When Western Washington gets beautiful weather, one of the best ways to enjoy it is a little outdoor dining. Here are three perfect spots, each with sensational food and views - one a splurge, a steal and a hidden gem. So whether you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion, in the mood for a dinner deal or maybe just find a secret hot spot, these restaurants will have something for everyone,
Our splurge is perched above Lake Washington in Kirkland. Bin on the lake boasts a beautiful outdoor patio with Mediterranean-influenced Northwest cuisine.
“We take the fantastic products and meats and fish that we’ve got around this region and treat them in a really classic way with some interesting Italian and Mediterranean flairs,” said Chef Dylan Giordan. “We’ve got a great rack of lamb that’s really special right now.”
What could be better than sipping one of bin’s 80 wines by the glass on the patio at sunset? Bin offers one-, three- and six-ounce pours so you can sample through a vast array of great wines with dinner.
If you want something that’s a little more budget friendly, but with equally great views, then you’ll love Agua Verde on Portage Bay in Seattle.
Order any one of the authentic Mexican dishes and watch boats go by from the patio. Or grab your own kayak or paddleboard downstairs at the paddle club.
“We just went kayaking for an hour in South Lake Union and floated around the houseboats and then afterwards your can come up and have a margarita,” said kayaker Michelle.
Don’t miss the three house made salsas and the mango quesadilla, an Agua Verde specialty.
Our hidden gen is Maximilien, a romantic French restaurant nestled inside one of Seattle’s most famous landmarks, the Pike Place Market.
I love that even though it’s in the market, Maximilien feels like a secret. There’s something very special about it, and the views are unparalleled. You can take in the ferries going by and you have a fabulous view of the Great Wheel.
Dean Sleeper and his wife Shelley had their rehearsal dinner at Maximilien, and Dean said he loves bringing their entire family here.
“Honestly, it is the very best deck that has the view of the bay outside of downtown Seattle,” he said. “You would come here to this deck even if the food wasn’t exquisite, and it is.”
As for what to order, don’t miss the mussels, since they are really one of Maximilien’s specialties. Penn Cove mussels are prepared in with Mariniere butter, white wine, shallots, garlic and finished with a dash of parsley.
I also recommend the French martini, with its hints of lime and pineapple, and don’t miss the Belgium Frites (or as I think of them, the best French fries in Seattle). They are seasoned to perfection and served with two savory dipping sauces.
bin on the lake is located at 1270 Carillon Point; Kirkland, WA 98003; www.binonthelake.com
Agua Verde Café & paddle Club are located at 1303 NE Boat Street; Seattle, WA 98105; www.aguaverde.com
Maximilien is located in Pike Place Market on the main floor between Don and Joe’s Meat the Market Spice shop just south of where they throw the fish. The address is 81A Pike Street; Seattle, WA 98101; www.maximilienrestaurant.com