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“Slightly Expensive” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Matt's in the Market

Matt's in the Market
94 Pike St Ste 32, Seattle, WA 98101-2066 (Downtown)
(206) 467-7909
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Ranked #51 of 3,492 Restaurants in Seattle
Price range: $21 - $30
Cuisines: American, Seafood, Eclectic, International
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Local cuisine, Outdoor seating, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cross street: 1st. Ave.
Fort McMurray, Alberta Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Slightly Expensive”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2014

I loved the open kitchen and decor of the restaurant. The host was very friendly in seating us. The server was a little snooty at first but not rude. I had the fish, it was really good but kind of expensive for what it was. The dessert was amazing though!

  • Visited June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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409 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    250
    101
    39
    12
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
108 helpful votes 108 helpful votes
“The Quintessential Seattle Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2014

I live in Seattle and have dined at Matt's occasionally over the years, but for some reason, I forgot how amazing this place really is. The hideaway location in Pike's Place Market, the lovely old half-moon windows looking out over the Market sign and the Puget Sound, the intimate yet casual space are all reasons to take your friends, your lover, your visitors (although maybe not all at once!) to this Seattle institution of culinary excellence.

Of course, many restaurants follow the "fresh, in-season, locally-sourced" philosophy, including other excellent 'Market' restaurants in the area, but somehow, looking down on the very vendors who've supplied a portion of your meal somehow brings it home how special it is to eat this way.

Our party started with fresh oysters, the bread-and-butter board, and a bowl of mixed olives. The oysters were served on the half-shell, nestled in a clever tray of ice-encased river rocks, and (according to my companions) were succulent and fresh in a tart mignonette sauce and, depending on the two varieties served, were "clean-tasting", "briny" and "sweet".

I'm not sure where the bread came from (forgot to ask), but there were 2 varieties, and the olive version was sublime. Smeared with fresh-tasting sweet cream butter that crunched with flakes of sea salt, I could have eaten the whole board by myself. The olives are mixed and brined in-house and were deliciously redolent in olive oil, citrus peels and spices. Our choices were simple appetizers--almost basic--but still managed to stand out as fresh and delicious.

Two of us had the seared duck breast special--and when I say it was perfectly seared, I mean it in the truest sense of the word. The skin was crisp and salty, the breast meat cooked to medium-rare succulence, and the generously sliced portion was served atop a bed of pureed parsnips, sauteed leeks and mushrooms, and drizzled with a berry reduction that added just a hint of tart and sweet to the richness of the duck and vegetables. Neither of us could recall having had such a perfectly executed rendition of duck breast.

Our other companion had the wild warm mushroom "salad" served with a fried duck egg and declared it "amazing", commenting on the variety of mushrooms sauteed to tenderness with shallots and served on a beautiful puree of bright green spinach.

The service was very good; warm and attentive without being intrusive, and even though the tiny restaurant was full on a Tuesday night, including a large-party table, there were no delays in service or between courses (except for the late arrival of a glass of wine), and the noise level (unlike so many restaurants these days) was comfortable, if not exactly quiet.

Matt's has a small bar that I believe serves from the full menu as well, and there were several solo diners taking advantage of the happy hour, it seemed.

The kitchen is an open concept, and while that's not always my favorite thing, it's interesting to watch the 'ballet' of food preparation going on. Obviously, this staff knows their business and their space, and while they worked quickly and efficiently, there was none of the frantic, sweaty, shouting chaos I've seen in other open kitchens that made me not so much a fan of this concept.

If you have one dinner in downtown Seattle, I can't think of many better alternatives to Matt's. The location, the ambiance, and the food quality are all very "Seattle". We did a "progession" thing where we had happy hour at RN74, dinner at Matt's, and dessert at Etta's (triple coconut cream pie, of course), and our visitor was happy to have had a taste of them all. But you can do drinks, dinner and dessert at Matt's if you are of a mind to relax and stay a while, and you won't be sorry.

Prices at Matt's are comparable to other restaurants in Seattle of this quality, but some may consider those prices expensive:

Oysters on half-shell (6) $18
Bread and butter $4
Olives $6
Duck entrees $34
Wild Mushroom Salad $15
Wine by glass from $10

I would argue, however, that the quality of ingredients, the preparation, service and the lovely locale make this a value for your money.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Merchantville NJ
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Very good!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2014

awesome meal....would like to go back, but so many other restaurants to choose from. Staff was gracious and pleasant. In the center of the tourist area, but seemed more like a local place.

Visited February 2014
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Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“A victim of its success?”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2014

I have very fond memories of Matt's from when I lived in Seattle. A fabulous find tucked away on the 2nd floor of the Public Market that consisted of not much more then a lunch counter where the most fabulous fresh NW food was prepared. Not having been back in a few years I returned to find it had expanded into a large dining room (quite nice) and still boasted the open kitchen. However the food was lacking - not good, not bad. Just so so. It made me question what I liked about it so much in the first place. I won't return.

Visited February 2014
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Girdwood, Alaska
Top Contributor
144 reviews 144 reviews
95 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
“Awesome”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2014

LOVED our meal here. Had the sourdough bread; mushroom salad; octopus (served with kimchee, surprisingly good combination) and scallops between us. Our waiter was fantastic. Great Grenache and surprisingly good Riesling for dessert (standard dessert wines are a little too sweet for me). We wandered into this place because it was close and could not have made a better choice. Make a reservation if you want to guarantee a table. I thought their cheese list was bleh, a little too over the top (don't do two soft cheeses, bleu and head cheese all in one menu) but I have no real complaints and I would absolutely go here again. Fantastic all around and I am a complete food snob.

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