8.8
SEA

Westward

Perfect For: Big Groups Dinner with the Parents Drinks & A Light Bite First/Early in the Game Dates Girls' Night Out Outdoor/Patio Situation Special Occasions
PHOTOS: Stan Lee

Westward is one of those spots that people really don’t shut up about. “So gorgeous.” “Great view.” “Mm. Scrumptious.” You’d think they were talking about Ryan Gosling in Crazy, Stupid, Love. And despite photos of it showing up in our feeds more often than buffalo mac and cheese recipe videos, we were extremely skeptical of Westward. Actually, we kind of wanted to hate it, because often you get street cred for rejecting things that everyone else likes. And we could all use more street cred.

But we’ll have to look for it elsewhere. Because Westward kicks ass. There’s no reason this menu should work, but the food is incredible. Like the bowl of pasta with hazelnuts and chile and cauliflower and mint and broccoli-cheddar sauce. It’s not a precocious four-year-old’s homework project - it’s one of the better things we’ve eaten recently. Or the skillet full of straight-up wood-fired beans that will make you happy to be alive, just so you can keep putting these in your mouth. It’s all fantastic, down to each oyster, cocktail, and strange sort-of-Mediterranean riff. Be warned, you’re definitely emptying your wallet for Westward, and we would love if each menu item had at least seven bucks shaved off of them, but this meal is worth a week on the Trader Joe’s frozen tamales diet.

Then there’s the space, which is designed for outdoor eating. You’ll want to hang out in the internet-famous adirondack chairs overlooking Lake Union, or head out to the cobblestone back patio with string lights (the nice kind, from Costco) that reminds us of a wedding cocktail hour. And if it’s not nice outside? You won’t be slumming it indoors with the heavy but somehow not cheesy nautical theme either. This is one of those places that’s just exciting to be in, and makes us feel starstruck to live in Seattle. Almost like if we saw a shirtless Ryan Gosling.

Food Rundown

Housemade Chips with Tonnato

Thin potato chips seasoned perfectly with a creamy tuna-based sauce topped with capers and parsley for dipping. If the idea of eating pureed fish doesn’t make you want to run in the other direction, have at it. Perfect starter to share with two to four people.

Wood-Fired Gigante Beans

Gigante beans are what they sound like: gigantic beans. They’re exponentially better than any other kind of bean. And when wood-fired in a skillet with tomato and feta, they are exponentially better than anything. We could eat a kilo of these.

Black Pepper Gemelli

We feel like the Westward people asked a five-year-old, “what would you like in your pasta, sweetie?,” and they put her response on the menu. Black pepper gemelli pasta with hazelnuts, roasted cauliflower, chile, mint, parmesan, and a broccoli-cheddar sauce. An absolute sh*tshow of ingredients. It’s delicious.

Mustard-Glazed Pork Cheek

You need this. Super tender pork with a salty, spicy, mustard-y soy umami sauce, crunchy pecans, and cabbage. It’s okay to lick the plate.

Braised Lamb

If you’re shaking the menu upside down looking for a steak, you won’t find one, but the braised lamb is your move. It comes with tzatziki sauce, homemade roti flatbread, and satisfaction.

Pan-Seared Arctic Char

A nice piece of fish cooked perfectly with crispy skin. The rest of the plate is pretty simple with celery root, salmon roe, and a fennel-apple slaw. A great option when you’re trying to eat healthier but seeing another salad makes you want to flip a table.

Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake

The biscuit and vanilla ice cream were great, but let’s get the soggy strawberries out of the picture, thanks.

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