Best Mainstage Theater

THE PARAMOUNT

(911 Pine, 682-1414)

The Paramount opened in 1928. It was designed by architect Marcus B. Priteca to be a silent

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Highbrow Town— Readers' Picks

Best Mainstage Theater

THE PARAMOUNT

(911 Pine, 682-1414)

The Paramount opened in 1928. It was designed by architect Marcus B. Priteca to be a silent movie and vaudeville venue. Priteca had previously built the Pantages in Los Angeles, the Pantages in Tacoma, and the "exotic" Pantages in Fresno, Calif. (They call the Fresno one exotic because it has more elaborate ornamentation than any other building in all of, well, Fresno.) Pantages is the last name of Alexander Pantages, who was actually named Pericles Pantages but who changed his name to Alexander out of self-grandiosity and a fondness for the Great. You know all this. You know that Priteca also built the Admiral Twin Theater in West Seattle, and that the Paramount—per the definition of the word and definitiveness of the votes—is supreme in rank, power, and authority; and that they do good plays there, and that people like a good play. C.F.

Second place: ACT (700 Union, 292-7676)

Best Fringe Theater

THEATER SCHMEATER

(1500 Summit, 324-5801)

Let's go out on a limb here and assume it's this Capitol Hill company's late-night stuff that brought in the votes: The entertainment of its later hours packs audiences in and qualifies as true cash cow fringe programming, resulting in rabid fans and, we'd hope, a healthy box office at the same time. Between its reverently staged re-creations of old Twilight Zone episodes and the cultlike following of Money & Run—creator Wayne S. Rawley's irreverent and deliriously silly homage to bad series TV—Schmeater has figured out how to give the people what they want. And it doesn't hurt to have a beer at intermission, now, does it? S.W.

Second place: Unexpected Productions (1428 Post Alley, 587-2414)

Best Place to See Classical Music

BENAROYA HALL

(Third and Union, 215-4747)

And considering what it cost the taxpayers, it should be. Some of the concert halls designed by acoustician Cyril Harris have not worked out all that well, but Seattle lucked out with the Benaroya: The sound is fuzzy and unfocused right in the middle of the main floor where the ticket prices top out, but up in the first and second bal- conies the music comes through clear and sweet, though without the long, long reverb time that marks the world's great halls. Third balcony's not quite as pristine, but considering the price, seats are a bargain. Benaroya doesn't work as well for solo recitals and vocalists as it does for full orchestra, and careless amplification can really screw up the sound. But all in all. . . . R.D.

Second place: Olympic Music Festival (527-8839)

Best Art Gallery

ROQ LA RUE

(2224 Second, 374-8977)

Have you ever had your eyeballs spanked? Belltown's Roq la Rue gallery is one big, colorful ode to low-brow, outsider art and its strange wonderfulness, where kitsch and gaudiness reign supreme. Tiki? Comic book art? Creepiness? Yes. Glass art? Landscapes? Normalcy? Probably not. Past Roq la Rue shows have starred lots o' tattoo art, Americana, hip-hop, and Mexi-kitsch. We love it. Obviously, lots of you do too. And they're about to move, again! Into a bigger space just a few blocks away. K.M.

Second place: Greg Kucera Gallery (212 Third Ave. S., 624-0770)

Best Place to Go on First Thursday

SEATTLE ART MUSEUM

(100 University, 654-3100)

Free is a very popular word, which may explain why Weekly readers are so enamored of SAM on First Thursdays: You can go to a Pioneer Square gallery without charge anytime, but on First Thursday you're actually saving $7 by going to the museum. But besides that bit of excitement, it's also a way to see masses of art indoors, which likely appeals to wimpy Seattle art lovers worried about walking in the rain. The museum isn't only appealing on the first Thursday of the month; the popular Thursday After Hours program offers a selection of live music, plus a bar and some of the best people-watching around, every single Thursday of the month. A.V.B.

Second place: Pioneer Square

Best Museum

SEATTLE ART MUSEUM

(100 University, 654-3100)

How popular is the Seattle Art Museum? So popular that on one recent Monday—the day universally known to museumgoers as a day of rest, of closure—a steady stream of would-be museum visitors continued to attempt entry, an average of about one every other minute during a single hour of late afternoon monitoring. Some aspirants confidently, brusquely wrenched on the unyielding door; most stopped short, looked quizzically at the posted hours, then let their shoulders sink. "Geez, nothing's open," was a typical comment. But while some of our city's guests departed crestfallen, more than one couple took the occasion to embrace, and even engage in a full-on make-out session in the shadow of Hammering Man. Such is the power of this institution to inform, involve, and inspire, even when its doors are locked. M.D.F.

Second place: Frye Art Museum (704 Terry, 622-9250)

Best Place to See a Foreign Film

HARVARD EXIT

(807 E. Roy, 323-8986)

There are a few places I would not want to spend the night alone. The Harvard Exit is one of them. Its 1925 edifice and furniture are fine during the day, but at night, when it's dark and quiet, they would be terrifying. And that's just the furniture. A midnight brush with the Harvard Exit ghost, rumored to be the spirit of a beautiful 1920s society woman, would make me lose my lunch, if not my bowel control. That's why you'll never catch me using the obscurely located rest rooms after the last show of the night—no, not me. I'm not about to get locked inside that scary-ass theater by some employee who wants to lock up early, no, siree. K.M.

Second place: Egyptian (801 E. Pine, 323-4978)

Best Bookstore

ELLIOTT BAY BOOK CO.

(101 S. Main, 624-6600)

Every week the Weekly publishes a calendar of local readings, and every week about half those readings take place in the same place. How Elliott Bay Book Co. came to be the foremost regional bookstore is astonishing, admirable, and somewhat anomalous. Or maybe it's not. It is the biggest local bookstore, after all, and at nearly 30 years old, probably the oldest (we're guessing), and it's staffed by extremely knowledgeable booksellers; and though Bailey/Coy and M. Coy and the University Bookstore and Twice Sold Tales all make wonderful efforts at providing personalized service and a customized selection, none of them make it as big a priority to attract important writers the way Elliott Bay does. C.F.

Second place: Barnes & Noble (everywhere, people)

Best Local Jazz Ensemble

ROOSEVELT HIGH SCHOOL

(1410 N.E. 66th, 729-3205)

Now this is the kind of consistent, continuous improvement that we can all aspire to: Three years ago the Roosevelt High School jazz band won third place in the Essentially Ellington competition in New York City; last year the band moved up to second place; this year the mighty Roughriders took home the championship, including a $2,000 check from judge Wynton Marsalis. Next year, who knows? Carnegie Hall? Replacing the NBC Orchestra? Their own Behind the Music? We'll have to wait on hearing the bandmembers' future plans, since they're spending July on tour in Europe, but don't be surprised if Seattle's favorite jazz cats start showing up more in the local clubs (even if they're not old enough to order a drink there). Music this swinging can't be contained in the band room. M.D.F.

Second place: Akdeniz

Best Fancy Restaurant

CANLIS

(2576 Aurora N., 283-3313)

There are restaurants with more luxurious appointments and fancier food; Canlis scores just because of the way it makes you feel. It wasn't always that way. Founder Peter Canlis could make interlopers to his eyrie perched above Lake Union feel like dog shit, just by being glacially polite. Frat boys used to swear that they'd been slipped a printed card asking them never to return, presumably because they hadn't spent enough. Canlis scion Chris and his wife Alice know that these days even a rumor like that can kill, and they bend over backward to make their guests feel comfortable. That, and first rate food, and maybe the best restaurant view in America, make Canlis good for another 50 years. R.D.

Second place: Palisade (2601 W. Marina, 285-1000)

Best Tom Douglas Restaurant

DAHLIA LOUNGE

(2001 Fourth, 682-4142)

Like all of Gaul, Tom Douglas' empire is divided into three parts—Dahlia Lounge, mighty conqueror of taste buds; Palace Kitchen, central base for weary restaurant gladiators; and Etta's Seafood, the cozy joint where wild barbarians mix it up with friendly natives. Dahlia was the first to open, and it remains first in our hearts. Perhaps its beloved red walls contain some subliminal "vote for us" message, but we'll ignore conspiracy theorists and assume the new Dahlia Bakery is behind some of the favoritism. Bringing together the apple dumplings served at Etta's with the deceptively angelic coconut cream pie from the other two, it's no longer a matter of "eat dessert first"—now it's "why bother eating anything else, ever?" J.L.

Second place: Palace Kitchen (2030 Fifth, 448-2001)

Third place: Etta's Seafood (2020 Western, 443-6000)

Best Place to Get a Salad

THE BROADWAY NEW AMERICAN GRILL

(314 Broadway E., 328-7000)

The 1920s were a big decade for salad. Caesar Cardini invented the Caesar salad in 1924 in Mexico, and, two years later, Bob Cobb invented the Cobb salad in Los Angeles. Oscar Tschirky's widely loved Waldorf salad had achieved popularity a decade earlier in New York—and that recipe, too, was spreading fast. Imagine the excitement of those early Waldorf salad-eaters—or, if you prefer, experience it: The Grill's mixed green salad is, by salad standards, merely an improvement on the original Waldorf (the flapper-era version similarly contained nuts and fruit but also, disturbingly, mayonnaise). Modern day innovations to the concept, at least as they are presented here, include balsamic vinaigrette, chicken, and a seasoned breadstick. C.F.

Second place: Palace Kitchen (2030 Fifth, 448-2001)

Best Cocktails

BLUWATER BISTRO

(1001 Fairview N., 447-0769)

The house special cocktails at the Bluwater Bistro include the Bada margarita (presumably not named after competitor Bada Lounge, and containing limes muddled with Sauza tequila, triple sec, and guava juice, all tinted "Blu"), the Fresca ("just like the soda," with Stoli Limonnaya and grapefruit juice), and the sour martini (Stoli Vanil with sour apple, watermelon, or peach "pucker" and fresh lemon and lime juice, served up). Apparently you people like your drinks complicated and colorful, and on a deck with ber-good-looking people; as a Seattle Weekly employee who shall remain nameless notes, "The appetizers are good and reasonable, but it's not really my scene unless I'm feeling really dressed up—but then I still feel like putting a bag over my head!" B.J.C.

Second place (tie): Capitol Club (414 E. Pine, 325-2149) and Hattie's Hat (5231 Ballard N.W., 784-0175)

Best Wine List

CAMPAGNE

(86 Pine, 728-2800)

Voting for Campagne is hedging your bets. Between the formal restaurant and the casual cafe, sweetie pie sommelieuse Shawn Mead provides as many as 45 by-the-glass choices and countless bottles of regional French treats—it's two complete lists to sample! Not content to just taste other folks' concoctions, she's even gone so far as to make her own (a 2000 cabernet franc). Next up is Campagne's own cuvee; it'll be from southern France, but all else is undecided. Most welcome to the Seattle wine world is her focus on visual memories—tiny Loire valley vineyards and individual stories—rather than another tedious set of "fruity-oaken-mellow" adjectives. There's a great divide between wine wisdom and passion, and you have to love a sommelier who bridges that gap with flair. J.L.

Second place: Canlis (2576 Aurora N., 283-3313)

Best Wine Shop

PETE'S SUPERMARKET

(58 E. Lynn, 322-2660; also Pete's of Bellevue, 134 105th N.E., Bellevue, 425-454-1100)

Originally a humble neighborhood grocery for the Lake Union houseboat set, Pete's was purchased 20-odd years ago by wine buff George Kingan, and little by little, wine has encroached on the original wooden shelves to the point that you can pick up a bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and a bag of Chee-tos without moving from one spot. Apart from ample selection and agreeably funky atmosphere, Pete's is notable for its fire-sale prices on top-of-the-line wines: some 30 or 40 each month at prices you just won't see anywhere else, including Costco. For champagne lovers, Pete's wide selection and rock-bottom prices make imbibing real French bubbly daily seem like a positive duty. There's a Pete's in Bellevue, too: bigger, but no Chee-tos. R.D.

Second place (tie): Garagiste (by appt. only: 264-1494, www.garagistewine.com)

and McCarthy & Schiering Wine Merchants (2401 B Queen Anne N., 282-8500 and 6500 Ravenna N.E., 524-9500)

Best Place to Spend $200 on a Shirt

NORDSTROM

(various locations)

So you've put in your time at Value Village, Marshall's, and the Bon clearance sales. Now you finally make enough to have something left over at the end of the month, and you don't want a Circuit City gadget or an extra-nice bottle of wine or a new set of tires—you want something fabulous, something that makes you look sexy and skinny and unstoppable, something you want to wear right out of the store. At Nordstrom, they'll coddle you in their cozy, carpeted dressing rooms, asking if you'd like another size, if you'd like it altered—hell, the only thing they don't ask is if you'd like a beverage. Which is good, actually, because you'd hate to spill on your sexy, skinny new shirt, wouldn't you? L.G.

Second place: Barneys New York (1420 Fifth, 622-6300)

Best Hotel

FOUR SEASONS

(411 University, 621-1700)

A lot of new places have tried to compete for our attention in the last year, but we can tell that underneath all that butt-wiggling flirtatiousness, they really just want One Thing. We're saving ourselves for that last of the great ladies, the Four Seasons. If you wore white gloves to W, they'd think you were a performance artist; if you wore them to Ace, they'd assume you were allergic to the world. At the Four Seasons, white gloves seem appropriate. Dainty. Formal. Polite. Makes you want to strip 'em off and get to that steaming underbelly of sensual pleasure that you just know is waiting behind the mini bar. C'mon, Ms. Four Seasons—we'll show you ours if you show us yours. This time, it's the real thing. J.L.

Second place: W Hotel (4th and Seneca, 264-6000)

 
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