9 more restaurant recommendations from Seattle Times critic Bethany Jean Clement

SHRINKING THE list of particularly amazing things I’ve eaten in 2022 to just under a dozen for my year-end restaurant story has been very difficult. (Yes, it’s only November, but my editors want this in your hands in time for the holiday meals.) In fact, the long version would include virtually everything on my Instagram in 2022 (minus, of course, the dishes I made me and the cats).

There just isn’t enough space and time to honor all the excellent food our city and region continually provide, which, really, is a big problem to have. But it’s guilt-inducing that the omissions in the coverage lean toward longtime favorites — it feels like taking beloved restaurants and the wonderful people who run and employ them for granted.

This year’s list should really, really include baccalà mantecato beignets à Bar del Corso (where chef Jerry Corso consistently prepares some of Seattle’s best Italian dishes), the chocolate malt of Voula Offshore Cafe (a fantastic dinner in a city sorely lacking in this department), the spring kakiage in Kamonegi (still serving Chef Mutsuko Soma’s wonderful handmade soba ni-hachi noodles and more), the magnificent passion fruit pandan cake at Bar Ba (an absurdly photogenic addition to the longtime menu of Vietnamese favourites), the chicken liver mousse served comically in a bright yellow Ricard ashtray at Sea Urchin (which has perhaps become as popular with French cuisine here as Le Pichet), and… I have to stop somewhere!?

OK, wait, one more – well, actually, three: if you’re in Bremerton and want some amazing quesabirria tacos, head straight to La Poblanita Tienda y Taqueria; in Seattle, try those of Carmelo Tacos in Hillcrest Market on Capitol Hill or on 12th Avenue near Seattle University; and in Yakima, Sunnyside or Pasco, head to the hot deli counters at Party foods.

Sorry, too, however, something/anything from the glorious dinner I had at Musang in February absolutely should have been included, plus congratulations to Chef Melissa Miranda for being named one of Food & Wine’s Top 11 New Chefs in America this year (fair!).

What a privilege to have so much grandeur all around. We are so lucky. Let’s eat and say thank you to our treasured places, old and new. Cheers, everyone!

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