1001 Restaurants (Blowing my own Trumpet)

Pardon the interruption from the shameless self-promotion department. About a year ago, thanks entirely to the benevolent intervention of my dear friend Nicola, I was asked to be a contributing writer for a forthcoming publication, 1001 Restaurants to Experience Before You Die. It was an interesting project: given the inherently ephemeral, trend-driven nature of restaurants, was it possible to compile a book of restaurants that would still feel current in five years’ time? Ten? The editors were looking for places that were iconic. My task was to write a one-page blurb about the restaurants in a way that would evoke the dining experience and personalize it for readers. The book was intended to be not just a coffee table browse (although it certainly was that) but a bona fide guide to dining all over the world. I would be the only Seattle contributor.

Through Nicola I met the chief editor (and London contributor), Jenny. We liked each immediately. I was impressed by the careful and considered research she and others had done into the Seattle dining scene. The restaurants she suggested were not staid, dated has-beens, but dynamic and exciting places helmed by visionary chefs. I was also impressed by her receptiveness to my suggestions—for example, I recommended the inclusion of a few favorite budget destinations as well as places that were not on her preliminary list, and she gave me the green light—and after I had completed a couple of write-ups, she commissioned me to do several more, including a number of restaurants in Portland. The only limitations were that the restaurants needed to have been open for long enough to assure they had staying power, and we needed to be able to predict with some certainty that five years hence, they would still be in business, and still serving terrific food. Thanks to that project, last fall and early winter were hectic months of gustatory excess. My blog suffered (and still has not fully recovered, although it is on the mend) and so did my figure, but I had so much fun.

The gag order has now been lifted, and I humbly present for your consideration my several pages of write-ups. The book looks beautiful, as far as I can tell, and, more than than that – it makes me hungry.


bar sajor

shiros walrus


green leaf

canlis (1)willows inn (1)

pok pok (1)

le pigeon (1)

pine state biscuits (1)

Interested in buying the book? Here’s how to find it in the UK and the USA.

17 thoughts on “1001 Restaurants (Blowing my own Trumpet)

  1. Great work Susan! It does look beautiful. I’m in Portland right now and when I’m down here it’s really hard for me not to go directly over to Le Pigeon. I’ve been there multiple times, but I never tire of it. Gabe’s a class act and a lot of fun! You represented the Pacific NW very well!!

    • Thanks a lot Gene. I had a little flexibility in what restaurants I reviewed but some were specifically commissioned … and there were two other reviewers doing PDX so Ned Ludd and Olympic Provisions were covered. One of these days you and I should get together for a meal, or a sandwich. 🙂

  2. Hot damn! I knew you were destined for food reviewing greatness! I am so pleased to see your passion and talent recognized. Forget the trumpet, I want to hear a marching band touting this great news. xo

  3. Damn you, Susan — you had me with Poppy, but I kept reading. Now I want to do a Northwest food tour with you. I just had lunch (tortillas with salsa and cheddar cheese and an apple), but I am ready to go eat again. The write-ups are wonderful. I’m saving them for my next trip to Seattle and/or Portland.

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