“What the Fearless Critic books and apps have that UrbanSpoon and Yelp don’t is a complete lack of bullshit.”
“I’ve spent years driving around with Zagat...but I think I’ll replace it with this Fearless Critic guide.”
–Leslie Brenner,
Dallas Morning News
Fearless Critic restaurant review
Upmarket restaurant

Sun–Mon 10:30am–2:30pm
Tue–Sat 10:30am–2:30pm
Tue–Sat 5:00pm–10:00pm

Features Date-friendly, good wines, outdoor dining
Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards Visa, MC
Reservations Not accepted


Queen Anne
3131 Western Ave.
Seattle, WA
(206) 632-4602
Boat Street Café
Unpretentious, possibly romantic, and on the best-of-the-Northwest list

Some of our panelists are more enamored with Boat Street than others, but all can muster a hearty huzzah for its good, simple French-inflected fare. The simpler the dish, the better: duck breast on greens or roasted chicken with chicory polenta, dishes that might fall flat in lesser hands, are light but satisfying when in this kitchen’s watch.

More ambitious mains are sometimes less impressive, but appetizers and desserts get consistent praise. And Boat Street has one unusual and delightful gimmick: the chef is a pickling fiend. Order anything that includes pickled vegetables and fruits (from onions to fennel to figs and raisins), and prepare for a magical journey to the land of supertang.

The white-on-white dining room goes for “whimsical Northwest” rather than Fraaanch, with upside-down paper umbrellas and Christmas-light-entwined tree branches hanging from the ceiling. Despite being at the end of Western Avenue in a weird building, this is one of the most romantic restaurants in town. It’s a great first-date pick, cozy and intimate but not stuffy or too chi-chi.

And there’s plenty of premium booze to help keep the conversation going. Although there’s room for improvement on the Champagne side of things, Boat Street’s bar really knows how to make a Kir Royale. And there’s a long list of well-priced wines ranging from the Loire Valley to Provence and the Rhône.

Be the first to leave a comment…