Go West: Seattle’s Best Offerings
Microsoft, Nordstrom, Amazon.com and Starbucks are just a few of the companies headquartered in Seattle, Washington - The Emerald City. The city boasts a vibrant arts scene, iconic music venues and some of the freshest and delicious food on the west coast.
My first stop was a visit to the Seattle Art Museum, a magnificent building located in the heart of downtown. During my visit, the museum was gearing up to host some of its most prestigious exhibitions ever, most notably, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: Treasures of Kenwood House, London. Within the neoclassical Kenwood House on the outskirts of London, resides a magnificent collection known as the Iveagh Bequest, which includes masterpieces by Gainsborough, Hals, Rembrandt, Reynolds, Romney, Turner, Van Dyck, and many others.
The Iveagh Bequest was donated to Great Britain by Edward Cecil Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh (1847-1927) and heir to the world’s most successful brewery. Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: Treasures of Kenwood House, London, also features Rembrandt’s late Self-Portrait (1665), which has never before left Europe.
Another exciting exhibit coming to SAM will be Future Beauty: Thirty Years of Japanese Fashion, a collection of eighty gowns ranging from the classic to the outrageous, by celebrated designers such as Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, Kenzo Takada, Junya Watanabe, and Jun Takahashi. The exhibit will also feature runway show videos, artist photographs, and magazines images.
Just a short walk from the Seattle Art Museum is Six Seven Restaurant, a glorious ocean-front restaurant offering the freshest seafood in the city. Begin your meal with a pint of Alaskan Summer Ale, which is very affordable and the perfect accompaniment to your meal. Upon recommendation, I opted to try the Smoked Salmon as my starter. The melt-in-your-mouth salmon was the most delicious I’ve ever tasted and was actually caught earlier that morning.
Other delectable starters include Jumbo Dungeness Crab and Shrimp Cake with crab lemongrass sauce and tomato jam as well as Braised Beef and Truffle Ravioli made with butternut squash, chanterelles, toasted pine nuts, grilled radicchio in a truffle honey reduction.
Entrees are hearty and plentiful, most notably the Arugula Pesto Brushed Halibut with artichokes, roasted fennel and cherry tomato salad in a lemon vinaigrette. My favorite among the entrees however is the restaurants famous Northwest Bouillabaisse consisting of scallops, halibut, salmon, mussels, saffron potato, crisp calamari and a lemon aioli crouton. You will be asking for extra bread in order to sop up the tasty broth left at the bottom of the bowl.
After a bountiful dinner, check in to the luxurious Hotel Monaco, a boutique hotel featuring modern furnishings and décor, plush linens, evening turndown service and complimentary wireless Internet. The Kimpton property offers a hosted wine reception daily in their lobby as well as a 24-hour fitness and business center.
Begin your next day with a visit to Pike Place Market, a public market overlooking the Seattle waterfront. Opened in 1907, the market is one of the oldest public farmers’ markets in the United States. It is a place of business for many fisherman, farmers, and merchants. Named after the central street, Pike Place, it is one of city’s most popular tourist destinations. While there, be sure to sample some homemade chowder from one of many bustling cafes.