Written by on February 24, 2010 in I Eat Seattle, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Near the Market
How I heard of this place: I first went to Etta’s with a couple of friends during the Dine Around Seattle (March) a few years ago. I’m pretty sure Tahirih picked the restaurant at the time. Later, I came to know about Tom Douglas and have enjoyed all of his restaurants since.
Type of cuisine: “American” with flair.
Ambiance: A step up from casual, where you may feel out of place in your flip flops and shorts, but would be completely comfortable in either jeans with a sweater or a suit and tie (after work). Darker interior with a very open-spaced bar and friendly staff.
What I ordered: It was our first time here for happy hour (4:00 – 6:00 p.m.) so we had to order a handful of items to share. The menu is different from what is posted online (at the time of writing). We ordered the crispy ling cod fish and chips (twice, in fact, as one ended up being just less than enough), Steven’s perfect mini crabcakes with lemon aioli, and an order of the crispy potato chips with blue cheese dip.
What I loved: The blue cheese dip was awesome, the fish perfectly and lightly fried, the fries delicate and perfectly salted, but surprisingly the winner for me tonight was the mini crabcakes. I am very picky with crabcakes and find that they are often flavored less with crab than with whatever else the chef has decided to add to it. But these were awesome; light, crisp around the edges, perfectly paired with the zing of a fresh lemon and creaminess of the mayo.
Why I loved it: The space is conducive to spending time with a friend catching up, without feeling pretentious, or having to listen to overbearing music, or being bombarded by visits from the wait-staff. Our meals were very fresh-tasting, made to order, and quick. The bartender was very personable and witty, which added to the experience. It is especially nice to be able to sit and enjoy your food without feeling like you’re being kicked out only to be replaced by another set of eager diners. My dining companion and I sat and enjoyed our conversation for well over two hours, comfortably, at ease, and with delicious food!
Cost: mid- to high ($8 for fish and chips, $6 for a plate of two mini crabcakes, $3 for the potato chips with blue cheese)

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