With a stunning view of Seattle, fun outdoor seating, a buzzing atmosphere, and tasty food, Westward is one of the top new restaurants in the United States — not just the Emerald City.
That’s not just me saying that, either — Bon Appetit recently named Westward one of the best new restaurants in America. GQ did, too. If it’s not GQ and Bon Appetit boasting about Westward, it’s the New York Times, USA Today, and even us — the Seattle Bloggers. Everyone is raving about Westward.
There’s good reason Westward is receiving so much hype. It all starts with the atmosphere. Located on the north shore of Lake Union (2501 N. Northlake Way), Westward is a has an incredible view of the Seattle skyline. You’re not trapped inside to enjoy the view, either. Westward has an outdoor bar, Adirondack chairs sitting on a beach (full service seating), and large community tables on an outdoor patio. On a sunny day in Seattle, Westward is alive with activity.
Inside the restaurant, you’ll find marine-themed decorations, including a 25-foot wooden boat on the back of the bar. You can also swing into the Little Gull Grocery store, which is directly connected to Westward. There you’ll find a 22-seat oyster bar and plenty of goods to “grab-and-go” for a picnic or to take out on your boat.
Serving Mediterranean dishes with a Northwest twist, Westward is also popular for its food. The restaurant’s “wood-burning oven is at the heart of the kitchen and is an integral element in the restaurant,” according to the Westward website. Tove and I stopped by for dinner on a sunny day in August. There are separate menus for brunch, lunch, and dinner, and many of the items change daily to “feature the freshest fare.”
Here’s what we ordered (all descriptions (in italics) are written as they are on the menu — permanent menu items are marked with a *):
We ordered a half-dozen Kumomoto oysters on the half shell. The variety of oysters available at Westward depends on the day.
*Smoked Manila Clam Dip
This comes served with Westward’s homemade potato chips.
*Taylor Shellfish Mediterranean Mussels
Hard cider, ham, crème fraiche, serrano chili, tarragon, grilled bread
*Braised Anderson Ranch Lamb Shoulder:
Herb & onion salad, pomegranate molasses, tzatziki, pita
Watermelon Shave Ice
This was a special at Westward the night we were there. It was honestly like they froze a watermelon and shaved it down for dessert. It didn’t taste like artificial watermelon flavoring; it tasted like a real honest-to-goodness watermelon. Needless to say, it was delicious.
Key Lime Tart
This was also a special the night we went to Westward. It was a perfect complement to the Watermelon Shave Ice. Some of the permanent fixtures on Westward’s dessert menu include Almond Olive Oil Cake, Flourless Chocolate Tort, and homemade sorbet. We wanted to try them all, but we were alreay bursting at the seams.
While we enjoyed everything we ordered at Westward, we were especially fans of the Braised Anderson Ranch Lamb Shoulder, and the desserts were fantastic. We didn’t try the Halloumi Cheese Saganaki, but my sister (one of the ultimate foodies I know) was a big fan when she visited Westward. We’d like to go back soon to try that and other items we missed the first time around or are new to the menu.
Westward offers great food in an extremely casual atmosphere. You can dress up if you want, but you can also show up in flip-flops and shorts. It might not act like a fancy restaurant, but you’ll still pay a pretty penny at Westward. Our meal was over $100 and we didn’t even order cocktails. The braised lamb shoulder alone was $34.
Although it’s a bit pricey, Westward offers a dining experience you can’t find anywhere else in Seattle. It’s a prime spot for a beautiful Seattle day in the spring, summer, and early fall. When the weather gets dicey — don’t fret. Westward offers wool blankets for anyone brave enough to sit outside in the cold. There is also a fire pit outside. If that isn’t appealing, take a seat indoors and enjoy the food at Westward year-round.
Have you eaten at Westward? How was your experience? What did you order? We’d love to hear all about it! Please leave a comment below or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Don’t forget to also check out Seattle Bloggers for more great places to experience in the Emerald City!