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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Seafood, Italian
Upmarket restaurant

Sun–Thu 5:00pm–11:00pm
Fri–Sat 5:00pm–midnight

Features Date-friendly, good wines, veg-friendly
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


Capitol Hill
1550 15th Ave.
Seattle, WA
(206) 838-8080
Anchovies & Olives
The antidote to the city’s Fancy Seafood Fatigue Syndrome

Anchovies & Olives has all of restaurateur Ethan Stowell’s signatures: fresh seafood and pasta in small portions; a friendly, borderline precious, staff; excellent Italian wines and seafood pairings; and a casually sophisticated room that draws a hip (but not hipster) monied crowd and gangs of foodies. Anchovies & Olives serves the city’s most exciting and consistently delicious seafood menu.

Stowell’s strength is innovation within reason—dishes are always well balanced. And although the menu can reach as far out as fluke carpaccio in a pickled watermelon broth topped with a quenelle of avocado and sumptuously rich sea urchin tagliarini, most pleasures are much simpler than that (for example, tuna tartare with arugula and green apple). The Italian influence shows up often: mussels folded in with homemade pasta in a spicy red sauce; thin octopus with grilled Brussels sprouts and pesto. The all-Italian wine list is lovely, with only a few by-the-glass selections (as it should be).

Anchovies & Olives isn’t particularly fancy, but as one panelist put it, it’s a very “adult” room. Mood lighting softens the expanse of concrete (both in pillar and floor form). An overused design trick, the open kitchen, actually works well here as a focal point—especially since the large windows look out onto one of the Hill’s most uninspiring corners. That said, the pay parking lot across the street must yield some good people-watching.

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