Best Restaurant if Someone Else Is Paying

Boat Street Cafe

Much of the love for Renee Erickson's work centers on the redoubtable The Walrus and the Carpenter in Ballard, which remains near the top of the city's best-restaurants list. But for your money, I'm going to Erickson's Boat Street Cafe, which manages to summon a summery French vibe in an unexpected basement location. The ambience is eclipsed only by the food, which is reliably excellent. The justly famed bread pudding is always available, but if I were dining on your dime, I'd order whatever's just been added to the menu, including lots of oysters; housemade paté; a salad of locally grown greens; freshly caught fish; and a bottle of white Burgundy. And, OK, maybe bread pudding for dessert. HANNA RASKIN 3131 Western Ave. #301, 632-4602,

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