Reflecting back on this past year of eating, I realized two things: (1) nearly all of the new restaurants we tried in Seattle were somewhat disappointing, but (2) every restaurant we love continues to be as good as ever.
I told LaV that I can't put anything from Spinasse or Sitka & Spruce on my annual top 10 list anymore because they'd be guaranteed to make it each year, with amazing dishes like fuls medames with harissa and a mistakenly-ordered albacore tuna wowing us at S&S, and the spectacular simplicity of a single roasted leek, fontina fonduta and ligurian olive oil creating a moment of transcendence at Spinasse. Going on more than four years now, our experiences at both restaurants continue to be treasured moments.
Even though most of the memorable dishes of 2011 were from outside of Seattle, there were still some real gems that made it into the top 10 from local spots. Here they are, in no particular order: