Feature

Shhh! A Guide to Secret Menu Items in Seattle

By Leslie Kelly
July 21, 2014
By Leslie Kelly  |  July 21, 2014
Photo by: Leslie Kelly

Some secrets are meant to be kept. Under-the-radar, off-menu food items are not that kind of secret — and they're popping up on the DL all over Seattle. You just need to know where to look and when to ask. We did a little digging to bring you some of the best hush-hush menu items around town. 

  • Photo by: Leslie Kelly

    Raviolo at Cafe Juanita

    This amazing, ultrarich, truffle-embellished primi shows up as an occasional special on chef Holly Smith's sophisticated Italian-inspired menu, but there are a handful of regulars who will let the kitchen know that they'd like to order it a few days in advance of a reservation.

    Degree of difficulty to score: Medium. If you can remember to call the restaurant and give them a heads before your reservation, this dish can be yours. 

  • Photo by: Scott Eklund

    Beast Feast at Radiator Whiskey

    There's no shame in making a pig of yourself when diving into this whole hog spread, usually shared by 10 or more. This meal of meat and all the fixings weighs in at a whopping 50 pounds.

    Degree of difficulty to score:  The kitchen only cooks one Beast Feast per week and it's already booked out through the end of the year. Reserve your spot for 2015 ASAP! 

  • Tommy D Special at Serious Pie

    Tom Douglas likes a little guanciale shaved over the top of the Yukon gold potato pizza on the Serious Pie menu. The tasty cured jowl meat shows up like super-thin little slivers of bacon, which work their porky magic. 

    Degree of difficulty to score: Easy. As long as they have house-cured guanciale available. If they don't have it in the kitchen, you could ask them to add something else from the charcuterie lineup instead.   

  • Photo by: Claire Nelson

    Ravioli sandwich at LoPriore Pasta Bar

    A carb-lover's dream, this hot mess of a sandwich is satisfying on so many levels: from the toast-y Le Panier baguette to the slightly spicy red sauce and the housemade beef-filled ravioli. Watch Subway try to rip this one off. 

    Degree of difficulty to score: Medium. This lunch counter at Pike Place Market gets super-busy during high tourist season, and there's only two guys running the show, so skip the noon rush and come early or late when owner Brian LoPriore has the time to fix you one of these hot mamas.

  • White anchovy pie at Stoneburner

    ​This wonderful umami-filled pizza is finished with shaved botarga. It made an appearance on the opening menu but dropped off when diners didn't rise to the bait. Still, it's a perennial hit with loyal fans, including chef Jason Stoneburner's wife and chef Thierry Rautureau from Loulay. Join the club and order it up. 

    Degree of difficulty to score: Easy. Just ask. Maybe if enough people get on board, this awesome pie will find a permanent, well-deserved spot on the menu. 

  • Grilled Cotto salami sandwich at Salumi

    While this crazy-popular place is best known for its cured meat, a cooked salami is the superstar of this sandwich, which savvy regulars know to request. It's a flavor bomb that includes caramelized onions and Mama Lil's peppers, with provolone added by request.

    Degree of difficulty to score: Medium. If they've got the ingredients and it's not the middle of the lunch rush, the gracious crew will accommodate. But if you have your palate primed for this, it's best to phone in an order in the morning.

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Places Mentioned

Stoneburner

Mediterranean • Ballard

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
Serious Pie

Pizza • Belltown

Food26 Decor19 Service21 Cost$26
 
 
 
Serious Pie & Biscuit

South Lake Union

Food26 Decor19 Service21 Cost$26
 
 
 
Radiator Whiskey

American • Pike Place Market

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
Salumi

Italian • Pioneer Square

Food28 Decor14 Service20 Cost$17
 
 
 
 
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