Last week it was raining; this week it’s 80 degrees. Seattle summer, you are playing with my emotions! This past week all I’ve wanted to do was escape my apartment and eat dinner on the beach. Enter the Sunset Hill neighborhood in all its coast-hugging glory. The views! The salt-tinged breezes! The pizza! I loved it all.
Not only can you find darn good pizza, there are hoagies piled high with Italian cold cuts, killer cocktails, saucy pastas, chicken kebabs and more. If you’re in search of a great bottle of wine for yourself or a friend, stop by Molly’s Bottle Shop (6406 32nd Ave. N.W., Seattle; mollysbottleshop.com). The owner, Molly Ringe, specializes in natural wine and can answer any question you’ve got. The bottle she sold me on was a sparkling wine from Mexico — one she said she couldn’t stop thinking about after she drank it. And this coming from a person who drinks wine for a living! She’ll find something you’ll love, too.
Miri’s at Golden Gardens
Noon-7 p.m. Monday and Wednesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, closed Tuesday; order online or at the window for takeout; 8498 Seaview Place N.W., Seattle; mirisgoldengardens.com
It’s a little tougher to get to Miri’s these days, as the restaurant is technically the “concession stand” at Golden Gardens. Due to the novel coronavirus, the parking lots are closed and access is blocked to all but local traffic where 32nd Avenue Northwest meets 85th Street. If you’re coming from Seaview Avenue Northwest, there is a parking lot open just off Golden Gardens Park Road, which is a short walk to Miri’s.
Still, the orange guava slushies and the grilled chicken kebabs are well worth the trek, especially once you’re seated at a socially responsible distance from others facing the water, housemade hummus dripping down your arm from a freshly made pita sandwich. There is a lamb and beef kebab and a grilled cauliflower option — all come with crunchy, sour housemade pickles and can be either wrapped in a pita or served on a plate with rice. For sweets, check out Popsicles or a batch of hot, fresh, tiny Dutch pancakes called poffertjes, topped with anything from melted butter and powdered sugar to fresh berries.
3-8 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday; order online in advance for pickup; 3127 N.W. 85th St., Seattle; 206-659-0355, sunnyhillseattle.com
This little shop is one of a handful of restaurants around the city that has opened in the time of COVID-19, and is helmed by Jason Stoneburner, who also runs the eponymous Ballard restaurant Stoneburner. I ordered online a few days in advance for a pickup and was greeted curbside by a masked staff member who asked for my name and walked my order out to my car.
Even more fabulous than the curbside ease was the crispy, crunchy square sausage grandma pie ($24). It’s four slices of heaven, each ringed with a lacy layer of crispy cheese. There are sides of hot honey, feta ranch, cashew crema and umami ketchup for dipping — ostensibly the ketchup is for the fries or the Sunny burger (which I did not order) — but I can vouch for the feta ranch and the hot honey. While dipping his pizza in the hot honey, I think my husband’s words were “I don’t know why I’m doing this, but I also can’t stop.” Maybe that’s not your gig, no problem. You’ll be pleased with this 2-inch-thick pizza goodness.
There are also delectable, thin-crust round pies like the Gob Shoppe ($24), topped with squash blossom, garlic scapes, Gruyere and a hit of Aleppo chili, and chocolate chip cookies sprinkled with a little salt, still warm from the oven.
4-9 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; open for takeout and some limited outdoor seating; 6408 32nd Ave. N.W., Seattle; 206-327-9408, bakersseattle.com
When this slip of a cocktail bar opened in May 2019, my colleague Tan Vinh said the drink list was “more ambitious than any neighborhood bar needs it to be.” Even with a worldwide pandemic forcing many of those drinks to be bottled as to-go cocktails, his observations hold true. Cocktails are priced at $22-$24; each serving makes two. The list is updated constantly and the two cocktails I ordered — the floral, fruity Descending Angel with Uruapan rum, passionfruit syrup and peche, and the herbaceous Very, Very Tall Trees with Singani 63 and Kronan Swedish Punsch — are no longer on the list.
Pairing with all those libations are a handful of incredibly beach-friendly dishes. Creamy charred scallion dip with crudités and chips ($10); a lightly dressed Dungeness crab roll ($18); an Italian sandwich piled high with mortadella, coppa and soppressata ($14); and a perfect summer farro salad with roasted corn, tomatoes, peas, bacon and a miso ranch dressing ($12). If you aren’t planning on taking it home, I suggest taking it to Sunset Hill Park for a little dinner al fresco.
4:30-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 4:30-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; open for takeout, limited indoor and outdoor dining; 6415 32nd Ave. N.W., Seattle; 206-781-8000, ristorantepicolinos
Picolinos is one of those restaurants filled with character and charm, from the indoor fireplaces to the vine- and flower-covered patio out back. Luckily, fresh cheese-filled ravioli tastes just as good at your own kitchen table — especially when it’s slathered in a sage brown butter sauce ($22). There are also pizzas, plenty of pastas and bruschetta ($10), piled high with juicy tomatoes and lots of garlic.
If hunger strikes earlier in the day, you can pick up pastries, sandwiches and pizza from the Pico Cafe.