Favorite Far-Flung Restaurants to Fill the MPC Void

By Leslie Kelly  |  February 5, 2014
Credit: Leslie Kelly

Madison Park Conservatory chef Cormac Mahoney nabbed a 2012 Best New Chefs nod from Food & Wine and the restaurant became a darling among critics during its three-year life. So when the restaurant announced via email that it will serve its last supper on Feb. 15, the reaction from the food world was swift and sad. In a recent chat with Zagat, managing owner Bryan Jarr explained that they weren't consistently busy enough to stay open and their remote location at the end of Madison kept would-be Capitol Hill regulars away. Diners might take this closure as a cautionary tale, he added: "If you have a restaurant you love, try to get in there on a super regular basis."

In the spirit of amazing off-the-beaten path restaurants, here are three of our favorites to help fill the Madison Park Conservatory void after Feb. 15. 

Restaurant Marche on Bainbridge Island. Greg Atkinson's doing incredible food a ferry's ride away. The dark, rich French onion soup's some of the best on the planet. It's well worth traveling for. 

La Medusa in Columbia City keeps steadily building its fan base with locally focused, seasonal fare. Hop the Light Rail from Downtown and you'll be sitting down to dinner just 30 minutes later. If you're lucky, pan-roasted rabbit will be on the daily specials board.

Zippy's Giant Burgers might have fallen off the radar of some when it decamped from West Seattle to White Center, but the dining room is bigger and more comfortable and the burgers are still some of the finest in the region: hand-formed patties stacked high on soft buns, juicy to the max. If you like it spicy, try the No. 11, topped with Mama's Lil' Kick Butt Peppers and smoky chipotle mayo.

Madison Park Conservatory: 1927 43rd Ave E; 206-324-9701

Restaurant Marche: 120 Madrone Ln N, Bainbridge Island; 206-842-1633

La Medusa: 4857 Rainier Ave S; 206-723-2192

Zippy's Giant Burgers: 9614 14th Avenue SW, White Center; 206-763-1347