Tourist Season!
About four years ago, I made my first wishlist of Seattle restaurants. Matt’s in the Market was in the top ten. I’m not sure why I never made it before tonight, but I’m not sure if we’ll ever go again.

As I described to a friend later:
Our reservation was at 8:30. We should have had the salmon or the snapper — we tried 4 smaller plates and a dessert and were pretty underwhelmed. We’d been hoping that the variety would yield good results, but no go.

The good: We loved the prosciutto/fig pizzette special.The waiter was great but seemed to think we weren’t from Seattle.

The okay: We were seated midway into the restaurant. It seemed difficult to talk to each other when we first got seated and we were in a heavily trafficked area. I have a feeling that if we were by the windows, it would have been more charming.

The bad: For over $110, I expect a really good meal. We tried the “caprese” (the tomatoes were TERRIBLE — how do you do that above the market?), the foie gras BLT, the pork belly, and the raspberry lemon bread pudding. Come to think of it, Mr. T REALLY loved that bread pudding. That should go in the good column.

I’d heard great things about Matt’s for years, so it was a let down. I’d go again if someone else insisted, but I’d never recommend this to a visitor, even for the great view of Pike Place Market.
Matt's in the Market on Urbanspoon

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6 Responses to Matt’s in the Market Let-down

  1. Maya says:

    I had a really good lunch there one day, but I was also looking longingly at the tables by the windows. We sat at the counter which doesn’t please me if I’m spending that much money!

  2. Rachel says:

    Yes! A few people changed their seats as earlier guests left. I’m wondering if we should’ve done that — location can mean everything.

  3. Greg Davis says:

    The founder, Matt Janke, sold the restaurant at least a year ago. Along with Matt, probably some of the magic left as well. When I was in college a former college roomate worked with Matt at a couple different restaurants. Matt was a sous chef and always took good care of us when we were hanging around the restaurant or I was waiting for my friend to get off of work.

  4. Maya says:

    Maybe that is the difference. I ate there more than a year ago, so Matt was probably still there. The food was excellent back then!

  5. ruby says:

    funny…ive always had amazing meals and i dined while matt was owner and after and frankly the food is much better now…(matt is even an acquaintence of mine) sounds like your table frustration might have shaped your experience. i have lived all over the world and have eaten at some fantastic places and honestly this is up there with some of the best.

  6. Rachel says:

    I really don’t think it was the seating affecting my impression of the food quality. It was a mediocre meal. I’m pretty good about keeping components separate in a dining experience & I’ve also been all over the world. Some of the best meals of my life have happened in less than optimal conditions, for pittance by comparison.

    If you spend over $100 on a meal for 2 (in Seattle, this is not infrequent), a certain bar should be met. I wonder sometimes if a price makes someone think the quality of their food is better than it is (a la Emperor’s New Clothes). There wasn’t much to write home about after the pizzette.

    I’ve talked with other friends who ate there around the same time and the consensus seemed to be that the produce. I still don’t get how you can get away with serving a bland caprese salad in August, above Pike Place Market.

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