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An ‘outrageously good’ Seattle restaurant

Stepping into Seattle’s Tilth restaurant, said Frank Bruni in The New York Times, I immediately wondered, Should I take off my shoes? Tilth is located in a Craftsman-style wood bungalow in the north-central neighborhood of Wallingford, and first-time dine

 Stepping into Seattle’s Tilth restaurant, said Frank Bruni in The New York Times, I immediately wondered, Should I take off my shoes? Tilth is located in a Craftsman-style wood bungalow in the north-central neighborhood of Wallingford, and first-time diners can be forgiven for mistakenly thinking they have wandered into someone’s living room. Tilth is so casual that it doesn’t even have a host stand or vestibule. But it happens to be one of the 10 best new restaurants I discovered in a cross-country tour of the U.S. Although Tilth has room for only 40 diners—all “squished together in two downstairs rooms”—the food borders on the “outrageously good.”

Tilth mostly uses organic-certified ingredients, though some foods it serves—including wild fish and foraged mushrooms—are not eligible for that designation. Owner-chef Maria Hines is extremely finicky about using only the best suppliers, and using local and seasonal produce. She is also an “inspired cook.” Exceptional dishes during a recent visit included slices of pan-seared albacore tuna served with crisp wedges of celery root; a “zippy, zesty broth” of mussels, pork sausage, paprika, and green onion; and a squash risotto with mascarpone and pine nuts “that’s none the worse for being meatless.” The restaurant’s signature bourbon hot chocolate is accented with chopped cardamom pods. 1411 N. 45th St., (206) 633-0801

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