Pike’s Place is definitely a tourist destination. However, that does that preclude it for having incredibly worthwhile bites (although some shops may be over-hyped and are not worth the imposed wait).
Jack’s Fish Spot and Crab Pot
Among the many fish markets, Jack’s has a reasonable line with the freshest of seafood cooked-to-order. They have a broad selection of fresh fish as well as smoked fish that can be packaged and bag checked for any traveler hoping to bring a bit of Pacific Northwest seafood back home.
During my walk through Pike’s Place we took a bite of the classics: a dish of freshly made cod fish and chips w/ garlic fires, and a good ol’ bucket of steamers.
The fried fish had a puffy batter to get a good texture with crispiness on the outside and tender, juicy softness in the middle. Naturally, the cod was fresh and succulent. I wouldn’t expect less from fresh fish.
The steamers were wonderful. It should not be surprising that the key to steamers is the freshness of the shellfish – there is very little other ingredient involved. A hearty serving of mussels and clams with lemon and clarified butter is definitely the right way to enjoy shellfish at Pike Place. Without being too fishy, the bowl of steamers had a freshness that hints towards being freshly picked off the ocean. While the taste of the steamers were incredibly well balanced, clarified butter always help smooth out and enhance the mineral taste of fresh shellfish.
The Truffle Shop
Nothing beats the pairing of fresh shellfish along with a glass of white wine – particularly a refreshing, chilled glass of Chablis or prosecco. The micro-bubbles tickle the tongue and the mineral aftertaste ties in with the savory mineral taste of the ocean. The creaminess in the wine further enhances the shellfish taste in a similar way to butter. With those thoughts in mind, we strolled into a local wine and truffle shop in Pike Place for a wine tasting. The owner, is an extremely friendly and talkative Seattleite originally from southern California. He is well versed in his Italian wine and boasts about his experience visiting local family vineyards that are too small to export. We learned quite a bit about the less prominent wine regions in Italy and the history behind each of the vineyards whose wine we were tasting.
In my flight, I enjoyed a prosecco, a pinot grigio, and a blend. The prosecco, in particular, really brought me back to the steamers enjoying the steamers earlier as it picked at the mineral aftertaste of shellfish in my mouth.
Aside from wine tasting, the Truffle Shop also has a variety of dips that pairs incredibly well with wine or your favorite bruschetta. This ranges from black truffle with olive oil, Italian hazel nut spread, truffle with mustard and garlic, and more – all which is free for tasting while browsing the shop.
The shop is definitely a worthwhile place for wine tasting and to relax while visiting Pike’s Place. I would especially recommend visiting after consuming a few bites of fresh seafood.