photo credit: Nate Watters
If you’re planning a last-minute dinner Downtown, you might have difficulty finding something that isn't a hotel restaurant or The Capital Grille. Shama seems to always have availability though, and this is a good thing, because it should be one of your first choices in the area. The second-floor Moroccan spot just outside Pike Place is an excellent choice for a big family meal or a kind-of-healthy tagine feast, especially if you like eating in a greenhouse that’s as tall as the surrounding trees. Make the baked fish your priority—it has a brittle sear, a flaky interior, and sauce made from briny olives and burst cherry tomatoes that tastes even better spooned on cinnamony semolina couscous. Start with some mezze, like labneh with mint oil and nigella seeds, or phyllo-wrapped basteela with a floral orange honey sauce, and add on another tagine or two like chicken in a rich saffron broth or braised lamb with prunes and sesame for something more substantial.