Date Night Restaurant
Winner: Teatro ZinZanni
Dinner and a show — at the same time. That’s what you, our time-strapped readers, want when you go out. So, of course, Queen Anne’s Teatro ZinZanni is your top pick for date night. Sit down to a seasonal multiple-course dinner designed by Tom Douglas and watch aerialists, acrobats, clowns and others perform what you called a “sexy” show. You’ll drink enough wine that you don’t really mind when you get called up onstage or have a performer sit in your lap. It’s not a cheap night out, but no matter. “Great food, fabulous entertainment you can’t get anywhere else, never a dull moment, so you don’t even get the chance to miss the kids!” You think that hiring the baby-sitter for the whole evening (the experience lasts about four hours) is worth it: “There is nothing like it anywhere.”
You like Maria Hines’ Tilth, located in a sweet Craftsman in Wallingford, for its “delicious” food. The menu changes seasonally, and features wild or certified organic local ingredients.
Le Gourmand, located in an unfashionable part of Ballard, is worth the trip: “Fantastic food made by the original locavore chef (Bruce Naftaly makes his own tomato paste and serves veggies from Le Gourmand’s kitchen garden!), cozy ambience, great wine list and superb attitude-less service.” Dinner in the small, quiet dining room isn’t inexpensive, but Naftaly’s fine ingredients and care in the kitchen add up to a great night out.
For a less spendy night out, you like Bizzarro Italian Café, located in Wallingford. The small dining room looks like it was decorated by someone’s eccentric auntie, which will give you something to talk about while you wait for your meal. “Delicious, romantic, personal and won’t break the bank.”
Other finalists include Carmelita in Greenwood (“Vegetarian, candlelit and fancy”) and Eastlake’s Sitka and Spruce (“Holy cow. A foodie's dream. Wonderful atmosphere, fantastic food. A great place for a double date”).
Romantic Weekend Getaway
Winner: Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort
Sleeping Lady Resort, outside of Leavenworth, features beautiful cabins stocked with crisp linens, thick mattresses and soft pillows on the beds, yummy shampoos and lotions in the bathroom, and comfy robes for lounging — just the thing for a grownups-only weekend spent indoors. If you don’t stay in, you can wander trails through ponderosa pine forest, watch the stars from the outdoor hot tub, make an appointment for the spa or rent horses next door for a trail ride. The “fantastic” food, served in a high-ceilinged dining room, is plentiful, rich and delicious. You love it there: “They feed you, pamper you, and offer swimming in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter.”
The Outlook Inn at Orcas Island features bay-view rooms with a balcony and indoor Jacuzzi tub. You go there to do nothing at all except watch the water, calling it “quiet and beautiful.”
Alderbrook Resort on Hood Canal wins your vote because “it’s on the water and not that expensive.” Sign up to receive email specials — they’re offered frequently. Be sure to make reservations at the fabulous onsite spa and take advantage of the steam room.
If you can’t get out of town, head to the Inn at the Market in Pike Place Market. You picked it for its “amazing views, beds and service,” just what you want when you’re out by yourselves. You won’t want to leave your room, with its spectacular views of Elliott Bay, but if you do, you can wander the Market to dine at one of the dozens of high-quality restaurants nearby.
Other finalists include the waterfront Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine (“Beautiful views and very relaxing”), where you can golf or visit the spa, and Willows Lodge in Woodinville, whose rooms feature lambswool mattress pads and oversized tubs. Plus, it’s the logical place to stay after dinner at The Herbfarm: “Close to Seattle but feels like you got away.”
'Girls' Night Out' Spot
Winner: 1022 South
Wow, 1022 South! You say that this Tacoma bar mixes “the best cocktails, apothecary style, to be had in all of Western Washington.” And you like a little distraction while you sip on your much-needed Sidecar: “You can’t find better cocktails in the South Sound. And Chris, the owner, is yummy, too.” 1022 South offers a full menu of mixed drinks, plus snacks (hummus, Marcona almonds and cherries), sandwiches and panini.
Got it: When you go out with the girls, you want good drinks, good food and grownup surroundings. No sippy cups, no high chairs. Terracotta Red in downtown Everett is a Snohomish County fave for its drinks and $3 happy-hour plates of chicken satay and pork spring rolls. “Cozy bar, delicious happy-hour pan-Asian treats.”
The Loft, a swank but not snobbish two-story restaurant in Edmonds, offers “great wine and nibbles in a relaxing and adult atmosphere.” You like Vino at the Landing in Renton for its “comfortable atmosphere and great wine selection.”
Via Tribunali in Fremont, with its dark wood floors and glowing orange lamps, gets your vote for its “good happy hour with $5 pizzas,” while Ray’s Boathouse in Ballard stands out because you can enjoy “sunset over Puget Sound with a glass of wine, a plate of something delicious (and, very likely, local) and friends.”
'Guys' Night Out' Spot
Editor's Pick: Brouwer's Café
No clear winner emerged in this category (maybe you don’t get guys’ nights out very often), so we made a pick, and we went with the place that you picked because it serves beer. Lots and lots of beer. Belgium-themed Brouwer’s Café in Fremont has an astonishing 64 beers on tap, which you can sample along with a plate of mussels and a side of crisp frites. (If you’re not a beer drinker, you can go for one of 60 Scotches.) The pub’s high ceilings, dark interior and stone walls make it seem cavelike, which seems appropriate for a guys’ night out for some reason. Don’t be fooled by the name: It’s not a café. It’s a pub.
One of you recommends Lot No. 3 in Bellevue because it specializes in “beer, booze and bacon!” That translates to high-end comfort food like duck confit sliders, Gruyère grilled cheese sandwiches and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich — with the aforementioned bacon — served in a guy-friendly leather-couch and low-lights atmosphere.
You like homey, low-key Wedgwood Ale House & Café for its Sunday Night Trivia (“Great owner, fun trivia”) and more upscale The Parlor in Bellevue for its activities (“Music, food, pool tables, comedy and dancing all in one spot”).
Parents' Night Out
Winner: West Seattle YMCA
According to you, it’s fun to play at the West Seattle YMCA – or, at least, drop your child off to play while you sneak away for a few hours of blissfully child-free “us” time. One Saturday evening a month, the kiddos get “lots of physical activity and [a] healthy dinner” under the supervision of Y staff. Best of all, you say, it’s “cheap” compared to the cost of a babysitter.
You like drop-in childcare center Blossoming Buds Cottage in Seattle’s Bryant neighborhood for its twice-monthly movie nights, when the center stays open later and serves up a G-rated movie and pizza for the kids while you step out.
Other finalists include Meadowbrook Community Center in Seattle (“Crafts, food, music, friends”), Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island (“Swimming, movie night with popcorn and cotton candy, also inflatables and play in the gym...wonderful staff too! Babysitting provided for babies in a separate quiet room while bigger kids do that active stuff”) and Vaulting Frogs in Woodinville, where “kids play in a gym setting on Friday a month.”
Winner: Olympus Spa
Olympus Spa is the place to run to when you need a real time-out. The family-owned spa (with locations in Tacoma and Lynnwood) caters to women only, who visit for the heated rooms with various healing properties, body scrubs, warm soaks and steam rooms — in the nude. And that’s OK: “Very relaxing and not body-conscious.” It’s not a schmancy spa, and you think that’s perfect. (Drop the kids off at the grandparents' and you can spend the whole day there for only $35 — that’s a great deal by anyone’s account.) “Get your favorite modest-free girlfriends together for hot/cold plunge, sand and/or salt heat, and a terrific Korean dinner (additional money).”
Habitude at the Locks in Ballard is another favorite, a soothing space where you can get a massage, get your pores squeezed, or sit in the sauna while you forget about everything back home. It’s not cheap, but when you want to splurge, that’s where you make an appointment.
You feel “wonderful” at Spa Scotta , located across from University Village in Seattle. Get a facial, a massage, or a mani — and bring your tween or teen along for special kids-only services.
Oriental Retreat & Spa in Kirkland offers a hot stone, neck, foot, hand and body massage; pregnancy massage; acupuncture; and facials for women, men and teens. “Full service, good prices.”
Winner: Julep Nail Parlor
Sometimes a mama’s just got to attend to her nails. Your favorite mani/pedi spot, the “relaxing” Julep Nail Parlor (locations in Bellevue, Downtown Seattle, University District and Gig Harbor), offers manicures, pedicures, foot massage, and sugar scrubs – and a mom-friendly atmosphere. On Mommy Mondays, bring your child in for a Junior Julep treatment, stories and supervised activities while you relax. Julep also hosts Chick Flick Thursdays – come in after 5 p.m. for a mani and a movie. You call the salon’s pedicure “great” and approve of its non-toxic polishes.
You like small Lake City salon Cute Nails because it’s “affordable.”
Dooz, a salon for kids in Bellevue Square, gets a nod from one voter who writes, “Alice, their nail tech, is amazing – her nail art is unbeatable!”
Well-appointed Hoa Salons (locations in Madison, Roosevelt and Ballard in Seattle) get your vote for friendly staff and “great prices.”
You love the “long massages…and warmed…towels they wrap your legs and hands in” at Oasis Nails & Spa in Everett.
The Pedicure Lounge in Bellevue offers pedicures for women, men and kids ages 3 and older. You give the salon raves for “great service – they always do a great job with me and my kids. And for $5 they draw great kid or grown-up art on your nails!”