride the Mount Rainier Gondola

Crystal Mountain is known for its powdered slopes. But if you’re not an avid skier or snowboarder, there’s still a lot to do. Take a scenic ride up the mountain above snow-covered evergreens on the gondola. After traveling about 2,500 feet up, there’s a bird’s eye view of Mount Rainier and the Cascade range. Washington’s highest-elevation restaurant, Summit House, is also perched there, at about 6,872 feet. Warm up inside with hot chocolate or a glass of wine.

Snowshoe Crystal Springs

If you can walk, you can snowshoe. Long gone are the bulky, tennis-racket-shaped shoes of yesteryear; they have been replaced by modern, hard-deck snowshoes such as the MSR Denali, which are small and easy to manage. Grab a Thermos full of hot cocoa, a picnic lunch, and head up to the Crystal Springs Sno-Park for a day of adventure and sunshine that isn’t often found at lower elevations this time of year. Located on the sunnier, drier side of Snoqualmie Pass, Crystal Springs boasts approximately five miles of ski and snowshoe trails through old-growth forest and stunning vistas. Many of them can be reached on easy trails with less than 100 feet of elevation gain, making this an adventure perfect for those of varying skill and fitness levels.

Zoom Around on Snowmobiles

There are more than 3,000 miles of groomed snowmobiling trails through Washington state’s Winter Recreation Program. The program offers Sno-Parks throughout the state for snowmobilers to access the trails. For a map of snowmobile areas and more information, go to parks.state.wa.govThe Washington State Snowmobile Association is also a good resource for rentals, riding areas, safety tips and more. wssa.us

Cozy up in a Mount Rainier Cabin

Photo by Sunrisesoup

Photo by Sunrisesoup

Looking for a romantic getaway? Quaint cabins and cottages are scattered throughout the Mount Rainier area. Secluded in quiet forests and along riverbeds, there’s a lot of charming getaways to choose from. Some have outdoor hot tubs, where guests can soak while snowflakes flutter down. visitrainier.com

Glow Tubing in Oregon

Over 600,000 LED lights, laser light shows, black lights, and colored lights keep Mount Hood vibrant at night so tubers can slide down the mountain under the stars. There are also conveyor lifts to keep tubers on the slopes. Mount Hood SkiBowl offers the night activity. During the day, visit Frosty’s Playland and the Winter Adventure Park, where there’s a play zone, a carousel, and kiddie snowmobiles. skibowl.com 

Ziplining in Whistler, B.C.

Photo by Kris Krüg

Photo by Kris Krüg

Fly above the icy creeks and through majestic old-growth trees covered in a blanket of snow. Whistler Zipline Tours is an epic way to see the area’s beauty. Along the way, you’ll learn about Whistler’s ecology and wildlife. No experience needed. whistler.com

Dog Sledding in Montana

Experience the beautiful, rugged landscape of Montana while being pulled by a team of dogs. Dogsledding is a thrill and offered at several different venues throughout the western side of the state. Yell “mush,” and you’ll be on your way! visitmt.com

Hot Springs in Idaho

Heat things up in the icy cold with a trip to one of the many natural hot springs in Idaho. Lava Hot Springs has five pools ranging in temperature from 102 degrees to 112 degrees. More than 2.5 million gallons of hot mineral water runs through the pools each day before entering the Portneuf River. visitidaho.org

Photo by Michael Kartes

Photo by Michael Kartes

Cold-weather treat

Ultimate Homemade Hot Chocolate

Over medium-low heat, slowly melt 1 cup of bittersweet chopped chocolate (or chips). Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, ¾ cup granulated sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Slowly add 4 to 5 cups whole milk and stir. Start with 4 cups, and add more if desired. (This is a party in a mug, so more chocolate, less milk is always my choice.) Bring the mixture to a simmer, but do not boil. Keep stirring. Top with marshmallows or whipped cream; stir with cinnamon sticks if you like a little spice. — Danielle Kartes

The 20 Best Things Our Dining Critic Ate This Year

From fried chicken to falafel, these are our favorite dishes of 2017.

BY:  CHELSEA LIN | Posted December 13, 2017 | Courtesy of Seattlemag.com

Image Credit: Ma'ono Facebook Behold the divinity of Ma'ono's fried chicken sandwich.

Image Credit: Ma'ono Facebook

Behold the divinity of Ma'ono's fried chicken sandwich.

I eat out. A lot. More than I even need to for work. When I thought about compiling this list, I originally aimed for 10 dishes, but there were just too many great meals to limit myself. Instead, I’ve pulled together the top 20 things I ate this year—from small snacks to elaborate meals to memorable desserts. (I even left off my favorite dishes that I return to year after year, plus all the great things I ate in other cities.) These bites were all new to me in 2017; I hope you get a chance to try them soon.

Duck tsukune at Kamonegi
Everyone talks about the hand-made soba at chef Mutsuko Soma’s new Fremont spot, but she’s just as deft with the tempura and sides—the duck tsukune (meatball) is unreal. 

Fried chicken sandwich at Ma’ono
It’s not an everyday kind of sandwich—though there is a walk-in Virginia Mason clinic on the other side of U Village—but the crispy, crunchy, spicy fried chicken on a Hawaiian sweet roll (plus Moscow mules on tap!) inside Rachel’s Ginger Beer changed my life, or at least my shopping habits.

Pork belly at Art of the Table
Each of the many courses I had at Art of the Table’s stunning new Fremont space justified the hefty price tag, but I particularly loved chef Dustin Ronspies’ pork belly, served with his grandma’s sauerkraut recipe. (The gnocchi was awesome, too.)

Raclette at Fire and Scrape
How have I lived this so long without experiencing the gooey deliciousness that is raclette? I ate potatoes topped with melty cheese at the Fremont farmers market, standing in the rain, and I’m counting down the days to get back there.

Huckleberry pie at White Swan Public House
Sous chef Kayla Cramer makes pies on Thursdays, which is precisely when you should go. They don’t always involve sweet-tart huckleberries, but don’t miss it when they do.

Demi-gorgonzola pizza at Windy City Pie
When Dave Lichterman invited me to hang out in the kitchen of his Interbay pizzeria and test his new Detroit-style pies… well, I couldn’t say no. Keep your eye on his specials—and when he runs this pizza topped in braised beef, gorgonzola and drizzled in demi-glace, get there a.s.a.p. We promise you won't get sucked into the Upside Down world.

BLT at Bavarian Meats
I’ve long loved the sausages at this Pike Place Market spot, but last time I got a BLT—and I’m never looking back.

Rice bowl at B-Side Foods
If I lived closer to this hipster-chic Capitol Hill café, I’d eat the rice bowl—topped in a gorgeous rainbow of virtuous fermented and pickled veggies, plus a soft egg—every day.

Don't underestimate Aviv Hummus Bar's unbelievably tasty falafel. Photo courtesy of Aviv Hummus Bar Facebook.

Don't underestimate Aviv Hummus Bar's unbelievably tasty falafel. Photo courtesy of Aviv Hummus Bar Facebook.

Falafel at Aviv Hummus Bar
The menu is short at this new Capitol Hill spot, and chickpea is king. My fave hummus variation is the half-mashed masabacha, but the real showstopper is the light-as-air falafel—easily the best in town.

Salmon and kasu “risotto” at Opus Co.
Of all the restaurants that opened in 2017, this intimate Greenwood spot is perhaps my favorite, for both the value of the Opus Feast ($50 per person!) and also the salmon with kasu (sake lees) from the production facility downstairs. 

Off-menu burger at Bateau
Such an obvious choice, I know. But I finally tried it, and damn, it’s as good as I’d hoped.

Aappam and curry at Kathakali
This Kirkland Indian joint is exactly the kind of place I love most, with unique, delicious cuisine run by a passionate, talented couple. The fiery curries are best when eaten with the spongy aappam.

Oatmeal cookie chunk ice cream from Sweet Lo’s
I’ve been following Sweet Lo since she was making custom pints and delivering them around town herself. I’m now a part of her monthly ice cream subscription, and the oatmeal cookie chunk in June was inhaled in a single sitting. (Lemon bar can be found in stores around town, and is my second favorite.)

Risotto at Copine
Everything at this Ballard restaurant is refreshingly refined, but the risotto was so surprising—simply perfect, which I’ve found is rarely true when it comes to risottos.

Northwest nachos at No Bones
There’s a lot to be suspicious about when it comes to vegan tiki, but the nachos at this kitschy Ballard spot knock it out of the park—particularly if you add the flavorful spiced jackfruit.

Don't skip Junebaby's pimento cheese. Photo by Andrea Coan.

Don't skip Junebaby's pimento cheese. Photo by Andrea Coan.

Pimento cheese at Junebaby
I still haven’t made it in for fried chicken night, but as of now, my favorite dish at Eduoardo Jordan’s acclaimed Ravenna restaurant is the delightful pimento cheese served with pickles and saltines.

Smoked and pickled mussels at No Anchor
Great food and great beer? It doesn’t happen frequently, which is what makes this Belltown bar so special. Get the smoked and pickled mussels (“plated while listening to black metal,” according to the menu, which makes me like it more) and thank me later.

Guava cake at Cakes of Paradise
I don’t like guava or this kind of fluffy white cake, but I loved this family-run Georgetown shop’s guava cake so much I thought about it for days after.

Ube cookies from Hood Famous
I’ve written a lot about this Ballard bakery’s awesome ube cheesecake, but the ube cookies—chewy and buttery and utterly flawless—were a surprise hit that I’d eat again anytime.

Tripe and geoduck at Matt’s in the Market
This last one isn’t fair, but I need to include it anyway: Last week I attended chef Chris Cosentino’s dinner at Matt’s in the Market as part of their Planes, Trains and Traveling Chefs series, and the whole offal-heavy menu just blew my mind. His tripe and geoduck in vinaigrette reminded me you should always keep trying things, even if you think you don’t like them. 

Last-Minute Plans: 52 Free, Cheap & Easy Things To Do for New Year's Eve 2017 in Seattle

Free Fireworks, Champagne Toasts, Music, and More

by Stranger Things To Do Staff  |  Courtesy of TheStranger.com

Just because you don't have loads of money doesn't mean you can't have free champagne at a masquerade party. SHUTTERSTOCK

Just because you don't have loads of money doesn't mean you can't have free champagne at a masquerade party. SHUTTERSTOCK

There are lots ways to splurge on New Year's Eve this year, but being on a budget doesn't mean you can't send 2017 out with a bang. Below, you'll find all the ways to ring in the new year that won't cost more than $15, from New Year's Eve at the Needle to the New Year's Eve Garbage Bash, and from First Night Tacoma to the Barrel Thief's Prohibition New Year's Eve Party. For even more options, check out our complete New Year's Eve calendar.

1. A Very Linda's Tavern New Year's Eve
Linda's Tavern cheerily invites you to "party like we are not all fucked" at their cover-free New Year's bash, with a sparkling midnight toast and all-night jams from DJ Chris Cab.
(Capitol Hill, free admission)

2. Aaron Crawford
In his sophomore release Evergreen, Seattle country stud Aaron Crawford showcases his influences from church music, Johnny Cash, U2, and more. Join him for an intimate set this New Year's Eve at the Little Red Hen, complete with a champagne toast and party favors. 
(Green Lake, $10)

3. Bakeréé New Year's Eve
Join the Bakeréé and Canfinder at a New Year's Eve party, where you can have a nosh from the SlideThru food truck, dance to live music, hang out in Canfinder's mobile lounge, and take 20 percent off products from Flight, Freddy's Fuego, Dabstracts, and Exotiks.
(Georgetown, free admission)

4. Ballard Loft New Year's Eve
DJ Indica Jones will be spinning all night long at this New Year's Eve party. Expect party favors and confetti cannons at midnight. 
(Ballard, free)

5. Capitol Lounge New Year's Eve 2018
Go all out for this New Year's Eve on the hill with DJ sets by Shan Tha Don and Trent Von on the dance floor of the Capitol Lounge. 
(Capitol Hill, $10)

6. Celebrate New Year's Eve with the Still Ill DJs
Join Still Ill DJs Paco and Chetbong for '90s and early 2000s hiphop and R&B at Pettirosso's New Year's Eve celebration. They'll provide complimentary champagne for the obligatory midnight toast. 
(Capitol Hill, $10)

7. Champagne Kisses: New Year's Eve with Princess Charming
Local cabaret artist Princess Charming will be hosting and performing at this New Year's Eve extravaganza, featuring disco classics from DJs Sling Dion and Kirky, "Timmy and Kacey on the pole," and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Come early for "the world's tiniest Tea Dance." 
(Capitol Hill, free/$5)

8. Chupacabra New Year's Eve
Watch the Space Needle fireworks from a bay window perch while you drink champagne. Food will be available until midnight (with happy hour starting at 10), but there will also be standing room later in the evening.
(South Lake Union, free admission)

9. Club Contour New Year's Eve 2018
Club Contour dresses up for New Year's Eve with a champagne toast and a club-wide countdown to midnight and featured DJs Fred Eddison and Chase leading the way to the dance floor, playing hiphop, top 40, mash-ups, and EDM all night long.
(Pioneer Square, $10+)

10. Corner Bar New Year's Eve
Bring your noisemakers to galavant through the streets in a "Not-So-Silent-Night Parade," followed by dancing with DJ Dr. Lehl, DJ Evan, and McTuff. 
(West Seattle, free)

11. DROP THIS! New Year's Eve 2018
With a capital-S Stacked line-up of talented local DJs and producers, Monkey Loft will tower over their NYE competition thanks to live sets by Hanssen, Succubass, Sharlese, Chad Neiro b2b Kadeejah Streets, Justin Collins b2b Rhines, Nikolay Cloud b2b Kyle Douglas, and Sean (Night Train) b2b Peter Evans.
(Downtown, $15-$20)

12. Eagle Masquerade
DJ Mike Sniffen will man the decks at this fetish masquerade party to ring in the new year, complete with party favors, a champagne toast, and a clothes check. 
(Capitol Hill, $6/$8)

13. First Night Tacoma
Kick off the New Year with Seattle's smaller, more manageable neighbor town's 25th annual all-ages festival. "The world's shortest parade" will start the festivities, followed by dancing, music, and other performances on "over a dozen" stages, and the evening will wind up with fireworks.
(Tacoma, $12/$13)

14. Flammable New Year's Eve
San Francisco's Sunshine Jones will ring in a better year with a live set at Re-bar, with support from Karl Kamakahi, Xan Lucero, and Brian Lyons. 
(Downtown, $10)

15. Hey Now! - New Year's Eve Edition
Finish off the year by dancing to all your guilty pleasures at Barboza, like the Backstreet Boys, Nelly, Katy Perry, Shaggy, Blink 192, the Black Eyed Peas, NSYNC, and Ke$ha. 
(Capitol Hill, $10/$15)

16. Hopvine New Year's Eve Karaoke
Spend the last moments of the year singing from the heart. At midnight, enjoy a complimentary champagne toast. 
(Capitol Hill, free)

17. Hula Hula New Year's Eve Karaoke
Sing your heart out and sip special drinks on New Year's Eve. 
(Capitol Hill, free)

18. Joe Judice
Join Joe Judice at the Fid as he plays original songs inspired by the Grateful Dead, Phish, Widespread Panic, Neil Young, and Van Morrison. 
(Ravenna, free)

19. Kings of Cavalier, Nordus, Upwell, Crown Villains
Scream into a New Year with the local bad boys of Kings of Cavalier, Nordus, Upwell, and Crown Villains at Darrell's. You'll get your party hat and champagne too, so no worries. 
(Shoreline, $8)

20. The Masonry New Year's Eve
Drink special beers from Engine House #9 and Shelton Brothers while you dance to tunes from DJ Nick Weitzel at this New Year's Eve bash. 
(Fremont, free admission)

21. A New Year's Celebration with Super Sonic Soul Pimps and Karmic Unrest
Alternately conceived by an "alien mother and earthly pimp," the members of Super Sonic Soul Pimps have developed a band mythology that involves wild tales of interspecies love and galactic adventure somehow resulting in their experimental funk grooves. They'll be joined by Karmic Unrest for this High Dive New Year's Eve party. 
(Fremont, $10-$20)

22. New Year's Eve with Afrocop
Afrocop are an awesome, future-minded funk/fusion jazz trio with a penchant for abstract keyboard explorations and banging backbeats. Hear them bring in the new year at Vito's, along with special guests.
(First Hill, free)

23. New Year's Eve at the Anchor
All ages can ring in the new year with plentiful guitar solos by dancing to hard rock from Lust Punch, rock and blues from Blackstone Daze, and "power rock" from XOfenders. 
(Everett, free)

24. New Year's Eve at Eden
Dance to sets from DJs John England and Ben Traxx, see a live performance from Josephine Howell and the Bad Boys Band, and clink to the new year with complimentary bubbly at midnight. 
(Pioneer Square, free)

25. New Year's Eve at El Chupacabra Alki
Emerald City Soul Club will be spinning R&B, soul, funk, disco, and reggae into the new year. Dance 2017 away and enjoy an unobstructed view of the Space Needle's fireworks. 
(West Seattle, free)

26. New Year's Eve with The Hot McGandhis
Sway to soulful jazz and funk with the Hot McGandhis this New Year’s Eve at the Triple Door. 
(Downtown free)

27. New Year's Eve at Korochka
Enjoy free champagne and sparklers at midnight at Korochka's New Year's Eve party. 
(Lake City, free admission)

28. New Year's Eve at the Maple Bar
Snag deals on champagne bottles all night and clink to the days ahead with a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. 
(Maple Leaf, free admission)

29. New Year's Eve at the Needle
Don't want to splurge on New Year's Eve entertainment? Check out Seattle Center's annual free party, featuring a performance from Northwest pop cover band Sway, a light show and KEXP DJ-soundtracked dance party, and (the most important part) fireworks at midnight.
(Seattle Center, free)

30. New Year's Eve at Old Pequliar
Phatti LaBelle will DJ this free party on the last night of the year. 
(Ballard, free)

31. New Year's Eve at the Owl N' Thistle
Snack on some hors d'ouvres and boogie with the Owl House Band into the wee hours.
(Downtown, free admission)

32. New Year's Eve at the Pocket
The scrappy little Pocket will throw a free party for community members with champagne, "Giant Twister," other games, dancing, and a balloon drop. This is the party for you if you love fringe theater and keeping your hard-earned dough. 
(Greenwood, free)

33. New Year's Eve at Saint John's
Wave goodbye to the good, the bad, and the really bad of 2017 and welcome a better year ahead with a no-frills night of champagne toasting. DJs Elzabub and Moomoomix will provide the tunes. 
(Capitol Hill, free admission)

34. New Year's Eve at Shelter Lounge
The lounge's trivia night will take place before DJ Sidlicious takes over. At midnight, enjoy complimentary champagne for a New Year's toast. 
(Green Lake, free)

35. New Year's Eve with Sundae + Mr. Goessl
Cozy up in the Hotel Sorrento's Fireside Room on New Year's Eve with local '30s pop-inspired duo Sundae + Mr. Goessl. 
(First Hill, free)

36. New Year's Eve with the Yada Yada Blues Band
The YYBB are a slick little blues outfit, that "avoid typical covers and focus on deeper cuts of artists lesser known to today's listener." South Sound Tug and Barge will open their Parliament Tavern set with "a rip-snorting set of party protest folk stomps," and there will be a champagne toast at midnight. 
(West Seattle, $10)

37. New Year's Eve Bash with Dead Sonics, Hi Crime, New Felts
Get into a night of fusion at the Skylark with Dead Sonics cranking out the "intergalactic punk rock infused hip-hop jams," and support sets by Hi Crime and New Felts. 
(West Seattle, $8)

38. New Year's Eve: Champagne & Cocktails
Toast to an effervescent new year at Poco with sparkling cocktails and lots of bubbly. 
(Capitol Hill, free admission)

39. New Year's Eve: Darqness vs. 69/50
Excellent local QTPOC collective Darqness will join forces with artist group 69/50 for a New Year's Eve party at the Hillman City Collaboratory rife with hiphop, rap, R&B, and electronica talent. Get ready for ripping live sets from cosmic performers like DoNormaal, Guayaba, Taylar Elizza Beth, and Brian is Ze, and high-energy dance blocks from Darqness resident DJs Toya B, Howin 1000, Dos Leches, and Reverend Dollars. 
(Hillman City, $10)

40. New Year's Eve Garbage Bash IV with Honcho Poncho, Sons of Rainier, and Chris Acker
Seattle alt-rockers Honcho Poncho will headline the fourth annual New Year's Eve Garbage Bash at Conor Byrne, an all-out holiday party with local group Sons of Rainier and New Orleans alt-country singer-songwriter Chris Acker, and rumor has it there may be costumes and a hot dog-eating contest. 
(Ballard, $10/$15)

41. New Year's Eve Karaoke Bash
Choose your karaoke song wisely at this Columbia City Theater New Year's Eve party—it will be the last song you'll sing this year, or the first song you sing next year. 
(Columbia City, free)

42. New Year Masquerade Bash at Fadó
Don a glittery mask, dance to tunes from DJ Nate, and enjoy a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. 
(Downtown, $10/$15)

43. New Year's Eve Prefunk Party
Ring in the new year at Absinthe with free hushpuppies and beignets, bottomless champagne, $4 speciality shots, happy hour bites, prizes, and giveaways. 
(Belltown, $10)

44. Pink and Gold New Year's Eve
Drink "cheap" champagne, knock back a few glitter Jell-O shots, and boogie to DJ Alex Noble at Neon Boots, which will be decked out in pink and gold for New Year's Eve. 
(Belltown, free admission)

45. Prohibition New Year's Eve Party
Party like it's Prohibition at the Barrel Thief's '20s-themed bash, which will feature era-appropriate music, black and white gangster films with no sound playing in the background, a Prohibition-inspired cocktail menu, a champagne flight, and a midnight countdown with sparkling champagne toast included with admission. 
(Fremont, $5)

46. Ring in the New Year at Bottlehouse
Bottlehouse's New Year's Eve includes bites, champagne toasts, and a Hershey's kiss at midnight. 
(Madrona, $15)

47. Sallie Ford, Lonely Mountain Lovers, La Fonda
Sean Nelson writes, "Portland artist Sallie Ford on the bill is almost too good to take. Ford’s album Slap Back, on which she metamorphosed from very-good-singer-songwriter-with-a-country-bent to garage-soul-psych-rocker (who still writes fantastic songs), has made the past year a lot more bearable." What better way to celebrate the end of said year than with this Sunset Tavern show? 
(Ballard, $15)

48. Sam's Tavern New Year's Eve
Sam's Social Sunday Seahawks Party will merge with a New Year's Eve celebration for a night of music (supplied by Dr. Fever), views of the Space Needle fireworks, Jell-O shots, champagne, football, and more. 
(South Lake Union, free)

49. Smashing Flannel, The Aqua Nets, Princeology
If you're apprehensive about the future, throw it back this New Year's Eve with '80s and '90s hits from Smashing Flannel and the Aqua Nets at Substation. Prince cover band Princeology will open the evening with Prince hits and deep cuts. 
(Ballard, $15)

50. STAGE Seattle New Years Eve 2018
Party to Top 40, EDM, and mash-ups in two rooms themed "Vegas" and "Miami." There will be party favors, a balloon drop, giveaways, and free champagne. 
(Pioneer Square, $15)

51. Success, Ol' Doris, Kids on Fire, Good Touch, Boss Tanaka, The Drowns
Progressive punk rockers Success make music that is simultaneously "driving, motivating, and catchy." They'll be joined by Ol' Doris, Kids on Fire, Good Touch, Boss Tanaka, and the Drowns for this Kraken show. 
(University District, $10)

52. Wilde Rover New Year's Eve
Celebrate the new year by seeing a live performance by Herding Cats and enjoying a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. 
(Kirkland, $15)

The New Seattle Bars We Fell in Love With This Year

It was another big year for bar and restaurant openings, and these were our favorite new watering holes.

BY: A.J. RATHBUN, CHELSEA LIN AND MICHAEL RIETMULDER | Posted December 15, 2017 | Courtesy of Seattlemag.com

Image Credit: Chustine Minoda The deceptive Black & White cocktail at Alchemy.

Image Credit: Chustine Minoda

The deceptive Black & White cocktail at Alchemy.

The expansion of our local bar and restaurant scene continued unabated in 2017, with many (many) new beer bars, wine dens and cocktail joints opening. There were so many that picking a “best” list was nearly impossible. But we conducted the thorough (and delicious) research needed to narrow it down to the below, which isn’t in any specific order.

Navy Strength (Belltown)
Don your grass skirt (maybe over long johns) and sail into this tiki port of call. From Chris and Anu Elford, owners of liquid landmark Rob Roy and neighboring No Anchor, Navy Strength serves immaculate tiki classics, including Seattle’s top Mai Tai, as well as adventuresome modern takes. Case in point: the Zombie Pyre, which combines the serious rums it demands with port and Italian amaro. It’s described as “A brooding, aromatic bastard of a drink.” Indeed. 

Also, don’t miss the rotating “travel” drinks section, presenting flavors from a rotating countries (currently the Philippines). Chef Jeffrey Vance’s food stands up to the beautifully beachy cocktails thanks to items like the garlic coconut sticky rice. -A.J. Rathbun

Alchemy (West Seattle)
With a candlelit Brontë-ish atmosphere—highlighted by black and white décor, velvet-covered chairs and a giant wooden table—you might expect large glasses of red wine here. But under bar director Tony Larson, Alchemy’s focus is on painstakingly imagined and constructed cocktails, at times using unusual ingredients and unique presentation involving drinker participation. The Bon Fire—a rye old fashioned with a trio of bitters: Angostura, peach and “funky orange” bitters—arrives smoked in a beaker for the customer to pour over a big ice cube. Original chef Larkin Young recently departed, but thankfully his double deviled eggs (with both cured and smoked yolks) remain. -A.R. 

Union Saloon (Wallingford)
An archetypal neighborhood bar is that comfortable-yet-well-crafted place you know you could make your second home the moment you step inside. Union Saloon fits that description, with deer and elk horns, hanging saloon lights, handsome Sapele-wood bar with a brown and tan harlequin-patterned leather sides giving it a warm small-town, Western feel. Equally inviting is the “Saloon Twos” menu of reasonably priced mixed drinks like the gin and tonic ($6 during happy hour). While the hearty open-faced sandwiches are enough for a full meal, don’t fill up and miss owner, and local restaurant vet of 20-years, Michelle Magidow’s cakes slices. -A.R.

Beer Star is White Center's new beer mecca. Photo by Maria Billorou.

Beer Star is White Center's new beer mecca. Photo by Maria Billorou.

Beer Star (White Center)
Well, looky who’s on the come-up. Since opening in once restaurant-hungry White Center, stroller pushers, dog walkers and jersey-clad football fans have all flocked to this gargantuan beer hall that helped spur the ‘hood’s restaurant revolution. Think Chuck’s on steroids, but decidedly more bar than bottle shop, with nearly 50 taps marked on its snazzy digital menu boards warning you when that coveted keg is about to kick. In beer-centric Seattle, Chuck’s Hop Shop’s model is often mimicked, but Beer Star arguably does it best (or at least biggest) with adjoined Chinese Takeout and Li’l Woodys keeping the ale hounds fed. -Michael Rietmulder

Joli (Ballard)
The cocktails at this new Ballard bar and restaurant are too good to ignore. While drinks sage Paul Shanrock—who presides over the large bar area—includes well-balanced riffs on classics (see the refreshing Raspberry Mule) on his menu, the cocktails shine brightest when indulging his obvious love of Italian bottles. The best example is A Lovely Day for Bloodsport, made with Cividina grappa, Luxardo Bitter Bianco (a citrus-y aperitif) and Carpano Bianco vermouth. While the name is, well, bloody, the drink has a lovely visual clarity and a botanical, vegetal taste. -A.R. 

Civility and Unrest Bellevue (Bellevue)
Among the many restaurant openings in the new Bellevue Collection, Seattle chef Jason Wilson’s the Lakehouse earned more buzz than most. But it was his modern speakeasy downstairs, an ultra luxe lounge hidden behind a graffiti panel barely discernable unless you know where to look, that intrigued us more. Here, a well-heeled crowd mingles over craft cocktails (mostly of the brown liquor variety) and bottles of bubbles. And since this project is led by a chef rather than bartender, the bar bites are far beyond the ordinary—look for spot prawn rolls, spicy merguez sausages and pretzels made from Wilson’s own coffeeflour. -Chelsea Lin

Pablo y Pablo (Wallingford)
The latest outpost from the Heavy Restaurant Group, Pablo y Pablo is a welcome addition to a once bar barren stretch of 34th Street in lower Wallingford. The cocktails from Chad Phillips and Heavy’s spirits chief Casey Robison pair perfectly with the Mexican fare (the vegan nachos with lush cashew cheese are worth having no matter your diet), and have a foot in the classics while still being fresh and original. The La Paz for instance, made with Bolivian brandy, banana liqueur, lime and ginger beer, will bring a little bounce to winter days with its light, tangy, refreshing nature. They also have a worthy list of tequilas and mezcals, which can be had solo or paired with complementary chasers for an extra buck. -A.R. 

These Excellent Seattle Brunch Spots Are Open New Year's Day

With the holiday falling on a Monday, 2018 presents the chance for a three-brunch weekend.

BY: MEGAN LAMB | Posted December 20, 2017 | Courtesy of Seattlemag.com

Image Credit: The London Plane Facebook

The simple merging of two very ordinary meals spawned an American cult hit. Brunch has captivated the hearts (and stomachs) of hungry hipsters and bottomless mimosa lovers, and for good reason. It's virtually a national pastime and everybody has their go-to spot. But on New Year’s Day—when we need brunch the most—many restaurants will be closed for the holiday (or to nurse that hangover).

Thankfully, these restaurants are here for us. Whether you’re looking for a quick stop at a café or an elaborate buffet, there’s something for everyone. But wherever you go, try to call ahead for a reservation, because it’s sure to be a busy morning for brunching.

Tilikum Place Café
Start 2018 off right with one of Tilikum Place Cafe’s signature Dutch Baby pancakes. Choose between sweet (with apples, cinnamon and dulce de leche), or savory (with Persian spiced lamb, feta and roasted carrots). Better yet, get both–because why not? 9 a.m.-3 p.m.Lower Queen Anne, 407 Cedar St., 206.282.4830, tilikumplacecafe.com

Capitol Cider
Whether your ears are still ringing from the night before or you were in bed before the ball dropped, this brunch joint will hit the spot. We recommend the cinnamon raisin french toast, with maple butter and roasted apples ($13). 10 a.m.-3 p.m., First Hill, 818 E. Pike St., 206.397.3564, capitolcider.com

Tallulah’s
Kick off your New Year’s resolutions with Tallulah’s nutrient-dense kale salad or try their acai yogurt and fruit bowl. Wash it down with a Communitea Kombucha for a fresh start to your healthiest year yet. 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Capitol Hill, 550 19th Ave. E., 206.860.0077, aneighborhoodcafe.com

Salty’s Waterfront Seafood Grill
Voted King 5 Best of Brunch for 10 years running, the buffet at Salty’s is the perfectly excessive cap to the holidays, complete with oysters, meats carved to order, eggs benedict and a build-your-own bloody mary station. 10 a.m.-2 p.m., $60, Alki Beach, 1936 Harbor Ave. SW, 206.937.1600, 

W Bellevue Living Room Bar
This swanky Lincoln Square hotel is gracious enough to host a “morning after hangover brunch.” Revive yourself with its all-you-can-eat pancakes, eggs and bacon, plus a complimentary mimosa—if you didn’t get your Champagne fix last night. Tickets are available online. 9 a.m.-1 p.m., $30, Lincoln Square, 10455 NE 5th St., 425.709.9000, wbellevue.com

Monsoon 
Ever woke up after a long night out and ordered dumplings for breakfast? If not, you’re missing out. Luckily, Monsoon is open New Year’s Day. While they’ll have more traditional brunch plates like crab benedict and French toast, we recommend the shrimp dumplings or pork buns. 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Capitol Hill, 615 19th Ave. E., 206.325.2111, monsoonrestaurants.com

London Plane 
The food at this chic Pioneer Square restaurant is to die for. Try the crème fraîche coffee cake with blueberries and pecan streusel or go for a slice of their famous freshly baked bread topped with spicy tahini, creamed greens and a fried egg. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Occidental Square, 300 Occidental Ave. S., 206.624.1374thelondonplaneseattle.com

Oddfellow’s Café
Choose from simple and locally-sourced breakfast items like baked eggs and avocado toast at this beautiful high-ceilinged café, and 2018 will automatically be off to a good start. Plus, the lattés are superb. 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Capitol Hill, 1525 10th Ave., 206.325.0807, oddfellowscafe.com

Café Flora
This vegetarian eatery is hosting a brunch buffet on New Year’s Day for Seattle’s herbivores. If this holiday spread is anything like its usual brunch menu, it’s bound to be delicious. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Prices vary, Madison Valley, 2901 E. Madison St., 206.325.9100, cafeflora.com

Where to Dine, Party, and Toast This New Year’s Eve

Bid farewell to 2017 with champagne toasts and multicourse menus at these Seattle restaurants.

By Diane Stephani  12/19/2017 at 10:05am

You know the drill: reservations are strongly, resolutely recommended.

Agrodolce
Four courses including grilled octopus tentacle, tajarin spaghetti with sheep’s milk rocotta, quince agrodolce, and Roman honey cake. ($90)

Big Mario’s
New York–style pizza, $2 Miller High Life aka the Champagne of Beers, plus an actual bubbly toast at midnight (Prices vary)

Bottlehouse
Usual menu of lovely bites, cheese, and charcuterie, with a holiday cocktail, baby champagne cupcake, and Hershey’s kiss combo for midnight festivities. (Prices vary, $15, respectively)

Canlis
Oh, just a “bash outfitted in 1950s-era sequins and black tie, a nod to the decade when Canlis was founded.” Unlimited food and drink, plus Dick’s Drive-In. ($350)

Capitol Cider
A French Creole–themed party hosted by Seattle drag icon Tipsy Rose Lee, complete with live music, magic, and a burlesque show, with a New Orleans–inspired menu upstairs in the dining room. ($45)

Derby
Twenties-themed party with music, casino games, a whiskey and dessert bar, amongst a collection of classic cars. ($86–$850)

Dexter Brewhouse
Four-course meal with Mollusk beer pairings. Crispy chicken wings with smoked honey glaze, brussels sprouts with bacon, shepard’s pie, and dessert. ($60)

Eden Hill
Five-course tasting menu: foie gras mousse, sous vide lobster, venison tartare with fermented elderberry, Wagyu ribeye and smoked bone marrow. ($105, $75 optional wine pairing, $150 optional baller wine pairing) 

El Gaucho
The Seattle location hosts its annual New Years Eve cabaret show, with three courses available at the 5pm showing and four courses available at the 9pm show. Dishes include filet mignon, giant African tiger prawn, and truffle risotto. ($150–$185)

E. Smith Mercantile
Scallop, brioche, and caviar, plus duck confit crepes with mushrooms and pickled persimmons. ($90)

Eve
Four-course menu of organic, vegetable-forward fare, plus some a la carte options ($65; prices vary)

Heartwood Provisions
Five courses with geoduck, spot prawns, scallops, filet mignon, and coconut tapioca. ($95)

Hitchcock
An eight-course feast with petit fours, fried beef bone marrow, sweet potato terrine, wood-fired cauliflower, and more, complete with champagne toast at midnight. ($120)

Ivar’s Salmon House
A dinner buffet with classic and modern seafood dishes, live entertainment, champagne for a midnight toast, and views of Lake Union and the Space Needle. ($85)

Joule
Choice of three-course prix fixe (at the bar and counter) or five-course menu. ($55 and $80, respectively)

JuneBaby
Two words: fried chicken. Four-course tasting menu with said crunchy bird ($95 with beverage pairing)

Kamonegi
Long noodle, long life: Toshikoshi soba, or New Year soba, is eaten for prosperity and longevity. Dine in or take out. ($20 for two to-go portions; prices vary in restaurant)

Lark
Four-course dinner with oysters, risotto nero, striped bass, and venison loin. ($125)

L’Oursin
Seven-course prix fixe dinner: pink scallops, foie gras, uni (of course), plus “more ostentations items.” Pair with spirits, cocktails, and a most lively lineup of natural wines. ($50)

Mkt.
Dry-aged beef carpaccio, Alaskan spot prawn, black truffle raviolo, halibut, lamb loin and braised lamb shank, plus choose form three dessert options ($85)

Monsoon
Both locations on Capitol Hill and in Bellevue will serve their regular menus with the addition of specials for the evening, such as a hamachi crudo with shrimp and pineapple relish, rau ram, and braised beef shortrib. (Prices very)

No Anchor
Baller beer and bubbles alongside smoked sturgeon, foie gras, sablefish, Wagyu zabuton, and caramel petit fours. ($150)

Revel
Prix fixe menus, specials, and festive cocktails (Prices vary

Salare
Seven-course tasting menu. We don’t have any dishes to note, but it’s no mystery: This will be a fine meal to cap off the year. ($125 with wine pairing)

Smith Tower
A Black and White ball with live music, a four-course dinner, and a champagne toast at midnight. ($50–$170)

Tarsan i Jane
A seven-course tasting menu with butter poached Maine lobster, Washington razor clams, Dungeness crab xuxo, and chocolate with salted butterscotch and passion fruit granita. ($155–$165)

Trove
All-you-can-eat barbecue menu with a complimentary fizzy cocktail. We’re told: It’s the “last day of the year, it’s worth it.” ($50)

Tutta Bella
Live music, Neapolitan cuisine, a complimentary prosecco toast at midnight, and a view of the Space Needle’s fireworks. ($30)

Urbane
Three courses with Alaskan King crab salad, cabernet braised short rib, and lemon tart with vanilla mascarpone. ($62)

Volunteer Park Cafe
Your choice of prawns, filet of beef, sole, and duck breast. Finish the meal with molten chocolate cake and orange creme anglaise. ($95)

5 Winter Cocktails to Warm You

Because in the dark of winter sometimes you need to get a little lit.

By Stefan Milne  11/30/2017 at 3:35pm

The Lock the Gate at Canon.  IMAGE: CANON

The Lock the Gate at Canon. 

IMAGE: CANON

It almost seems redundant to mention why you might want to sneak away for a cocktail come winter: the slashing rain and soggy traffic, the shopping bills, the relatives. Whatever your reason, here are a few options for brief chemical respite. 

Lock the Gate at Canon

A warm-milk cocktail is as unimpeachable is it is misunderstood; it’s wholesome and corrupt, a simple contradiction. Bourbon and milk is the classic, but brandy sits nicely too. Bartenders at Capitol Hill cocktail haven Canon clearly know this, which is why they’ve layered Portland’s Burside bourbon with Park cognac, Fernet Vallet, Chinese five spice, and an Eggo-hemp milk. The last is made from, you guessed it, Eggo waffles toasted and steeped in hemp milk. Both comforting and a little weird—and served hot, of course—it’s as close as you can get to a fuzzy sweater without actually wearing one. 

Redrum at Hazlewood

Even on the bustling Market St, Ballard stalwart Hazlewood feels tucked away. All tea candles and chandelier lighting and oddball decorations—zebra smoking a cigar, animal skulls on the walls—it offers constant shelter from any storm. As do consistently solid drinks. Sure, the Redrum sounds more Halloween than winter, but this cocktail—a layered concoction of gin, Ancho Reyes chili liqueur, Gran Classico, and Laphroaig scotch—hits a certain spot. Warming without being spicy, smoky but not even slightly campfire-like, it’s a testament to making a subtle cocktail with straight booze, and all the good cheer that imparts.

Dirty Boulevard at Teachers Lounge

While the negroni is perhaps the perfect summer cocktail, its sibling the boulevardier (sub whiskey for gin) matches that perfection in winter months—the bourbon softens and deepens Campari’s bitter punch. Teacher’s Lounge, the neighborhoody in the right way Greenwood cocktail bar, highlights the classic’s powers with a hit of pimento dram. (Pimento here meaning allspice, not the red peppers that impregnate green olives and rouge the southern cheese.) And what says Christmas better than a cocktail named after a Lou Reed song about 1970s New York brutality?

Night’s Watch at Quoin IMAGE: QUOIN/INSTAGRAM

Night’s Watch at Quoin

IMAGE: QUOIN/INSTAGRAM

Night’s Watch at Quoin

Fremont’s Quoin, and restaurant Revel next door, are solid places while away a winter night. No, I kind of doubt any standard yuletide nogs will appear on the menu. But everywhere in this building there’s plenty of warmth: a fire pit out back, chef Rachel Yang’s chili- and kimchi-studded food, and bar manager Joe Friderici’s cocktails which tend to kick in a few senses—booze and frequent spice. In the Night’s Watch, mezcal brings some smoke and gets an avocado oil rinse, a couple Spanish sidekicks (manzanilla sherry, saffron bitters), and a black pepper and cuttlefish ink tincture, which aside from looking nicely menacing adds brine and spice. It’s a dark drink for the dead of winter; I’ll leave the Game of Thrones jokes to you.  

Selvstarter at Damn the Weather

In the cold, I tend to turn toward rich brown liquors: rum, whiskey, cognac. But aquavit—essentially a Scandinavian take on gin, caraway and dill supplanting the juniper—is an excellent alternative for the winter months, evocative of places far more arctic than our drizzly corner. In the Selvstarter at Pioneer Square’s Damn the Weather, aquavit comes with a cast of other bold flavors: apricot brandy, Cocchi Americano, and Salers—the latter two being aperitif wines. The result is layered and aromatic and transportive in just the right way, a thing to make you heed the bar’s name. 

37 Extravagant New Year's Eve 2017 Parties in Seattle to Buy Tickets for Now

Great Gatsby Celebrations, Masquerade Balls, Boat Parties, And More Events Over $50

by Stranger Things To Do Staff | Courtesy of thestranger.com

Drink, dance to KEXP DJs, and watch fireworks at the Pacific Science Center's opulent SPECTRA: New Year’s Eve Under the Arches party. COURTESY OF PACIFIC SCIENCE CENTER

Drink, dance to KEXP DJs, and watch fireworks at the Pacific Science Center's opulent SPECTRA: New Year’s Eve Under the Arches party. COURTESY OF PACIFIC SCIENCE CENTER

Spending an intimate New Year's Eve at home with a bottle of Cook's doesn't sound bad, but it's been a tough year, so why not treat yourself to some well-deserved glitz and glamour? On our New Year's Eve calendar, there are nearly 200 ways to ring in 2018, but below you'll find the snazziest soirées of them all, from Great Gatsby-themed celebrations to masquerade balls to boat parties.

The Backdoor New Year's Eve Classic Hollywood Ball
End your year with live music from local funk trio Johnny and the Moles, an aerial performance by Tanya Brno, and "an eclectic array of Wax Sounds" from DJ Mr. Ballet at the Backdoor's New Year's Eve Party. There will be oodles of champagne. Reserved booths are available for an additional fee. 
($40-$250)

BeautyBoiz Wear Masks NYE
Your big queer New Year's Eve party at the Fred Wildlife Refuge will have so much to offer, courtesy of Forward Flux Productions: drag by Crystal Powers, Adé, and Haus of Shade, masquerade frolics, a champagne toast, aerial performances, a full bar, and sets by celebrated local disc jockey icons Cookie Couture and Reverend Dollars. Dress skimpily or extravagantly, but be sure to wear your best mask. VIP tickets include a special entrance, coat check, unlimited champagne, and a meet and greet with Crystal Powers. 
($20-$100)

Bollywood New Year's Eve
Wicked Karma has taken over the New Year's Eve-iest venue in town, the Fremont Foundry, to throw its Bollywood vibes across the upstairs penthouse, rooftop, and atrium with see-through dance floor. Shake it out all night to DJ RDX playing Seattle's best Bollywood, with a midnight champagne toast, a Desi food feast, party favors, and more. VIP tickets include unlimited trips to the bar. 
($43/$74)

Century Ballroom New Year's Eve
Choose between two rooms of dancing at Century Ballroom New Year's Eve Party: A live salsa room with Tumbao (featuring lead singer Carlos Cascante of Spanish Harlem Orchestra), or an LGBTQ+ "OutDancing" room with DJ MC Koop. There's also an optional five-course dinner with meat, seafood, and vegetarian menus. 
($20-$120)

Chihuly NYE pARTy
Choose this New Year's Eve party if you want to watch fireworks through the glass ceiling, tour the glass museum, hear live music by the Michael Benson Band, and drink a champagne toast at midnight (and if you've got 250 clams to throw around). Dale Chihuly's wriggly, organic-looking glass sculptures will surely be dazzling by firework-light. 
($250)

Cirque New Year's Eve
Bowl a few rounds, play games in the arcade, sip drink specials, and dance the rest of the year away to live DJs at Lucky Strike Lanes. There will also be special performances by acrobats, hoop artists, and stilt walkers. VIP packages include $300-$400 private lanes, or a $10,000 private room—which comes with 100 VIP tickets and a dozen bottles of Moët & Chandon Champagne. 
($30-$10,000)

Countdown at the Bayou
If the holiday’s glut of prohibition-themed parties doesn’t appeal to you, transport yourself instead to the balmy Bayou with Capitol Cider’s French Creole fête, hosted by drag queen Tipsy Rose Lee. Wash hushpuppies and beignets down with crisp sparkling cider as you take in a burlesque performance from “bluestocking bettie” Jesse Belle-Jones and live music from psych-rockers General Mojo’s. There will also be a magician and psychic readings to add some enchantment to your evening. VIP tickets include a coat check, hush puppies, beignets, a midnight toast, a psychic reading, reserved exclusive seating, and a gift bag.
($45-$600)

Frolik & Fizz New Year's Eve Party
The Motif Hotel's exclusive rooftop bar's New Year's Eve includes bubbles, bites, and music from a live DJ. 
($65/$85)

Gatsby & Gold New Year's Eve Celebration
Dress up in Great Gatsby garb for this gilded New Year's Eve celebration at the Shop, with beats by DJ Fundo, a photo booth, whiskey and dessert bar, Duo Rêves aerial artist performances, casino games, and a midnight toast. VIP ticket packages include a private couch for up to eight people and two bottles of Moët & Chandon Champagne.
($80/$800)

Gatsby's Yacht
Harken back to the days of speakeasies and flapper dresses at this fancy boat party. Expect a variety of appetizers, "roaring '20s-themed party favors," DJs, and plenty of (perfectly legal) champagne. 
($249; sold out)

GLAMORAMA 2018
In Club Sur's Copacabana Ballroom, dance to '80s classics from Prom Date MIXTAPE, 1960s tiki and surf hits from the Spyrographs, and more tunes from DJ Vodka Twist. In the Starliner Lounge, join Lushy for DJ sets and live installations. A VIP ticket gets you access to both rooms, plus a three-course dinner. 
($30-$425)

Indulgence
At "Seattle's biggest New Year's Eve bash," you can explore MoPOP, check out a comedy stage, get drunk, and even hear music by '80s party rock groups Hairstorm and Brand X. If you haven't brought anybody to smooch, check out the Singles Mingle and you may be mashing lips by midnight. The VIP Gold pass lets you avoid lines, eat special snacks, and use a private restroom so you don't have to pee with the proles. 
($69/$350)

Islander New Year's Eve Boat Party
See the Space Needle's New Year's Eve fireworks from the lavish comfort of a boat that will sail along Lake Union and Lake Washington. VIPs get reserved seating and champagne. 
($80-$200)

A Little Party Never Hurt Nobody
This Gatsby-themed New Year's Eve bash promises Moët & Chandon Champagne, a special Dead Line menu, dancing, giveaways, decadent party favors, and more. VIP packages include mezzanine access, more and fancier food, and a chance to win prizes. 
($95/$150)

Masq-On Masquerade
Suit up in your New Year's Eve finest and don your favorite bejeweled mask at this classy Factory Luxe soiree. Upgrade options include an open bar, champagne, and reserved seating.
($35-$800)

Midnight Masquerade NYE
Copious Love presents this second annual Midnight Masquerade New Year's Eve at Flutter Studios, complete with "dark theatrics," DJs Jeremy, Onesies, and TonyG spinning dance tunes under the giant chandelier, bottomless champagne, and more. The VIP ticket includes all-you-can-drink champagne. 
($30-$50)

Midnight: A NYE Dance Party
As you would expect, the city’s most exclusive restaurant is sparing no expense for their end-of-2017 shindig, which has been in the works since March and which harks back to Canlis’s mid-century roots with a glamorous suggested dress code of 1950s sequins. They’re flying in the Chris Norton Band from New York to perform, transforming the upstairs into a Dick’s Drive-In, and have been tight-lipped on details, as they promise a parade of surprises throughout the night of “dancing, libations, and nosh.” Though New Year’s Eve is typically their most profitable night of the year, they’re admirably donating every last dime of the proceeds to local charity Big Table, which "exists to see the lives of those working in the restaurant and hospitality industry transformed by building community around shared meals and caring for those in crisis, transition, or falling through the cracks." 
($350; sold out)

Moisture Festival New Year's Eve Extravaganza
Moisture Festival is devoted to the variety of performers Seattle has fostered over the years, from circus acts to comedians, burlesque dancers to musicians, and jugglers to tap dancers. It's been going for more than 13 years in Seattle, a testament to the popularity of cabaret-style entertainment in town. At this New Year's spectacular, Esther de Monteflores, Godfrey Daniels, Lamonte & The Family Affair, Patrick McGuire, Ron W. Bailey, and Tom Noddy will wow you with funk, juggling, aerial acts, and more entertainment. Plus, giant red balloons and snacks and champagne! 
($75)

New Year's Eve at Suite
Celebrate the end of this year with a massive party at Suite Lounge, with dinner, drinks, and dancing to sets by DJs Kryspin and Jakey, and a midnight balloon drop and champagne toast to mark the occasion. Pay extra for a reserved table for up to eight.
($30-$1,000)

New Year's Eve 2017: Walk on the Moon with DJ Neil Armstrong at The Nest
DJ Neil Armstrong, a Jay-Z World Tour DJ, soundtracks this rooftop party with a countdown and champagne toast. 
($100)

New Year's Eve at the Royal Room
The Royal Room Orchestra brings you the swing of yesteryear, with a jazz dinner followed by swing dancing. Prix fixe menu and a cover charge for the musicians are included in the price. The evening's entertainment will include sonic renderings of pieces by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Sun Ra, and more. 
($65)

New Year's Eve at W Seattle
Ring in a better year with live DJs, an open bar, a photo booth, complimentary bites, and a champagne toast at the W's New Year's Eve party. Upgrades include the $175 "limitless" ticket (with a VIP lounge and an open bar) and the $4,000 "backstage access" ticket, with admission for 15, three bottles of Dom Pérignon, 30 drink tickets, and reserved seating on stage.
($55-$4,145)

New Year’s Eve Celebration
At this special edition of Love, Chaos, and Dinner by Teatro ZinZanni, special appetizers, dessert, and champagne will complement the circus show and five-course meal. 
($239/$289)

New Year’s Eve Extravaganza
Jet City Improv will present two hours of on-the-fly comedy. Munch on hors d'oeuvres and desserts, toast at midnight with champagne or unboozy sparkling cider, dance, and watch the fireworks on the big screen. 
($59)

New Year's Eve: Great Balls of Fire!
Allow yourself to be swept away on a sonic journey of over a century of great piano hits, led by pianist and singer Tony DeSare at Benaroya. After the performance, stay for the post-concert party which will include a glass of champagne, a live musical performance, and dancing to the midnight countdown and beyond. 
($56/$154)

New Year's Eve Party Cruise
Watch the Space Needle fireworks and sip champagne from the comfort of the lavish Waterways Cruises yacht on Lake Washington. 
($167)

New Year's Eve with BowieVision
Fact: I was invited to a BowieVision show when the tribute band came through town earlier this year. I was too pregnant to say yes. Actually, I was only about four months along, but I worried about vomiting on my shoes while trying to lose myself in the music of one of my (late) favorites. This particular seven-piece of David Bowie tributeers apparently dress up in costumes inspired by the Thin White Duke (minus wigs and makeup), and deliver note-perfect, showmanship-savvy selections spanning from earlier in his career (“Space Oddity,” “The Man Who Sold the World”) to 1980s-era jams (“Modern Love,” “China Girl,” “Let's Dance”) to 1995’s “I’m Afraid of Americans” (to which I can relate now more than ever). Be forewarned: There’s little in the way of “deep cuts” (unless you’re a closet fan of “Blue Jean”). The $125 ticket includes admission, an appetizer, entrée, dessert, a glass of champagne, and party favors. LEILANI POLK
($90/$125)

Nordic New Year's Eve
The Swedish Cultural Center invites you to a night of local and Scandinavian music with three floors of dancing to the tunes of Rat City Brass, Buttdial, and the Disco Cowboys. Champagne, favors, Swedish ginger snaps, and a view of the fireworks included. For $50, enjoy an authentic Scandinavian feast crafted by Swedish chef Erik Johansson. 
($40/$50)

NYE Masquerade 2017
Ring in 2018 with a massive Aston Manor masquerade dance party worthy of royalty, soundtracked by resident DJ Mykzilla, with VIP packages and bottle service. 
($40-$70)

Shelley and the Curves New Year's Eve Party
Shelley & the Curves will host their annual New Year's Eve party at the Best Western with live pop and rock classics, preceded by a prime rib and salmon dinner "with all the trimmings," and complete with a champagne toast at midnight and a view of the Space Needle's fireworks. 
($110)

SHINE NYE
Shine on, you crazy diamond, at the Kremwerk/Timbre Room complex with a New Year's Eve party dedicated to all things that shimmer, sparkle, and glitter. The music across three stages will run the gamut from underground house to techno to left-field hiphop and club music. Expect a strictly local affair behind the decks with the likes of Upper Left's Sean Majors, DoNormaal collaborator Luna God, and Jet's DJ Zai. Obligatory champagne toast at midnight, but with something no other club can match: Little Maria's Pizza open late for a party running until 5 a.m. VIP table service is also available. GREG SCRUGGS 
($45-$350)

Sin City NYE
Robbie Turner and the cast of Mx queens will help you fete the last night of 2017 at Queer/Bar with glitz and glitter, joined by Britney impersonator Derrick Berry and two ladies from RuPaul's Drag Race, Coco Montrese and Nebraska Thunderf*ck. Stay for the midnight champagne toast. VIPs get reserved seating, sparkling wine, coat check, and a meet and greet with the performers.
($20-$300)

Smith Tower Black and White Ball
Find a swanky black and white outfit to wear to this New Year's Eve ball, replete with views of the Space Needle's fireworks, live music from the Ed Littlefield Trio, and a midnight champagne toast.
($170)

SPECTRA: New Year’s Eve Under the Arches
You don't need to be a nerd to enjoy this opulent party at the museum, as long as you have a healthy appreciation for midnight fireworks—but it'll be best if you're a fan of science, the Laser Dome, drinking, dancing, and KEXP DJs. At midnight, watch the happy explosions from their nifty be-sculptured courtyard. VIPs get access to an open bar, snacks and desserts, a private lounge, champagne, and more. 
($85/$180)

Spirit of 76 New Year's Eve Boat Party
Count down to the New Year with fellow boat partiers on the lit-up Spirit of 76 cruise ship, where you can see views of the Space Needle's fireworks display from Lake Washington. The VIP pass includes a reserved table and champagne.
($150/$400)

Under the Fireworks Yacht Party
Spirit of Seattle is hosting one of several boat parties where you can dance in your New Year's Eve best while drinking champagne and watching the Space Needle's fireworks display. 
($189/$199)

Wonderland New Year's Eve Celebration
This special edition of Can Can's Wonderland, a snowy chalet frolic with beautiful dancers, features a four-course menu for the earlier shows and a champagne toast with party favors for the 11 pm performance. 
($99/$155)

10 Foolproof Food Gifts

On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer and Vixen, on cheese samplers, on beer and fixins.

By Jaime Archer  12/15/2017 at 10:15am | Courtesy of SeattleMet.com 

Does your mind draw a complete blank when it comes to presents for your mother-in-law, work BFF, or mailman? Not to fear, food is the ultimate crowd-pleaser. From fancy gadgets to fish-filled gift boxes to cheesy treats, be prepared to conquer Christmas and check off everyone on your list.

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Joule

There’s your home cooks, and then there’s your adventurous dinner party-throwing friend who jumps headfirst into cooking trends. Perfect for them: A sous vide tool just as stylish as it is practical, sure to draw accolades at the aforementioned get-togethers. The newest rose gold edition of Joule, sold exclusively at Sur La Table, includes a subscription to ChefSteps Premium’s online cooking lessons and myriad recipes—two gifts in one! Sur La Table, $229.

Image: Courtesy Joule

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Snow Cap Winter Warmer Ale

Is it just a coincidence that Pyramid Brewing’s 22-ounce bottles are the perfect size for a stocking? We think not. Any beer-loving bro would beam upon receiving this brew crafted with roasted chocolate, caramel malts, and plenty of hops. For a little something extra, try the bourbon barrel-aged version. Use Pyramid’s site to track down the spot closest to you selling Snow Cap.

Image: Courtesy Pyramid Brewing Co.

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Mama Bear’s Whats-This-Here Sauce

Dads of the world, meet the new and improved Worcestershire sauce. Sprinkle some in your marinade or add a dash to your bloody mary just like they do at the Back Bar. And even if a little bottle of sauce seems like the ultimate dad gift, keep in mind that mother knows best (and knows how to make a mean secret sauce). E. Smith Mercantile, $16.

Image: Courtesy E. Smith Mercantile

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‘Pie & Whiskey: Writers Under the Influence of Butter and Booze’

Poetry, prose, and recipes all packed into one book—this one’s sure to please artsy friends who spend their days in bookstores and homey grandmas looking for pie recipes (and some entertaining stories to pass the time while the pie’s in the oven). Elliott Bay Book Company, $20.

Image: Courtesy Sasquatch Books

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Bitty Bowls

Every fancy kitchen à la HGTV needs a multitude of pretty little bowls for salt and spices and what have you. Enter CG Sculpture and Jewelry’s Bitty Bowls, made in Seattle from hand forged copper fused with glass. They even come with a small packet of Himalayan salt for peak Instagram vibes (which means even less work for you, last minute gift buyer). CG Sculpture and Jewelry, $62–$98.

Image: Sarah Flotard

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“World’s Best” Mac and Cheese Kit

Okay, so penne’s a little untraditional, but that’s what makes Beecher’s mac and cheese so world famous—it’s one of Oprah’s favorite things, mind you. Head down to Pike Place to pick up a kit (and watch some curds spin round and round), or have the whole thing shipped across the country, so even distant relatives can have a taste of Seattle. Kit includes 12 ounces of penne, Beecher’s Flagship and Just Jack cheeses, and the recipe. Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, $29.

Image: Courtesy Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

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Snack Tray

Transition directly from present opening to snacking with a tray of goodies: Mt. Townsend Creamery Cirrus camembert, mini rosemary croccantini crackers, smoked olives, uncured salami chock full of French herbs, and a knife to dig into that cheese. Grab all of them at a Cone and Steiner location, $63.

Image: Courtesy Cone and Steiner

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

One gift to rule them all, one gift to find them, one gift to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them. You get the gist—you really can’t go wrong with a bottle of wine. This cab hails from the Columbia Valley’s Browne Family Vineyards and has a whole slate of flavor notes, from black cherry to truffle oil to mint. Brown Family Vineyards, $35.

Image: Courtesy Browne Family Vineyards

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Herring Kit Gift Box

Nothing says Ballard better than a box of herring! Bring out the inner chef in your friend with this kit for herring spiced spread, which comes with ingredients as well as a recipe card from chefs Renee Erickson and Marie Rutherford. Inside find a can of herring from Sea Creatures, locally-sourced currants, a bag of Villa Jerada vadouvan spice mix, and Pedro Ximenez Sweet Vinegar. Sea Creatures, $35.

Image: Courtesy Sea Creatures

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Gray and Smoked Salted Caramels

Life’s like a box of chocolates—you never know what you’re gonna get. Or do you? Fran’s Chocolates delivers exactly what the doctor ordered in the form of dark and milk chocolate caramels finished with gray and smoked sea salts. Harvested off the coast of Brittany, this salt might be more of a world traveler than you. No shame in that, only more deliciousness. Fran’s Chocolates, $34 for 20 pieces.

Image: Courtesy Fran’s Chocolates

Where to Dine Out on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: 12 restaurants serving holiday feasts.

By Jaime Archer  12/12/2017 at 10:29am | Courtesy of Seattlemet.com

Hotel Sorrento certainly knows how to deck the halls, and how to serve up a proper Christmas buffet. IMAGE: COURTESY HOTEL SORRENTO

Hotel Sorrento certainly knows how to deck the halls, and how to serve up a proper Christmas buffet.

IMAGE: COURTESY HOTEL SORRENTO

Thanksgiving might be the ultimate culinary holiday, but Christmas is a close second. After all, can pumpkin pie really measure up to hot cocoa, eggnog, candy canes, andgingerbread men? Whether you’re dreaming of pillowy gnocchi, glazed ham, or the aforementioned sweet treats, these 12 spots guarantee a worthy Christmas meal without the scary cleanup job.

The Nest

Take a breather before the holiday madness begins by starting off Christmas Eve at the Nest’s Low Tea Up High. Delicate tea sandwiches—egg salad, cucumber, smoked trout, and a grown-up PF and J (peanut, foie, and jelly)—meet some not-so-delicate entertainment in the form of a naughty resident elf and an ugly holiday sweater contest. Prices a la carte; reservations not required.

Tarsan i Jane

Hey, even Christmas dinner compilations need a hint of Jewish tradition: Enter Tarsan i Jane’s Chinese-inspired Christmas Eve dinner, which boasts a whopping 10 courses guaranteed to leave you as full as Santa after a whole night of cookies. But this isn’t your usual Chinese dinner of Peking duck and potstickers—it’s Valencian Chinese fusion, with dishes like moo shu made from paella socarrat and then filled with Dungeness crab. Some traditions, however, are too good leave behind, like hot and sour soup and pork and eel dim sum. $150 per person, $95 optional beverage pairing; book online.

RN74

Does the thought of a traditional Christmas meal inspire a yawn? Then look to the French, or rather French brasserie RN74, which offers its entire a la carte menu as well as festive specials on Christmas Eve. To start, a salade artichaut (artichoke salad, but you knew that) with confit potatoes, shaved foie gras ribbons, and crispy chicken skins. Then make way for the star of the show—a roasted garlic and rosemary prime rib roast served with anna potatoes. Prices a la carte; call 206-456-7474 for reservations or book online.

Agrodolce

Agrodolce counts down to the big event with an all-day Christmas Eve affair, starting with a three-course brunch of classic bites with an Italian twist. Then comes the main event: the Feast of the Fishes, available as both a five-course and seven-course dinner. James Beard-award winning chef Maria Hines and executive chef Abby Canfield will team up and dish out (no surprise here) a heck of a lot of fish, from steamed shellfish stew to squid ink spaghetti. For dessert? Sicilian cookies—leave some for Santa if you don’t polish them off on your own. $35 per person for brunch, $70 per person for five courses, $90 per person for seven courses; call 206-547-9707 for reservations or book online.

Belltown Brewing

Who said breweries can’t join in on the holiday fun? Belltown Brewing keeps its doors open all day on Christmas Eve to offer up a traditional holiday meal (and some festive brews to boot). A glazed ham is joined by roasted red potatoes, honeyed brussels sprouts, and a side of cranberry-pear chutney. Dessert takes the form of rich chocolate pot au creme, the perfect accompaniment to a pint of Mexican Chocolate Stout. $25 per person; call 206-485-7233 reservations or book online.

Local 360

Camp out all day at Local 360 for a Christmas Eve chock full of food—the perfect excuse to avoid your grandmother’s fruitcake. The day kicks off with the restaurant’s famous brunch, with favorites such as their veggie scramble, corned beef hash, or—the pièce de résistance—fried chicken and waffles with maple pepper jelly. Come dinnertime the cafe will roll out a three-course tasting menu: pork rillette with chicory, apples, and hazelnuts; mayocoba bean cassoulet with rabbit and duck; and a cranberry pavlova if you still have room for dessert. $49 per person for tasting menu, $16 optional wine pairing; call 206-650-2577 for reservations or book online.

Tilth

Throw aside notions of homey food and go full-on indulgent for Christmas Eve thanks to chef Maria Hines and Tilth’s Joel Panlilio, who offer a four-course meal at the Wallingford restaurant. The highlights: kumamoto oysters; decadent poultry dishes like duck rillette and spice-rubbed quail; cioppino, a seafood stew packed with king crab, scallops, and arctic char; and slow-roasted lamb. $95 per person; call 206-633-0801 for reservations or book online.

Lark

Continuing the theme of not-so-traditional dinners, Lark’s annual three-course Christmas Eve feast marries appetizers like Stellar Bay oysters and foie gras pave with beef Wellington, poached black cod, or ricotta and chard cannelloni. Top it off with a Japanese cheesecake, banana coconut milkshake (if you’re channeling some Mele Kalikimaka vibes), or a gooey chocolate fudge brownie loaded with whipped peanut butter mascarpone and bourbon caramel. An added bonus: If you’re scrambling for a last-minute gift, pick up one of Lark’s three gift packages at the end of your meal and put your worries (and appetite) to bed. $75 per person, $35 optional wine pairing; call 206-323-5275 for reservations or book online.

Lost Lake Cafe

Looking to avoid cooking on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? Lucky for us, Lost Lake Cafe is open both days and serving up a feast, from 4–10pm on December 24 and from 10–10 on the actual holiday. A very Christmas-y three-course meal meets a merry cocktail menu featuring mulled wine and a cranberry gin and tonic. As for the grub, choose between a turkey or prime rib dinner, or screw it all and order pumpkin ravioli. Nobody said pasta can’t be festive. Prices a la carte; call 206-323-5678 for reservations.

Ray’s Boathouse and Cafe

For you casual diners out there, Ray’s Cafe has you covered on the 24th and 25th with specials like surf and turf and king crab cioppino as well as a selection of restaurant’s most popular dishes. If you’re looking for a more elevated three-course menu, however, the Boathouse will be open 2–8pm both days serving seafood-focused appetizers, a jicama cucumber salad as well as prime rib, applewood grilled king salmon, and Alaskan halibut. Save room for dessert or risk major FOMO—Ray’s will have a choice of vanilla creme brulee, chocolate caramel bread pudding, or ice cream. $60 per person for three-course menu; call 206-789-3770 for reservations or book online.

Dunbar Room

If you’ve got kids in tow or an oversized family that can’t seem to pick a place, Hotel Sorrento’s Christmas Day buffet offers up a remedy. Six sides—including crowd-pleasing mashed potatoes and pesto gnocchi—meet a carving station serving up prime rib, cedar plank salmon, and ham. Don’t be surprised if certain relatives hit the dessert station twice—we all need a little more apple tart and tiramisu in our lives. $77 per adult; call 206-343-6156 for reservations or book online.

Goldfinch Tavern

Head downtown and loosen your belt in preparation for Goldfinch Tavern’s four-course Christmas feast. Appetizers are family-style, with options like smoked mackerel, caviar deviled eggs, and grilled king crab. Then conquer the entree list, which has everything from broiled lobster to white truffle ravioli. Desserts like a ginger tangerine verrine and pistachio pain de genes embody Noël, but there’s no shame in embracing American Christmas via peppermint cheesecake. You do you. $125 per adult, $45 optional wine pairing; call 206-749-7070 for reservations.

19 Events Where You Can Make Gingerbread Houses, Wreaths, and Other Holiday Crafts in Seattle in December 2017

You can make your own wreath while drinking craft beers with Sound Excursions on December 12—or check out other wreath-making events in Ballard, Capitol Hill, or Woodinville. SOUND EXCURSIONS

You can make your own wreath while drinking craft beers with Sound Excursions on December 12—or check out other wreath-making events in BallardCapitol Hill, or Woodinville. SOUND EXCURSIONS

There are tons of places to find holiday gifts and festive food and drinks this season, but it can be even more fun to make those things yourself. This month, there's an abundance of opportunities to fill your days with crafting and cooking. We've compiled them all below from a latke and rugelach class to a Glass Snowman Workshop, and from a holiday cocktail class to the Gingerbread Stomp.

DECEMBER 7

Winter Yarn Wallhangings with Sara Ewalt
Multimedia and installation artist Sara Ewalt will lead a workshop on festive winter yarn wallhangings. Learn to form classic knots, create a composition on a form, and take home your cozy creation. While you work, sip a cocktail from E. Smith.

DECEMBER 9

Glass Snowman Workshop
Build a snow person that won't melt in the sun at this holiday glassblowing workshop. Participants can enjoy seasonal drinks and snacks while they make their work of art.

Holiday Craftapalooza
Make gift tags, wrapping paper, snowflakes, and more to support the free community programming provided by SeattleRecreative. Make gift tags, wrapping paper, snowflakes, and more to support the free community programming provided by SeattleRecreative. They add, "There will be an activity for younger kids in our Paint Playground area and one for older kids, adults, and supervised younger kids in our Makerspace."

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Headdress Workshop
If you're panicking about what to wear to Fremont's Feast of the Winter Solstice, attend these workshops to construct a lavish headdress.

DECEMBER 10

Holiday Cookie Decorating
For this hands-on class, Hot Stove Society's Sous Chef Lexi will show you how to make sugar cookie dough and ginger-molasses dough and how to roll and cut cookies. You'll also learn how to make royal icing and use it to decorate your cookies, along with sparkly colored sugars and sprinkles. There will be a lunch of Beecher's grilled cheese and Tom Douglas's tomato soup as a break from all the sugar, and you'll go home with a box of beautiful cookies. 
Sold out online

Julestue
Celebrate the holidays the Danish way by making flettede julehjerter og stjerner (woven hearts and stars), eating appelsiner med nelliker (oranges with cloves), dancing around a Christmas tree, and visiting Julemanden (Santa). While kids enjoy sweets, adults can sip gløgg, a delicious and festive mulled wine.

The Pantry Wreath Making
The class for all experience levels is sold out, but wreath making pros can still make it to the advanced class with the Pantry's Renée Beaudoin, who will show you how to weave a winter wreath with aplomb. Students will also learn about the history behind wreath making and how best to weave with fresh cuts of evergreen, holly, rosemary, rose hips, ivy, and other winter bounty from the Northwest.

Watercolor Gift Tag Demonstration
Seattle-based mixed media artist Grace Rajendran will lead a demonstration on custom watercolor gift tags to make your holiday offerings extra personal.

DECEMBER 12

Annual Latke Cook-Off
For the first day of Hanukkah, you can participate in this competition as a latke chef putting your crispy fried potato pancakes to the test or a judge who must sample all of the recipes to determine the tastiest one (tough gig). Or just show up and enjoy platefuls of delicious latkes.

Wreath Making and Beer Tasting
Craft a festive wreath out of eucalyptus, holly, and pepperberry while drinking three different Redhook craft beers.

DECEMBER 13

Holiday Cocktail Class
The mixologists of Four Seasons Hotel Seattle & Goldfinch Tavern’s bar program will teach you how to make three seasonal cocktails with a hands-on demonstration and tasting. 
Sold out online

Lunch Club: Crisp, Golden Potato Pancakes
Make your lunch break much more fulfilling and productive by learning how to make crisp, lacy latkes and rugelach cookies with Tom Douglas co-author, Shelley Lance.

West Seattle Gingerbread Decorating
Unadorned gingerbread houses are patiently awaiting being beautified with gumdrops, icing, and other sweets. Do the honors at this family decorating event.

DECEMBER 14

Guilty Holiday Pleasures/Gift Market/Wreath Workshop
Celebrate the season, Capitol Hill-style! Mama Tits's drag carolers and a Bad Santa will enliven your holiday shopping, and there will be chestnuts to eat, hot drinks to sip, and a big Christmas tree. Brita Fisher will also lead a holiday wreath workshop.

DECEMBER 15

Ballard Gingerbread Jubilee
In addition to milk carton gingerbread house building, this annual community affair will also have a live performance by tots from Sweet Pea Cottage Preschool of the Arts.

DECEMBER 16

Holiday Drinks That Don't Suck
Learn how to craft non-subpar mixed drinks from Paul Clarke, editor of Imbibe magazine. The class also promises to include a dash of "bartending 101 technique" so you can brush up on your hospitality skills. This is also a great time to check out Rob Roy's very festive Miracle on 2nd Pop-Up.

DECEMBER 17

Gingerbread Stomp
Gingerbread houses don't last for long, and art is ephemeral. The winner of this gingerbread house-decorating contest will get to stomp the gingerbread village into dust.

Wreath Making and Wine Tasting in Woodinville
Make a holiday wreath the right way: by intermittently tasting wines from Beaumont Cellars. Participants will enjoy a glass of wine before beginning the process of building a wreath (using noble fir, pine, and juniper as a base). They'll also taste four other wines throughout the session.

DECEMBER 19

Adult Gingerbread House Decorating Happy Hour
Deck out your own gingerbread house with frosting and toppings while you enjoy popcorn and happy hour specials at the cash bar. The winning gingerbread house will receive a $40 gift card for Goldfinch Tavern.
Sold out online

Brunch with Santa at the Sugar Factory

By Shelby Rowe Moyer | November 30, 2017 | Courtesy of 425magazine.com

Photo Courtesy of the Sugar Factory

Photo Courtesy of the Sugar Factory

t’s a magical time of year filled with the sweet scent of Evergreens and shiny glass ornaments, and the Sugar Factory at The Bravern is no exception. The newly-minted Bellevue restaurant has a touch of holiday cheer tucked in every corner, but the highlight of the festive season will certainly be a special brunch with Santa.

On Dec. 2 and 9, Jolly Old Saint Nick is taking a break from Christmas preparations to spread some joy. From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. guests can indulge in a elegantly curated brunch with signature cocktails and alcohol-free libations. With options like a stack of Sugar Factory pancakes, French toast, a signature burger and so much more, you can’t go wrong.

Santa will be taking photos, and complimentary valet parking and a gift bag will be offered. Tickets are $39 per adult and $29 per child. To make reservations call the Sugar Factor at 425-454-0313.  Staff will accept credit card information to pre-pay for brunch.

Holiday DIY: 25 Ideas for Make-Your-Own Decor and Gifts

We show you how to create cute and clever Christmas and Hanukkah gifts, ornaments, wreaths and more

By Laura Gaskill   |  Courtesy of Houzz.com

Getting the crafting bug? Embrace your creative side by choosing a few doable projects to make and give. From gift wrap and advent calendars to decor and gifts, here are 25 easy and creative ideas to try this holiday season.

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Creative Ways to Count Down the Days

Mini advent village. A tiny town of boxes filled with little treasures will enchant children and adults alike as you count down the days till Christmas.

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Hanging Hanukkah calendar. Celebrate the eight nights of Hanukkah with a small gift to open after lighting the menorah. This wall hanging uses boxes wrapped in paper stamped with an olive branch motif (symbolizing peace) using an easy potato-print stamping technique.

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Paper advent garland. You can whip up this advent calendar in a matter of minutes: Simply tie small paper gift bags with ribbon of varying lengths to a branch, and label each bag with a numbered tag. Embellish the branch with colorful string or paint if you wish, and hang it from the mantle or on the wall.

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Rustic advent wall hanging. If you have a sewing machine, consider stitching up an advent calendar that can be reused from year to year. The one shown here uses nubby linen for a rustic look, with numbers stenciled onto the pockets with fabric paint.

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DIY Gifts to Make in Multiples

Teacup candles. Vintage mismatched teacups, pretty little bowls, ramekins — you can use just about any sort of container you want for this project. You’ll need a few simple ingredients that can be ordered online (soy wax flakes, wicks, essential oils) or found in a well-stocked crafts store, and in an afternoon you can create enough lovely scented candles to give to everyone on your list.

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Winter bulb gifts. Keep supplies for these cute paper-wrapped bulbs on hand and you’ll never have to scramble for a hostess gift again. These also make a thoughtful small gift for neighbors, teachers and anyone else you’d like to thank.
 

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Dip-dyed baskets. Take a plain store-bought basket for a swim in paint and transform it into a piece of on-trend home decor that any friend on your list would love. For bonus points, use the dip-dyed baskets to hold a collection of goodies, like treats for the kitchen or bath.

Gifts from the kitchen. Seasonal loaf cakes and cookies are holiday favorites and for good reason — the recipients love them, and they’re easy to make in multiples. But if you don’t enjoy baking, don’t let that stop you from whipping up tasty treats from your kitchen to give as gifts. Instead, consider jars of homemade granola (still technically baking, but super easy) or your own special hot cocoa mix delivered with marshmallows and a wooden spoon.

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Handmade Ornaments

Handpainted wood slice ornaments. Wood slices are available online and at most crafts stores, or (for those handy with a saw) they can be created from fallen branches in your own backyard. Paint a simple design (a tree or star) or word (noeljoy) on the wood with white craft paint, and drill a hole for hanging. 

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Clay cookie-cutter ornaments. These ornaments have a Scandinavian simplicity that looks beautiful on the tree or as embellishments on gifts. White air-dry clay (available at most crafts stores) is easy to work with — simply roll out and cut just as you would cookie dough. Use a straw to poke a round hole for a string through the top, and let dry on waxed paper.

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Fill-your-own ornament. Clear glass ornaments ready to be filled are available by the boxful at most crafts stores during the holidays. You can fill them with just about anything — feathers, confetti, pompoms and glitter work well. If you’re feeling more ambitious, create a miniature piece of paper-cut art using a template (and some careful work with a craft knife) and pop it inside for a winter wonderland effect. 

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Felt ornaments. Wool felt is a lovely material to work with, and these ornaments couldn’t be easier. Use a simple template (a tree or star cookie cutter would work well) to trace and cut out shapes from a piece of felt. Thread a loop through the top using embroidery floss or twine, and slide a wooden bead onto the loop as a finishing touch.

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Wreaths and Decor

Natural wreath. Using a wire wreath form and a bundle of foliage sprigs (either purchased at a florist or gathered from your yard), create your own festive seasonal wreath to adorn your door all winter long.
 

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Votive luminaries. A quick wrap with corrugated paper and a few punches with a decorative hole punch and you can transform plain votive candles (or even candles in recycled jars) into festive lighting for your next holiday party.

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Citrus menorah. Looking for something a little different to adorn your Hanukkah table this year? Consider this quick, easy (and totally natural) DIY menorah created from fresh oranges and limes. As the candles heat, the citrus will release their delicious scents — and if you need to perk up the menorah, it’s as simple as cutting a fresh piece of fruit.

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Rustic holiday card display. This easy holiday card display is super quick to set up: Simply hang a length of chicken wire from the wall and use clothespins to attach holiday cards. Done!

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Ornament tree. Branches, either foraged from your yard or picked up from the florist, make a lovely and long-lasting seasonal display when placed in a glass vessel and adorned with ornaments. If your arrangement seems top-heavy, partially fill the vase with hard candies to weight it down.

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Chalk-paint planter. Make over a plain planter with a coat of chalkboard paint, and write a holiday message on it with white chalk pen. Plant a tiny living Christmas tree inside for a fresh display that will cheer up your room all season long.

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Holiday backdrop. With a little paint, a board (or even a large piece of paper) can be transformed into a backdrop perfect for holiday photographs. If using a board, paint it white and allow it to dry. Then use a stamp with a wintry motif to print a repeating pattern in black. A small board can work as wall art or as an accent behind interior vignettes, as seen here, while a larger board, paper or canvas can be used as a smile-booth background during a holiday party or for family photos.

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Candy trees. If your taste for holiday table settings runs toward the fun and over-the-top, consider this easy candy DIY for your next party. Pick up a few foam cones of varying heights from the crafts store and use dabs of royal icing to completely cover them with rows of hard candies and peppermints. Position the cones down the center of the table and fill in with swags of greenery.

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Cloche decor. A glass cloche can transform the simplest holiday decor into a statement. Fill yours with gold or silver ornaments; a strand of twinkling lights; pinecones; or vintage bottlebrush trees, fake snow and deer figurines.

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Gift-Wrapping Ideas

Recycled-fabric gift wrap. Not only is fabric gift wrap environmentally friendly and economical, it’s also the easiest way to wrap oddly shaped gifts. If you sew, this is a great way to use up fabric scraps from your stash. But if you don’t have a fabric stash, you can still do this — a single pretty (but worn-out) sheet from the thrift store can yield tons of gift wrap.

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Potato stamp gift wrap. Potato stamps are simple to make, and a big hit with kids. Carve a simple design into a raw potato and use it to stamp your motif onto brown kraft paper to create your own gift wrap.

Silhouette art gift wrap. This elegant gift adornment takes some time but makes a big impression — use it to make a special gift even more so. Start by taking a photo of your subject side-on. Next, print the picture on card stock and cut around the silhouette. Once you have your silhouette template, you can save it and use it many times.

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Photo-embellished gifts. Create a gift adornment and tag in one by affixing a photo of the gift recipient to the front of the package. Black-and-white photos printed on card stock look simple and elegant, and they’re less expensive to print than full-color photos on glossy paper.

The Ultimate Seattle Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Finding the perfect holiday gift isn't easy. Fortunately, we can help.

BY: NIA MARTIN & MARIANNE HALE | FROM THE PRINT EDITION | DECEMBER 2017 
 SEATTLEMAG.COM

Image Credit: Hayley Young The right gifts for outdoor enthusiasts, artsy urbanites and everyone in between.

Image Credit: Hayley Young

The right gifts for outdoor enthusiasts, artsy urbanites and everyone in between.

It’s that time of year again when we pause to write cards and wrap special somethings for special someones in sparkly paper and ribbons. There are a million gifts out there to choose from and, sure, it’s the thought that counts, but taking the time to select the right gift for the right person is truly thoughtful.

Without further ado, here’s our 2017 picks to guide you through the shopping bustle.

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What a Card
Holiday selections from Seattle stationery shops we love

1. Paper Delights. Two locations, including Wallingford2205 N 45th St.; 206.547.1002.

2. Paper HammerDowntown, 1400 Second Ave.; 206.682.3820.

3. Pike Street PressDowntown, 1510 Alaskan Way; 206.971.0120.

4. Farewell PaperieGeorgetown, 5628 Airport Way S, Suite 170; 360.930.9858.

5. Dahlia Press. Eastlake, 2917 Fuhrman Ave. E; 206.552.9447.

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Out & About
For the outdoorsy types

1. Perfect for work or weekends away, SoDo-based Filson’s 48-Hour Duffel bag ($475) can carry you through rain or shine thanks to its rain-repellent tin cloth exterior, rust-proof zippers and durable bridle leather. Wayward, two locations including Bellevue, Bellevue Square, 238 Bellevue Way NE; 425.230.4740.

2. The waterproof Freeman jacket ($325) is the gift that keeps giving in our drizzly city. The men’s trim-fit, flannel-lined, locally made outerwear comes in a few hues as well as a Lady Freeman version. FreemanCapitol Hill, 713 Broadway E; 206.327.9932.

3. Electrify your spin class with these bright yellow Rapha Reflective Climber’s Shoes ($400). Made from reflective material, they’re highly visible, and dare we say, hella stylish to boot. Rapha SeattleCapitol Hill, 301 E Pine St.; 206.420.1810. 

4. From Seattle publisher Sasquatch Books, Curious Kids Nature Guide ($19.99) explores the wonders of our Pacific Northwest playground with fun facts and illustrations that will have little adventurers itching to get outdoors. Available at area bookstores including The Elliott Bay Book CompanyCapitol Hill, 1521 10th Ave; 206.624.6600.

5. Oiselle’s Runner Trucker hat ($30) is a fit pick for the female athlete. Made of moisture-wicking mesh with an easy-to-pack, foldable bill, this sporty trucker features nature photography by Olympian track star Sarah Attar and is available at their Seattle flagship store. OiselleUniversity Village, 2632 NE University Village St.; 206.523.1091.

6. The Nikon Monarch 5 8x42 Binoculars ($300) offer a large field of vision, and this pair from Seattle Audubon Society works for newbies and seasoned bird-watchers alike. Wedgwood, 8050 35th Ave.; 206.523.4483.

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In Good Taste
For lovers of food and drink

1. Craft cocktail fans can take refined sips from these one-of-a-kind vintage Baccarat coupe glasses ($110/glass), available at Seattle-based Watson Kennedy Fine Home, which regularly stocks drinkware from the storied French crystal house. Downtown, 1022 First Ave.; 206.652.8350.

2. If you’re looking for something truly out of this world with the ingredient of the moment, try Moon Goo caramel sauce ($18), with activated charcoal from Frankie & Jo’s, local makers of plant-based ice cream. Incorporate the caramel confection into batters for cakes and brownies, or simply drizzle it over ice cream. Capitol Hill, 1010 E Union St.; 206.257.1676.

3. This restaurant-quality, custom stainless-steel Gatsby steak knife ($125) from award-winning chef Jason Wilson’s newly opened dining hot spot, The Lakehouse, is made in partnership with Bradford Knives. The Lakehouse, Bellevue, Lincoln Square South, 10455 NE Fifth Place; 425.454.7076 (also available at Wilson’s Miller’s Guild restaurant downtown).

4. Soothe a sweet tooth with Jcoco’s chocolate tasting flights ($13/trio of 3-ounce bars), a select line of bars by local company, Seattle Chocolates. Sample cacaos from different South American countries, with varying cacao percentages or levels of milk and cocoa butter. Seattle ChocolatesSouthcenter, 1180 Andover Park W; 877.427.7915.

5. An appropriate present for a foodie and entertainer, these hand-forged, hammer-pinged copper CG Sculpture and Jewelry Disco Spoons ($25), by Seattle artist Catherine Grisez, lets you add that perfect dash of spice or mix a cocktail with sophistication.

6. Crack open a local lager in style with this Mount Rainier Topographic Bottle Opener by SML, a local husband-and-wife design duo. Each wall-mountable piece is laser-etched from unique woods (shown here in Douglas fir). The Handmade Showroomdowntown, Pacific Place, 600 Pine St., No. 301; 206.623.0504.

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Sparkle & Shine
For those who want a little extra shimmer

1. Keep it fun and make a statement with these Arc + Line Earrings ($112.95) in silver and brass by Portland designer, Natalie Joy. Available, along with several other exclusive designs, at Velouria, Pioneer Square, 145 S King St.; 206.788.0330.

2. Seattle jewelry maker, Rebekah J. Design’s two-toned Londey bracelet ($66) combines a silver bangle with a brass top for a versatile, minimalist-chic accessory for fashion-forward friends and family.

3. The Hugo Boss Grand Prix watch ($295) comes in a few styles of band, including a sporty perforated tan leather and a sleek silver bracelet. Nordstrom, multiple locations including downtown, 500 Pine St., Suite 500; 206.628.2111.

4. These Deakin and Francis Sterling Silver Oval Cufflinks ($220) marry modern design with practiced craftsmanship. Alvin Goldfarb JewelerBellevue, 305 Bellevue Way NE; 425.454.9393.

5. Seattle-based Allison Claire’s Micropavé Dubs Up diamond ring ($1,109–$1,104) in 14K gold with .363 total carat weight is an elegant way to show off your school spirit.

6. Baleen’s geometric, handmade Beam Necklace ($48), with a silicon orb-like bead, will leave your gift recipient beaming as well. Shown in navy (also available in black or white) from the Ballard-based shop and studio. Ballard, 6418 20th Ave. NW. 

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Design Minded
For the artsy crowd

1. These hand-cut, 100 percent wool Northwest-chic The Peaks Mountain Pillows by Three Bad Seeds, based in Washington, are available in various sizes ($65–$90) from Join Shop (by the Join Design collective), which carries a bevy of creative gifts for the home. The pillows combine the likeness of nature’s breathtaking design with cozy softness, lending warmth to any room during a Seattle winter. South Lake Union, 400 Fairview Ave. N, No. 102.

2. Forget sand rakes and stress balls, ponder your next big idea while fiddling with Portland-based Ekko’s laser-cut Elliptical Desktop Mobile ($63). Seattle Art Museum Shop, downtown, 1300 First Ave.; 206.654.3120.

3. These limited-quantity scarves are more than just neck dressing, they’re actual works of art. Seattle-based Italian artist Carlo Scanagatta’s Scomposta Rampante scarf ($385) comes printed on soft modal and cashmere fabric. Available at a few locations including Margaret O’Leary, University Village, 2609 NE University Village St.; 206.729.5934.

4. Known for her raw, sculptural aesthetic, Joanna Morgan’s brass dishes ($45–$115; 1.5–2 inches in diameter) are sweet and bijou, perfect for holding your tiniest treasures, and crafted in Morgan’s Pioneer Square studio.

5. Whether you’re 6 or 66, fling some natural beauty back into the environment with these handmade Hella slingshots ($39) designed from found tree branches by the San Francisco company. The accompanying colorful, earth-friendly Hella seed bomb ammo balls ($5.95/pack) include seeds from flowering plants such as snapdragon and catchfly. Prism, Ballard, 5208 Ballard Ave. NW; 206.402.4706.

6. We’re head over heels for these uniquely designed men’s Nike Air Max Woven boots ($200) at Likelihood (which carries a curated selection of both men’s and women’s stylish kicks). Capitol Hill, 1101 E Union St.; 206.257.0577.

One Size Fits All
For those who deserve more than a gift card

1. The Out-of-Town Relative. Aunt Judy couldn’t make it this year from Omaha? Bring the Northwest to her with these sweetly designed Oliotto tea towels ($20) made locally and available at area retailers, including home and accessories gem Click! Design That FitsWest Seattle, 4540 California Ave. SW; 206.328.9252.

2. Secret Santa. Blindly choosing a gift is tough, but in this town, chances are your recipient will have a little Seahawks spirit. These bright Posie Turner Be Twelve socks ($16.50), available in men’s and women’s sizes, are a safe bet from a favorite Seattle designer.

3. The Dog Lover’s Dog. The Seattle Barkery’s Pumpkin Pup Pies ($14 each, $25 for two) from the Treat Bar at Dogwood Playpark are sure to make canine tails wag. Lake City, 12568 33rd Ave. NE; 206.851.1549; (see website for traveling truck schedule).

4. The Coworker. Encourage your staffers to stop borrowing your pen with this nifty Apolis Transit Issue Fisher Space Pen ($28), which they’ll never want to lose (it writes upside down and underwater). From contemporary clothing and home goods store, GlasswingCapitol Hill, 1525 Melrose Ave.; 206.641.7646. 

5. The Teacher. They’ve given your kids the tools for success, so reward instructors with this adorable and versatile Kikkerland Animal Multi-tool ($20) from Flora and HenriPioneer Square, 401 First Ave. S; 206.749.9698.

6. The Traditionalist. Whether it’s grandma or your hipster niece, this clever set of The Letter Farmer’s Letter Topics writing prompts ($22) from their stationery truck are a letter writer’s dream—and they just might up your chances of getting real mail that isn’t a bill.

From left to right: Feller raincoat (Tereza Janakova), Not Monday cardigan (Darren Hendrix) and SCHAI Vita Snood (Charlie Shuck).

From left to right: Feller raincoat (Tereza Janakova), Not Monday cardigan (Darren Hendrix) and SCHAI Vita Snood (Charlie Shuck).

Fashion: Hers and His
For stylish men or women

Rain Gear
The “Queen Anne” waxed cotton and water-resistant trench ($495) by Seattle-based Feller adds a bit of cheer to the dreary season with a fresh floral pattern that compliments your best jeans and wellies.

Wrap Up
Seattle tee and sweater company Not Monday’s “The Weekend” cardigan ($350) is a dreamy blend of mercerized wool and cashmere that we can’t wait to fold ourselves into.

Neck Cozy
Designer and Seattleite Suk Chai of brand SCHAI offers polished, modern and versatile pieces for women, including this luxe alpaca “Vita Snood” ($295).

Photo by Angela Carlyle of Angela and Evan Photography

Photo by Angela Carlyle of Angela and Evan Photography

Dual Scent
What’s better than having one signature scent? Having two! Seattle area perfumier, Immortal Perfumes, has created romance in a bottle with the “Heathcliff & Catherine - Literary Lovers Set.” Heathcliff possesses darker notes of leather and chocolate, while Catherine’s notes are lighter with English Ivy and heather ($75).

Clockwise from top left: Photos courtesy of Tunellus, Dick's Drive-In Restaurants, Woolly and Sharply.

Clockwise from top left: Photos courtesy of Tunellus, Dick's Drive-In Restaurants, Woolly and Sharply.

Warm Up
Local brand Tunellus keeps things cozy and sophisticated with their speckled “Shawl Neck” cardigan ($99) available at Nordstrom. Multiple locations including downtown, 500 Pine St.; 206.628.2111

Seattleite Must
Guys, represent your favorite burger joint in a classic button down flannel ($39.99) that sports the orange and blue of Seattle establishment, Dick’s Drive-In.

Travel Time
A solid dopp kit is a must when traveling. Seattle company Sharply carries a number of quality goods for men, including this waxed canvas kit ($75) by Portland-based Wood & Faulk. Capitol Hill, 500 E Pike St.; 206.258.2881

In the Fold
Time to replace that velcro bill holder? Portland brand Woolly offers the sleek, handsewn leather “Landscape” wallet ($120) available at Seattle graphic design and apparel spot, Mystery MadeWest Seattle, 2727 California Ave. SW

Clockwise from top left: SheePals courtesy of Bergström Studios, Seattle Ballooning, Lenna Peterson rug (photo by Brandon Herrell) and The Stemmery (photo by Sarah Abare).

Clockwise from top left: SheePals courtesy of Bergström Studios, Seattle Ballooning, Lenna Peterson rug (photo by Brandon Herrell) and The Stemmery (photo by Sarah Abare).

Yours/Ours
Gifts for the special anybody in your life

Creature Feature
Sit back and put your feet up on these adorable Sheep Pals ($189) made from organic materials by Vashon-based artisans, Bergström Studios.

Up & Away
See Washington as you’ve never seen it before—from above! Choose from several gift certificate packages from Seattle Ballooning($275-$1150) and float above the treetops towards Mt. Rainier. Burien, 16247 8th Ave SW; 206.588.9788

Flower Power
Give the gift of natural beauty this season with a subscription to The Stemmery, which delivers to Seattle, Kirkland and Bellevue. Go big with an Olympic Blooms bouquet (price varies based on delivery and frequency), featuring locally and seasonally sourced flora. 

Fabulous Floor
Seattleite Lenna Petersen weaves her one-of-a-kind rugs ($400-$1100) from the looms in her dining room, creating colorful geometric pieces that are also on display at Seattle boutique, Jack Straw, through December.

O, Christmas Tree!

By Shelby Rowe Moyer | November 27, 2017 | Courtesy of 425magazine.com

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Evergreens are breathtaking year-round, but they’re arguably even more stately during the winter as we approach the holiday season. Our collection of Eastside Christmas tree farms offers the perfect destination for foraging through a variety of beautiful firs. You certainly won’t find any Charlie Brown trees here.

 

Trinity Tree Farm

The quaint 40-acre farm isn’t just a run-of-the-mill Christmas tree farm. It’s also a stunning backdrop for Pacific Northwest weddings, so you know you’re arriving at a picturesque location to pick out an equally beautiful tree. You can cut down a tree yourself or pick from their precut selection. Entertain your wee ones with train rides, and snap a photo next to the 1955 fire engine. Before you go, stop by the boutique for a quick gift. trinitytreefarm.com

 

Carnation Tree Farm

Two Norwegian immigrants from the late 1800s purchased a midsized farm and built a charming house in 1907 that’s now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Carnation Farm is a little slice of history that currently operates as a U-Cut Christmas Tree farm with a hearty selection of precut trees. Also available are handmade wreaths, cedar garland, swags, mistletoe, and holly. You’ll feel good about any purchases because the farm uses eco-friendly practices. Carnationcarnationtreefarm.com

 

Buttonwood Farm

Buttonwood Farm has a real community feel with a family-run operation and help from area high school students. Being 100 percent organic is a high priority for the owners, who are committed to keeping toxic sprays off the trees. If you aren’t partial to the heavy lifting that comes with cutting down a tree, pick out your favorite and let one of their friendly staff members do the work for you. Just let them know where you want it delivered! Redmond. buttonwoodfarm.com

 

Snow Valley Christmas Tree Farm

The Wick family wants to be part of your holiday tradition of sipping hot chocolate, taking in the smell of the Evergreens, and discovering this year’s family tree. Choose from a selection of 28,000 trees and six varieties — Noble, Grand, Frasier, Turkish, Nordmann, and Norway. And leave your gardening tools at home. At the farm, saws, mats, and twine are provided, and staff can help you harvest the tree, if you’d like. Duvall. snowvalleychristmastreefarm.com

Snowflake Lane Returns For 21st Year

By Joanna Kresge | November 22, 2017 | Courtesy of 425magazine.com 

Photo courtesy Snowflake Lane via Facebook

Photo courtesy Snowflake Lane via Facebook

nce you’ve gotten your fill of turkey and gravy, it’s time to don the ugly Christmas sweaters, deck the halls, and hang the stockings by the fire.

Bellevue also is ready to celebrate the holiday with its 21st annual Bellevue Magic Season Snowflake Lane which kicks off this Friday and runs nightly at 7 p.m. through Christmas Eve.

Following the opening night parade, guests also will be treated to the lighting of the 30-foot tree at the Bellevue Place Wintergarden with Jolly Saint Nick, himself. Attendees will also have the opportunity to have the photo taken with Santa and other Snowflake Lane Characters, enjoy hot chocolate and candy canes at Fonte Coffee, or visit Suite Restaurant and Lounge for piping hot butternut squash soup.

The nightly holiday parade has been expanded to run the entire distance between Northeast Fourth Street and Northeast Eighth Street to accommodate more spectators. For this reason, Bellevue visitors should expected increased traffic congestion in the downtown area as people gather for the festivities.

Visit Bellevue Magic Season and Snowflake Lane online for more information.

Check out our full list of holiday happenings here.

Who Needs Black Friday When Seattle's Small Business Saturday Deals Are This Good?

Shop local and save while skipping the Black Friday hysteria.

BY: NIA MARTIN | FROM THE PRINT EDITION |  | SEATTLEMAG.COM

Image Credit:  Meredith McKee Stock up on prints at Constellation and Co.

Image Credit: 

Meredith McKee

Stock up on prints at Constellation and Co.

Forget Black Friday. During Small Business Saturday (November 25), you’ll find stores offering exclusive promotions and discover that special something. Here’s what some of our favorite small shops are offering.

1. Sell Your Sole, which offers high-end consignment pieces (think Alexander McQueen and Prada), hosts the designers behind Seattle modern women’s wear brand Schai, Joanna Morgan Designs’ sculptural jewelry line and high-quality essentials by Mia Fioravanti. The meet-and-greet includes Champagne, macarons and fashion tips from a personal stylist. Belltown, 2121 First Ave., Suite 101; 206.443.2616

2. Browse contemporary, globally inspired housewares from design-minded Stock and Pantry, while enjoying complimentary bubbly and gift wrapping. Capitol Hill, 313 E Pine St.; 206.623.5555

Photograph by Bobby Arispe; Stock and Pantry

Photograph by Bobby Arispe; Stock and Pantry

3. Support female makers at minimalist home decor and nursery shop Miroja. Spend $25 or more at the storewide sale and enjoy a surprise gift. Ballard, 1417 NW 54th St.; 206.466.6393

Photograph by Hannah Garvin; Miroja

Photograph by Hannah Garvin; Miroja

4. Peruse a delightful selection of T-shirts, baseball caps and pins with vintage team logos, as well as the wool flannels that put Ebbets Field Flannels on the map, and enjoy a 20 percent discount on everything in store—including that Seattle Rainiers jersey. Pioneer Square, 108 S Jackson St.; 888.896.293

Photograph by Abigail Keenan; Ebbets Field Flannels

Photograph by Abigail Keenan; Ebbets Field Flannels

5. Specialty food and wine shop Hedge and Vine is offering complimentary tastings paired with a storewide 20 percent discount and free wine key with purchases of more than $50. Delicious. Bellevue, 10028 Main St.; 425.451.7872

6. Pick up your free stationery gift and get 10 percent off your purchase at Constellation and Co., where you’ll find beautiful paper goods handmade in its letterpress studio at the historic Fishermen’s Terminal. Interbay, 1900 W Nickerson St., No. 101; 206.453.4415

BONUS:

Meander into Rizom to check out sophisticated women’s wear and accessories by local and international designers, then wander up the spiral staircase to Pacific Standard Books and take in the dreamy collection of rare art, fashion and photography books. The two shops will offer discounts of 10–20 percent. Belltown, 2316 Second Ave.; 206.441.7541

The Past and Future of Seattle in Ridiculous Gingerbread Houses

Sheraton’s Seattle Gingerbread Village celebrates its 25th anniversary in a new location.

BY: MEGAN TOAL | Posted November 22, 2017 | Courest of Seattlemag.com

Image Credit: Sheraton Seattle

This is what happens when you let architects design gingerbread houses.

Since 1992, the Sheraton Seattle has held a competition for architecture firms, master builders and Sheraton’s culinary teams to build the best and most elaborate gingerbread displays. This year’s theme for the Sheraton Seattle's 25th annual Gingerbread Village is “25 Years of Cheer: A Celebration of Seattle.”

How do these talented gingerbread builders celebrate the Emerald City, you ask? By building glorious candy neighborhoods of Seattle from both 100 years ago and 100 years into the future.

Be awed by the rotating 360-degree gingerbread history of Seattle, featuring the Great Fire of 1889 and the famous buildings that rose from its ashes in the decades to come. Some builders chose to embody the seven hills of Seattle by building 1917 Seattle on a giant gingerbread hill, with St. James Cathedral perched on top and the docks in the Sound at the bottom, replete with candy otters and whales.

The gingerbread villages of Seattle neighborhoods in 2117 feature a broad variety of futuristic visions, from a city of bright flashing lights in one display to a space station in another. Be sure to see the other gingerbread displays with Seattle halfway underwater—look for the submerged Fremont troll and an attacking giant squid.

There is no cost to attend, but donations to Sheraton Seattle's Gingerbread Village benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Northwest Chapter. While previously held at the Sheraton Hotel, the Gingerbread Village is at City Centre this year as the Sheraton undergoes a renovation. Visit the displays now through January 1.

Sheraton’s Seattle Gingerbread Village
City Centre, 1420 Fifth Ave., at the Fifth and Sixth Avenue entrances

These Seattle Restaurants Are Open for Thanksgiving (Plus a Few To-Go Picks)

Cooking is hard. Leave it to the pros with these Thanksgiving restaurant options.

BY: ALEXANDRA HAUPT |  SEATTLEMAG.COM

Image Credit: bhofack2 Food tastes better when someone else prepares it.

Image Credit: bhofack2 Food tastes better when someone else prepares it.

Instead of trying to master your grandma’s stuffing and embarking on turkey-cooking misadventures, consider letting one of these Seattle restaurants do the work for you. There are plenty of fine establishments open for Thanksgiving, and even a few that will prep a takeout feast. Whether you’re looking for a traditional turkey dinner or a year off from the gravy-soaked carb load, we got you. 

North Seattle

Tilth
Seasonal American fare restaurant offers a prix fixe dinner, $85 per person. Dinner includes appetizers and entrée choice of roasted turkey breast, grass run rib-eye and field roast (vegetarian). Dessert options include pecan pie and pumpkin cashew-coconut cheesecake. 1411 N 45th St., Seattle; 206.633.0801; mariahinesrestaurants.com.

Agrodolce
Family-style Thanksgiving at the Southern Italian-inspired loft, reservations required. $70 per person ($30 children 13 and under). This six-dish affair is Thanksgiving dinner with an Italian spin; think sweet potato cavatelli and turkey breast involtini. Sicilian pear and olive oil cake for dessert. 709 N 35th St.; 206.547.9707; mariahinesrestaurants.com.

Capitol Hill and Madison Park

Hula Hula
Prix fixe dinner of Hawaiian-style Northwest fare, reservations recommended. $26 per person. Enjoy roasted smoked Northwest turkey with rosemary gravy, sausage-herb stuffing, creamy mashed Yukon Gold potatoes, crispy brussels sprouts, pineapple cranberry sauce and house-made Hawaiian sweet roll. Dessert is a house-made banana cream pumpkin pie. Karaoke will be held at 9 p.m. 1501 E Olive Way, Capitol Hill; 206.284.5003; hulahula.org.

Cafe Flora (vegetarian)
Four-course vegetarian menu, reservations recommended. $75 adults ($25 for kids). The menu also features vegan and gluten-free options, including spice apple parsnip soup with crispy brussels sprouts, roasted fennel and grilled Belgium endive salad, and creative veggie entree choices. Dessert includes pumpkin mouse or rustic apple galette. The kids menu includes carrots in a blanket, a garden salad, mini shepherd's pie and a pumpkin pie dessert. 2901 E Madison St., Madison Park; 206.325.9100; cafeflora.com.

South Lake Union

Daniel’s Broiler and Chandler's Crabhouse
Seafood-heavy four-course menu, served from noon to 8 p.m. $52 adults, $12 children 6-10, children 5 and under free. Begin with a seasonal relish tray, choice of signature soups or salads, and an entree of your choice: roast turkey breast, grilled king salmon or prime rib, all of which comes with traditional sides. For dessert choose a double scoop of Olympic Mountain Ice Cream with snicker doodle cookies or pumpkin pie with coffee and tea. Locations vary; 206.223.2722; schwartzbros.com.

Belltown

Local 360
Local and sustainable restaurant in the heart of Belltown is serving dinner for $39 per person. It includes roast turkey breast with confit legs, sides such as buttermilk biscuits and celery root puree, with pumpkin pie or chocolate hazelnut torte for dessert. 2234 1st Ave., Belltown; 206.441.9460; local360.org.

Belltown Brewing
Enjoy a beer lover’s Thanksgiving for $25 per person with a curated beer flight for $12. The menu includes butternut squash bisque, fire-roasted turkey breast, glazed brussles sprouts, house-made seeded pretzel stuffing, cranberry chutney and roasted garlic mashed potatoes with cider-sage gravy. Dessert is pumpkin cheesecake. 200 Bell St., Belltown; 206.485.7233; belltownbrewingseattle.com.

Shaker & Spear
The seafood restaurant created a special Thanksgiving menu ($30 per person). Thyme-roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry and gravy with dessert options including gingersnap pumpkin pie, apple crisp and more. The regular menu will also be available a la carte. 2000 2nd Ave., Belltown; 206.826.1700; shakerandspear.com.

Downtown

Wild Ginger
Enjoy an Asian-inspired Thanksgiving, reservations accepted. The menu features Malay-style roast turkey, wok-fried brussels sprouts, kabocha squash curry and sweet potato mash. Dessert is vanilla bean cheesecake. 1401 3rd Ave., downtown; 206.623.4450; wildginger.net.

Six Seven Restaurant & Lounge
The Edgewater Hotel offers a four-course menu, $75 per person from 12-8 p.m. Appetizers include foraged mushroom risotto, butternut squash and apple bisque, Dungeness crab cake, classic salads. Entree are roasted natural turkey, Roquefort-crusted beef filet, cedar plank king salmon, miso-glazed black cod and seasonal pappardelle. Dessert choices include traditional pumpkin pie, flourless chocolate torte and lemon ricotta cheesecake. 2411 Alaskan Way, downtown; 206.269.4575; edgewaterhotel.com.

RN74
French-inspired menu with traditional festive dishes, $75 per person with $40 optional wine pairing. The menu includes a variety of appetizers, such as Belgian endive and apple salad and sweet potato gnocchi. Entrees include roast heritage turkey, lobster, filet mignon and risotto. Dessert options are pumpkin pie, fall apple cobbler, mousse au chocolate. 1433 4th Ave. and Pike St., downtown; 206.456.7474; michaelmina.net.

Outlier
Enjoy a Thanksgiving menu at this recently renovated upscale restaurant offering Pacific Northwest and globally inspired dishes. $75 per person, $40 for kids 12 and under, $5 for kids 5 and under. Menu includes butternut squash and pear soup, wild mushroom bread pudding and turkey leg confit. Desserts include pumpkin cheesecake and cranberry crumble. 1101 4th Ave., downtown; 206.624.7755; outlierseattle.com.

Plum Bistro (vegetarian)
Choose from 3 different varieties of a prix fixe all vegan menu or order catering to go (reservations required, email holidays@plumbistro.com), $62-$67. Festive sides also available a la carte. Dessert options include pecan pie, gluten-free chocolate coconut cream pie, apple pomegranate and ginger pie, sweet potato pumpkin pie. 1419 12th Ave., downtown; 206.838.5333; plumbistro.com.

Frolik
Located on top of one of Seattle’s beloved boutique hotels, Frolick offers guests a Thanksgiving Day Feast, $65 for adults and $22 for kids 12 years of age and under. Entrées include herb and citrus butter roasted turkey, green bean casserole with fried shallots, rosemary cranberry sauce and an assortment of organic seasonal veggies. Dessert includes apple and golden raisin pie with toasted walnuts, vanilla ice cream and bourbon caramel sauce. 1415 5th Ave., downtown; 206.971.8015; destinationhotels.com.

Eastside 

Maggiano’s Little Lady (Bellevue)
Enjoy a four-course family-style meal at Maggiano's, $45 per person, $19 for ages 5-12. Carry out package serves five people for $225.00. The first course includes a complimentary bruschetta, then choice of salad, entree choice of traditional turkey breast made with giblet gravy and focaccia sausage stuffing, country-style ham and parmesan crusted tilapia, choice of Italian pasta. For dessert: pumpkin praline cheesecake, tiramisu, chocolate zuccotto cake or warm apple crostada. 10455 NE 8th St., Bellevue; 425.519.6480; maggianos.com.

The Lakehouse
Authentic Thanksgiving dinner, $70 per person, $45 for kids 12 and under. The menu offers small shared plates shared, such as twice-baked sun chokes and deviled eggs, unique salads and entree choices of classic roasted natural turkey, grilled prime rib. Dessert choices include pecan pie and creamy pumpkin pie. 10455 NE 5th Place, Bellevue; 425.454.7076; thelakehousebellevue.com.

Eques at Hyatt Regency
Seasonal buffet of Pacific Northwest favorites and traditional dishes, $50 for adults, $24 for children 5-12. 12-4 p.m. Reservations recommended. The feast includes a choice of three salads with assorted toppings, a variety of hot items including miso-orange salmon jasmine rice, cider brined chicken, sweet and whipped potatoes and green bean casserole. A carving station includes turkey and gravy, chorizo cornbread stuffing, herb roasted prime rib and mini brioche rolls. Beechers mac ‘n’ cheese is also offered, plus a variety of desserts. 900 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue; 425.698.4100; bellevue.regency.hyatt.com.

Thanksgiving To Go

Gourmondo's
Gourmet Thanksgiving meal, along with the favorite sides and dessert. Orders must be place online or by phone before Monday, Nov. 20 for pick up or delivery up to the Wednesday before the holiday. This package includes cider-basted turkey, turkey giblet gravy, a wild greens salad, parsnip apple bisque, creamy Yukon Gold mashers, savory sausage and date stuffing, roasted brussels sprouts, citrus and spice poached cranberries, fresh breads and rolls, spice roasted pumpkin pie. $45 per person, six-person minimum. 309 South Cloverdale St. Ste B3, Seattle, WA 98108, 206.587.0190; gourmondoco.com.

Out of Town

Tulalip Resort
Resort restaurants serving Thanksgiving dinner range from modern and sophisticated Blackfish Wild Salmon Grill to the casual Draft Sports Grill and Bar. Cedar's Cafe is offering a slow-roasted turkey, scratch-made turkey gravy and various traditional sides. The Eagle's buffet offers an all-day Thanksgiving feast from 9 a.m to 9 p.m. Prices vary. 10200 Quil Ceda Blvd, Tulalip; 360.716.7162; tulalipresortcasino.com.

Additional reporting by Megan Lamb.