Best Meal Deals for Dine Around SEA

By Leslie Kelly  |  March 4, 2014
Credit: Luuvu Hoang

Dine Around Seattle started yesterday, and the promotion's $15 lunch and $30 dinner deals are bound to be filling up reservation books all over town for the next two weeks. But not all Dine Around meals are outstanding bargains. In fact, some of them won't save you any money at all. Here are the best choices out of the lot. 

On a typical evening, dinner at chef Scott Staples' Restaurant Zoe (pictured) will set you back $50 per person at the bare minimum. But for the next few weeks, you can get the gnudi (regularly $10), the Alaskan rockfish (regularly $24) and the dark chocolate torte with toasted marshmallow mousse (regularly $9) for $30. It's a steal. 1318 E. Union St.; 206-256-2060

Blueacre is famous for its brilliant seafood, but there's a standout New York steak from Double R Ranch served up on the special Dine Around menu. Chef Kevin Davis embellishes the beef with butter-poached mushrooms and roasted potatoes. And since you're not blowing your budget, you can guiltlessly blow your diet with a slice of the righteous chocolate bourbon pecan pie. When booking a table, ask which nearby garage offers validated parking. 1700 Seventh Ave.; 206-659-0737

Many Nishino fans are so obsessed with the spot-on sushi, they rarely do a deep dive into the rest of the menu. The intriguing entrees showcased during Dine Around make it possible to enjoy a sashimi starter and follow up with beef Negimaki or broiled black cod for a main course. A piece of Hiroki's cake tops off an evening that might otherwise cost double the price. 3130 E. Madison St.; 206-322-5800 

Ponti Seafood Grill is opening up its extensive menu to the three-for-$30 formula. Here dinner usually costs at least $50 per person as well. For your entree, you can order the masterfully done wild salmon, the seafood-laden, best-selling Thai curry penne or chef Alvin Binuya's inventive zinfandel-braised short ribs, which use buffalo instead of beef. One top-of-the-meal deal, the restaurant's charming Fremont canal view is gratis. 3014 Third Ave. N.; 206-284-3000

We'd gladly scoot across Lake Washington to Kirkland for Volterra's excellent lamb osso bucco, priced at $32 on the regular menu. Be sure and kick off the evening with roasted cauliflower, a dish that gets a nice crunch from bits of fried prosciutto. 121 Kirkland Ave., Kirkland; 425-202-7201