Get transported to a Parisian cafe with charming, authentic decor like 19th-century sconces from a church in the French countryside, a clock that once hung in a Paris metro station and a host stand that once serviced a small French hotel. The food is equally delightful; try main dishes like moules frites, steak frites, the fish of the day, ricotta Cavatelli and the roasted half chicken with Dijon dumpling, black trumpet mushroom and Brussels sprout gratin. Enjoy desserts from Cherry Crumble Cake to Malted Milk Chocolate Cremeux. The Back Bar, the self-proclaimed "sexiest place in town" with a crystal chandelier and Art Deco sconces, is the ideal spot for cocktails before or after your meal.
Recommended for Dessert because: Get transported to a Parisian cafe at Ballard's Bastille, and savor delightful French fare, topped off by a delectable sweet treat.
Corinne's expert tip: This is a perfect weekend brunch spot, thanks to its proximity to the wonderful Ballard farmers market.
Perk up your afternoon with a piping hot cup of organic coffee at Macrina. Happily, a wide variety of cakes, artisanal breads and pastries is available to accompany your java. You'll have trouble deciding between chocolate cranberry coffeecake glazed with chocolate ganache and a Morning Glory muffin, studded with pineapple, raisins, apple, coconu, and walnuts. Consistently garnering accolades from local publications, the friendly establishment is perfect for a rendezvous with old friends or for a quiet hour with the morning paper. Whether you choose an apple turnover, a piece of lemon sour cherry cheesecake, or one of their vegan cookies or gluten-free cupcakes, Macrina's fresh-baked goodies are sure to please.
Recommended for Dessert because: Macrina Bakery has many locations that offer a wide variety of freshly-baked cakes, artisanal breads and pastries, perfect for accompanying your cup of joe.
Lesli's expert tip: Check out the rotating product of the month; July, for example, means Shortcake Biscuits at Macrina.
The Whale Wins is the latest restaurant from award-winning chef Renee Erickson and partners Jeremy Price and Chad Dale (renowned throughout Seattle, thanks to their other masterpiece, Ballard's acclaimed The Walrus and the Carpenter). At this welcoming Fremont venue, the culinary team draws inspiration from the cuisine of some of Erickson's favorite places in southern Europe and England, and they promise their "wood-fired, vegetable focused menu will feature the very best foods from local beaches, gardens and farms prepared simply and served casually in a lively, light filled, cottage-like space." Diners should expect ripe, seasonal vegetables, wood-oven fired meats and fish, and pickled treats in a bright, beautiful setting. Finish the meal with delightful desserts like the can't-be-missed butter-roasted zucchini bread.
Recommended for Dessert because: Although the menu at The Whales rotates with the seasons, diners find consistently-solid dishes from the starters to the decadent, locally-sourced desserts.
Corinne's expert tip: Enjoy the "Whale Call Happy Hour" daily from 3 to 5 p.m. Try the butter-roasted zucchini bread dessert for a grand finale you won't soon forget.
Hot spot Westward is a water-inspired, full-service restaurant and bar that first opened its sails in the fall of 2013 on the north shore of Lake Union. The stellar culinary team sends out delectable, innovative dishes that balance contemporary Northwest and Mediterranean flavors with an approach called "natural and continually evolving, reflecting the simplicity of great products, fresh ingredients and the changing seasons. Dessert gems include the Affogato and Butterscotch Pot de Creme. A wood-burning oven anchors the kitchen, and each seat in the restaurant boasts stunning views of the lake and cityscape. Outside, a large deck, fire pit and beach area provide the ideal vantage point for sipping cocktails in the warmer month or to snuggle under wool blankets (provided by the venue) in the winter. A 150-foot dock provides boat parking or a place to tie up kayaks while enjoying plates of oysters or creative cocktails.
Recommended for Dessert because: Westward has made waves for its stunning waterside location and tasty seafood dishes; the desserts have been a well-kept secret....up until now!
Lesli's expert tip: Make dinner reservations several weeks in advance, especially in busy summer months. Those with a sweet tooth can "go local," thanks to gems like the Affogato and Butterscotch Pot de Creme.
Since late 2013, this charming neighborhood venue has been delighting loyal patrons in an environment they call "inviting, lively and comforting." (We concur; it's all true!) The friendly staff pridefully brings "a sense of playfulness" to everything they do�from the authentic hospitality and warm ambiance to an inventive menu of fresh, seasonal dishes. Veggie lovers savor the delightful Poached Radish Salad and seasonal goodies like grilled, local asparagus, while stand-out mains range from the Salmon Aguachile (cured, sockeye salmon, radish, coriander) to the Guajillo Braised Beef Cheek (masa gnocchi, olive confit). For a memorable grand finale, tuck into the Horchata Panna Cotta (chile caramel, chocolate crisp) or seasonal delights, while vowing to return this to this welcoming Seattle oasis as soon as possible.
Recommended for Dessert because: Enjoy seasonal, locally-sourced dishes (and desserts!) at this charming neighborhood venue, tucked away between Fremont and Ballard.
Corinne's expert tip: Enjoy delicious weekend brunches, served from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and be sure to check out the magical "secret" patio.
Sure, Molly Moon's doles out the oft-requested vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice creams at its many scoop shops around town. And they make them using local, organic and fair-trade ingredients whenever possible. But it's not just that: there are incredibly creative flavors like honey lavender, Earl Grey and Stumptown Coffee, too. In addition to their seasonal menu, more flavors are rotated in regularly ; follow them on Twitter to get notice of the newest releases, or to put in your own request. Have Molly Moon come to your company picnic, the family reunion, your friend's birthday party...or your own house. The best news? This delicious operation sources 90% of their ingredients from the Pacific Northwest.
Recommended for Dessert because: Molly Moon's makes delectable flavors--using local, organic and fair-trade ingredients whenever possible.
Lesli's expert tip: Find 10 "always" flavors that get churned out year-round and four seasonal options that rotate according to what's fresh in the northwest. Feel-good news: They donate more than 3,200 scoops of ice cream each year to raise money for local non-profits, support public school programs and treat food bank customers. They also give 1% of their sales to food banks, equity organizations, women and girl empowerment initiatives, Seattle Public Schools and local arts organizations each year.
This dessert shop offers dozens of tantalizing sweets, including Gooey Bailey's Irish Cream Cake. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a luscious morsel of chocolate truffle cake or perhaps a slice of chocolate cognac torte. A turtle brownie with a glass of milk will transport you back to your mother's kitchen. If you're in the mood for something a tad less decadent, strawberry cake and lemon blueberry cake are excellent choices too. In fact, whatever your desire, you're likely to find it at Simply Desserts. All desserts are made to order that same day, so call ahead to order your whole cakes or cookies-by-the-dozen.
Recommended for Dessert because: This Fremont sweet shop proves the perfect spot for a sugary nightcap that will no doubt be the highlight of your day.
Lesli's expert tip: Find old-fashioned American desserts with a contemporary twist like Red Velvet Cake, Java Del Sol Cake and White Chocolate Cheesecake, as a few examples.
Sometimes, a few pieces of quality chocolate are all the dessert you need. Since 1982, this nationally acclaimed chocolate authority has satisfied Seattle's sweet tooth with an unsurpassed array of sumptuous candies. According to the website, "[Fran's] pursuit of maintaining the purity of chocolate and pairing it with only the finest ingredients has been an inspiration to both chocolate artisans and aficionados alike." Fine truffles, candy bars and triple chocolate tortes are just a smattering of the goods that will have you grinning ear to ear. Find locations downtown, in Bellevue, University Village and Georgetown, too. Whether you're seeking the perfect gift or simply wanting to treat yourself, Fran's will do the trick.
Recommended for Dessert because: Fran's chocolates draws die-hard fans to its downtown outpost; also look for its chocolate-centric goodness scattered at shops and cafes around town.
Lesli's expert tip: Famously known as President's Obama's favorite chocolate shop, Fran's Chocolates offers everything from truffles and chocolate-covered fruit to nuts and hot chocolate. Looking for a host or hostess gift? Look no farther than Fran's.
Locals and visitors alike flock to RN74, Michael Mina's downtown outpost, known for "creative, modern, yet simple interpretations of regional French cuisine"–often presented in the most beautiful manner. In the chic lounge area, visitors enjoy delectable treats like chilled prawn cocktails and duck fat fries. Main dishes include locally-sourced, seasonal highlights like house-aged steaks, vegetables from local organic farms and Puget Sound seafood. Recent gems include the Sweet Corn Agnolotti, Anderson Valley Lamb Saddle, Local King Salmon Aux Poireaux and, of course, classic renditions Les Steak Frites. Decadent dessert "musts" range from beignets and profiteroles to coconut panna cotta and cheese platters, too. But perhaps, most importantly, patrons return for RN74's extensive wine list. From boutique Northwest wines to extremely rare vintages from Burgundy, RN74's collection of more than 2,200 bottle selections makes this a mecca for wine lovers from near and far.
Recommended for Dessert because: Head to Michael Mina's downtown outpost for "creative, modern, yet simple interpretations of regional French cuisine," including divine desserts from beignets to profiteroles.
Corinne's expert tip: RN74 Seattle just made the 2018 list for Top 100 Wine Restaurants in America from Wine Enthusiast, and Lead Sommelier Jeff Lindsay Thorsen plays a big role in that achievement. He recently nearly doubled the wine collection, giving RN74 possibly the largest collection of French burgundies of any restaurant on the West Coast (and lots more PNW wine as well). Check out the discount wall for last bottles with incredible price tags.
Flying Apron bakery celebrates good health by using gluten-free, vegan ingredients; whole grain wheat-free flours and non-hydrogenated oils. Diners can use alternative methods to sweeten items with such ingredients as agave, maple syrup and stevia. The best news? There's no guilt involved when sampling the cafe's goodies that range from salads and soups to the sweet (muffins, cupcakes, cookies, cakes) and the savory (personal pizzas and shepherd's pie). Chefs get creative with the mock rye bread, tofu scrambles, pepper peanut quinoa, pesto tapinade pizza and delectable veggie lasagna. A few sidewalk tables give diners a nice outdoor-dining option for when the Seattle sun shines.
Recommended for Dessert because: Those who keep a vegan, gluten-free diet get to indulge at Fremont's Flying Apron.
Lesli's expert tip: Check out the day-old basket for discounted goodies!