The perfect spot for a picnic, according to chef Jennifer Shea. Courtesy of Seattle Parks

Summer Guide

Summer Dining Tips From Top Seattle Chefs

Five suggestions for getting the most flavor out of the season.

Summer brings foodies a lot of expectation and excitement. From farmers markets overflowing with gorgeous produce to snagging that perfect outdoor spot for a seasonal bite or an expertly crafted cocktail, our culinary antennae are tuned in and the signal is strong. In that spirit, we reached out to some of the city’s best-known restauranteurs and chefs to find out where they like to get their summer eats and drinks.

Best Summer Salad

Restaurateur Quentin Ertel, The Saint and Havana

My favorite summer salad is something I make on the Green Egg at home, so you can only get it at my house: grilled watermelon and feta salad with mint, red onion, and a dusting of chili powder. I got the recipe out of The New York Times years ago. But another favorite is at Copal in Pioneer Square—their watermelon salad with jicama, cucumber, and mint should not be eaten without wearing sunglasses!

Best Summer Cocktail

Chef Ericka Burke, Volunteer Park Cafe

My all-time favorite summer cocktail is a French 75 (gin, champagne, lemon). You can get one almost anywhere, but I really love the one at Matt’s in the Market.

Best Summer Dessert

Chef Ethan Stowell, Ethan Stowell Restaurants

Summer means ice-cream cones with my sons at Nutty Squirrel Gelato! I’m a big fan of the white-coffee gelato, and the boys are all about the chocolate!

Best Summer Picnic Spot

Chef Jennifer Shea, Trophy Cupcakes and Cafe Trophy

My favorite summer picnic spot is the Arboretum … by canoe. My family and I like to rent a canoe at the University of Washington, then paddle over to the Arboretum and find a quiet waterside spot to lay out our picnic spread.

Best Summer Sauce

Chef Brendan McGill, Hitchcock, Hitchcock Deli, Verjus, Bruciato, Café Hitchcock

My go-to summer sauce is salsa verde—perfect for meats off the grill, like chicken, beef, or lamb. It is a simple purée of herbs in olive oil, such as parsley, oregano, and chive, with the addition of capers, red chilies, a little anchovy, and lemon zest. Toss together in a Vitamix with enough extra-virgin olive oil to process into a chunky purée. Add salt until it tastes good. Grill your meats, rest them, and drag them through the punchy sauce for mucho sabor.

nsprinkle@seattleweekly.com

More in Eat Drink Toke

California Weed Farms Go Up In Smoke

The wildfires ravaging the state hit at the heigh of outdoor grow season.

The Halal Place You Haven’t Heard Of

Gyro Time in Greenwood turns out fresh food and a welcoming vibe.

Seattle’s Best Tap Handles

Sometimes the beer experience extends all the way to the lever you pull to dispense it.

The 10 Best Dishes in Seattle

Over the last six months, we’ve tasted dozens of entrees. These are the standouts.

A Tour of Seattle’s 10 Newest Food Trucks

Poke bowls, chicken katsu, and barbecued jackfruit, all on a roll.

Must Autumn Drinking Be Such a Dour Affair? These Bartenders Don’t Think So.

Forget the bitters and the bourbons. Light and bright drinks are just as appropriate.

As Seattle’s Culinary Scene Booms, These Restaurateurs Resist Expansion

Three owners on why they opted out of investor money and stuck to one place—and what that means for the city.

After Saying ‘I Do,’ These Couples Started to Brew

How do they make it work? Division of labor.

The Many Benefits of Hemp

And why now is the time for America to get in the game.

Most Read