Critics

Our food critic’s 20 best dishes of 2021

IN A YEAR with unexpected challenges for the hospitality industry, The Seattle Times refrained from critiquing restaurants and assigning star ratings.

But that didn’t mean I stopped eating out. I continued to visit new restaurants, and I tried new dishes at my old favorites.

In a year we’d rather forget, here are the 20 dishes that I’ll remember.

Tomo, White Center
Summer squash ($68, third dish in a five-course tasting menu)
James Beard Award winner and former Canlis chef Brady Ishiwata Williams composes some of the most original vegetable dishes. We’re not talking eggplant mimicking sirloin, or other kitchen

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Notes from a food critic’s napkins: wining and dining trends and expectations

I’VE EATEN MORE restaurant meals outdoors than in dining rooms this year. I dined on back patios and along sidewalks, where the server had dragged out lawn chairs. I dined on curbs or on the lower rung of public stairs. And I spread takeout on the dashboard of my Camry, or on the hood, and ate in the parking lot.

In between bites, I scribbled notes on napkins about menus and issues chefs raised while I was waiting for my takeout. Here are some observations that came from those notes.

Could the Eastside become the

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A Chat With Food Critics, Chefs And Restaurateurs From Asia

I gather my friends – Asian food writers, food critics, restaurateurs and chefs – asking them why they think Chinese food comes with such a bad reputation – ultimately being the poster child of ‘dirty’.

With hundreds of Chinese restaurants closed in this pandemic year, perhaps it is more timely than ever to ask the question – can Chinese food ever be seen as ‘fine-dining’ and will America lose its love/hate relationship with Chinese food with all these closures?

Let’s not forget Chinese-American cuisine is very

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