It's been over two months since we last visited Steelhead Diner. I'm not certain why I didn't write a review soon after our last visit with friends because now the menu has changed (as it often does) and I can't recall the dishes we ordered that are not on the current menu. Not that the food wasn't memorable...our first visit there I ordered the best cod I had ever tasted in my life! No worries though because what I do remember is that almost everything we ate was top notch and we'll definitely be returning.
Steelhead is located on 95 Pine Street on the steep hill in the last block before you get to Pike Place Market. You can't miss the neon sign. In fact, it's the sign on the left on my blog photo. It's more of an upscale food, casual feel restaurant than a diner, but there is a "diner" counter you can sit at if you fancy watching the chefs do the "galley dance". This is your best bet to get seated on a weekend evening if you don't have a reservation. Unless you're set on watching the sunset over Elliot Bay through the floor to ceiling windows, the counter is great entertainment.
Here is what Chef/Partner Kevin Davis and General Manager/Partner Teresa Davis have to say about Steelhead on their website: "Our diner is a place of no pretensions where locals hang out, chat with others, watch the kitchen fun and have a great meal. It’s the perfect place to bring out-of-town visitors. They’ll get a real Seattle experience—great local food in the historic Pike Place Market setting with a view of the Market, Elliott Bay and the Olympic mountains." It's true! On our first visit, our neighbor at the counter was an instructor at the local culinary institute who had trained the head chef. He gave us the lowdown on the menu and informed us that deep fried capers in the asparaus dish were "so yesterday," even though we had never heard of them.
Despite the unhip "yesterday" factor, we ordered the pan roasted asparagus with battered deep fried capers and hazelnuts and it instantly became one of our favorite dishes. Whaddya gonna do? We just like what we like.
Here's a rating on a scale of 1-10 on the food we have tried at Steelhead that is currently on the menu:
JUMBO LUMP DUNGENESS CRAB CAKE [I've had better once, but not by far] *9.5*
With Crispy Parsley & Sauce Louis
CHICKEN & ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE GUMBO [Smoky, rich, right on] *8*
With Hempler’s Smoked Andouille Sausage
KASU MARINATED CANADIAN BLACK COD [Recommended by the culinary instructor] *10*
With Baby Bok Choy, Roasted Butternut Squash & Carrot ~ Ginger Salad
WHOLE GRILLED IDAHO STREAM RAISED RAINBOW TROUT [A little bland for me] *8*
With Roasted Chestnuts & Cracked Sage Brown Butter
BUTTERMILK FRIED CHICKEN SANDWICH [The other half said it was just OK] *6*
With Tangy Cole Slaw Dressing
THEO’S CHOCOLATE PECAN PIE [Cue the chorus of heavenly hosts: The dark chocolate "crust" layer and cocoa nibs!! put it over the top] *10* *10* *10* *10* *10*
With Cocoa Nibs & Bourbon Chantilly Crème
SPICED STOUT POUND CAKE [Num num num but, problem is, we had the Pecan Pie too] *8*
With Poached Pears, Vanilla Pastry Cream & Snoqualmie Farms Fireweed Honey
Steelhead also has an extensive menu of local wines. I highly recommend visiting Steelhead Diner if you're near the market.