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Defending champ Guarnier wins Tour of California opener

Just in time to ride on home soil, too. The three-time U.S. champion won the opening stage of the women's Tour of California on Thursday, pulling away from a reduced bunch on the uphill climb to the finish. It was a breakthrough win for her after a concussion sustained in her second race of the season sidelined her for six weeks. "My team had their work cut out for them today," Guarnier said. "It was quite aggressive. They had to follow everything or be in everything. They let me stay calm and ready for the finish." Guarnier took advantage of…
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Best New Restaurants of 2016: Copine

Was it that the amuse-bouche was so intelligent, so expertly wrought, so yummy—cured salmon, cloaked in tempura, topped with roe—that we secretly wanted a plate of them for dinner? Or was it that the dish holding the gratis dinner roll—“gratis dinner roll” itself a revelation—was as carefully composed as a canvas, a dollop of salted butter alongside the housemade challah-thyme roll with a sprig of sweet cicely beside both, just to be beautiful? Actually, you may suspect Copine is special much earlier, if you call and the voice at the other end is that blend of gracious and crisply efficient…
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Best New Restaurants of 2016: Sushi Kashiba

Shiro Kashiba owns sushi in this city, has done for nigh on 50 years, and now at last in a worthy space: the chewy center of Pike Place Market, strikingly beautified with birch branches and distinguished by smooth service. While in many ways the master’s simply doing what he’s forever done—buying his own fish (“Look for clear eyes! Red gizzard!”), delivering stunning omakase (with precise orders on how to eat it), reprising the standbys (the poke is here, as is the shiitake geoduck and the indescribable sake-breathing black cod), and drawing a crowd (arrive by 4pm for a seat at…
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Best New Restaurants of 2016: Xi’an Noodles

“Smell this before you eat,” the server says as he deposits a plate of noodles topped with hot chili oil, their imperfect, ragged edges proof that someone’s back in the small kitchen tearing these ribbons by hand. It sounds corny, but dude was right: The aroma that transpires when searing oil meets the crimson complement of dried chilies, garlic, soy sauce, and a house “special sauce” is incredible. So are the noodles themselves. So is the version made with cumin lamb. Xi’an Noodles doesn’t offer a lot in the way of ambience, but nobody in line to place an order…
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Seattle's 100 Very Best Restaurants

Note: Restaurants are in alphabetical order; this is not a ranked list. A La Bonne Franquette[1] Just like in Paris, only on Seattle’s Mount Baker Ridge, is a neighborhood bistro too pretty to be this unpretentious. French Culinary Institute–trained Hamed Elnazir plies bistro classics—maybe chicken liver pate, a roasted half chicken, the terrific trout amandine—all with perfectionist consistency and served in a civilized spot with a rare Northwesterly view over bay, skyline, and Olympics. albfseattle.com[2] Altura[3] North Broadway’s intimate, elegant Altura conveys a rare blend of modesty in manner and blazing self-assurance. In seven to nine prix-fixe courses a night…
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Stateside's New Sibling Cocktail Bar Is a Dark Den of Marvelous

Stepping into Foreign National from the bright hustle of Pike/Pine is rather like walking into a theater midshow. Mostly because it’s dark—so much so that the staff provides bronze-plated flashlights with menus. But once your eyes adjust, Stateside[1]’s new adjacent cocktail bar packs a stage set’s worth of moody intrigue, starting with a four-foot-wide disco ball that rotates like a languid meteor just above the dark green corner booth, the only seat in this tiny house offering more real estate than a bar top or diminutive cocktail table. Suspending an enormous object in a small space begs the question—that thing’s…
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Dino's Tomato Pie Wants You to Embrace the Char

Dino’s is the latest project of Delancey[1] co-owner and pizzaiolo Brandon Pettit, a pizza scholar who knows from wet dough and dry ovens. Pettit also believes in the righteousness of char—the black blisters of crust and topping which are badges of honor back East. I’ve sampled a thick-crusted Sicilian pie at Dino’s which did that tradition proud—its fresh and aged mozzarella cheeses cauterized to maximum swoon, its uncommonly bright sauce topped with generous fistfuls of Grana Padano, all atop a crust whose proximity to fire had caramelized its sugars to transporting complexity. That’s what good char does for pizza. And…
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Frelard's Tarsan i Jane Reimagines Valencian Culinary Traditions

It’s not easy being new in town. Last spring a gorgeous couple, Perfecte Rocher and Alia Zaine, blew into Seattle, like so many newcomers abrim with ambition to make their cultural mark in a city of so many natural charms. She is an LA restaurant vet who knows front of house; he a native son of a little village near Valencia, in Spain, who grew up in two generations of family restaurants and whose skills had propelled him through a European welkin of Michelin stars. He staged at the famed El Bulli in Catalonia, then went on to open his…
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Upper Bar Ferdinand Defies Expectations In The Best Possible Way

I suppose I should own it off the top, but Upper Bar Ferdinand isn’t exactly a restaurant. It’s certainly more of one than its Melrose Market sibling, Lower Bar Ferdinand[1], which is just a wine bar and bottle shop. But instead of offering the usual conventions—more than one nonalcoholic drink, for instance, or more than two entrees—Upper Bar Ferdinand shrugs an elegantly angular shoulder. Think of it instead as a screen grab from the ongoing dream sequence that is Matt Dillon’s prodigious imagination. The image: Japanese seafood, glorious wine. This idiosyncratic restaurateur has broken with conventional wisdom before, at the…
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Little Uncle Finds Its Happy Medium in Capitol Hill

After Goldilocks moments in spaces too small (the sidewalk takeout down the street), then too big (the Pioneer Square basement), the beloved Little Uncle has found its just-right. Mind you, the packed, modern space has limited seating, but wraparound windows help, and aromas from the open kitchen—tended by careful owners Wiley Frank and Poncharee Kounpungchart—evoke its heady citizen-of-the-world status. A $13-ish menu of noodle bowls, starring tamarind phad thai[1] (add the side packets of chilies and nuts and sugar if you want intrigue) and exquisite khao soi gai (chicken curry over egg noodles) is served 11am to 9pm, with an…
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