NFT Seattle Medina / Clyde Hill

Medina / Clyde Hill

As business continues to boom, construction cranes have become a permanent fixture amid shiny skyscrapers in downtown Bellevue. Bellevue Way becomes "Snowflake Lane" during the holiday season with nightly parades and Christmas lights on display. Upscale and strictly residential Medina is known for its homes right on Lake Washington's shoreline.

Expect crowds and long waits at every nice restaurant within walking distance of Bellevue Square (or "Belle Square" if you're nasty). Skip the lines at Lincoln Square Cinemas by scoring tickets from kiosks sprinkled around Belle Square. If you've got the dough, the membership-only Bellevue Club is recognized for its vast athletic facilities, including an Olympic-size swimming pool and indoor track. Carillon Point is a perfect place to stroll and watch the sunset after dinner.See more.


On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Karen Watson
Photo:  Karen Watson

Is it a pizza? No, it's a pogacha--a soft Croatian bread pillow that cradles tasty toppings and cheese just like a pizza. Minus the saucy bit. You are allowed to add sauce for an extra fee but the wood-fired pogachas are so yummy you won't even miss it. I couldn't make a decision from the huge list of combinations, which also set my stomach growling, so I did a blind finger point and then threw on some additional kalamata olives. My leftover tomato, basil, feta, and kalamata creation tasted even better the next day paired with my morning coffee. Since you'll most likely be taking some pogacha home in a doggie bag, order an appetizer. More specifically, the Spicy Sauteed Prawns. If you dig on Creole seasoning or Old Bay you'll be sucking up the sauce with a straw. There just aren't enough pogachas on the planet to mop up all of that creamy spice goodness.

Posted By:  Meiwa Chen
Photo:  Meiwa Chen

Oil & Vinegar
I never thought the words "on tap" could be used to refer to olive oil and vinegar, but there's a first time for everything. If you enjoy cooking and are picky about the ingredients you use, you'll need to stop by Oil & Vinegar at Bellevue Square. Peruse through and sample over 25 types of specialty olive oils imported from around the world, and taste the varieties of pestos, dips, mustards, dressings, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and other culinary essentials to keep handy in your kitchen. Then grab an empty glass bottle (price based on size) and fill it up with the product of your choice; spread out on the back wall are flasks full of oil and vinegar that'll stir up unpleasant memories of high school chemistry lab class. But at least the liquids here aren't toxic when consumed.

Posted By:  Meiwa Chen
Photo:  Meiwa Chen

Pete's Wines Eastside
If you're a well-known klutz like me, enter Pete's Wine Shop at your own expense. I knocked over a fancy schmancy bottle of wine and just barely caught it in time before causing a domino effect and hundreds of dollars in damage. Over a thousand well-known labels from around the world, from Australia to South Africa to Italy--and of course local wineries--can be found here at such discounted prices that my friend and I strolled through each aisle competing with each other to see who could find the cheapest wine in the store, whispering to each other incredulously: "$11.99!" "$5.99!" "Ha--$2.99!" "Nah, that's gotta be cooking wine..." Pete's Wine Shop also offers beer, wine tasting and Wine School 101 for those who hopelessly cannot tell the difference between cooking wine and an expensive bottle, classily titled "Swirl, Sniff, Slurp & Spit." I'm assuming the spitting is for the cooking wine, not the pinot noir.

Posted By:  Meiwa Chen
Photo:  Meiwa Chen

Beach Cafe at the Point
There were specks of dirt floating amongst the ice in my Mandarin Mojito. DIRT. As in the black crap you get under your nails from working in your backyard. Fo' real. It seems Beach Cafe didn't rinse the mint leaves clean before they decorated my drink, which they quickly whisked away and replaced after I tattletaled. The name Beach Cafe is a little deceiving since there isn't a beach, and the atmosphere and prices are quite high and mighty for this restaurant to be considered a casual cafe, but at least the view of Lake Washington and all the boats moored at Carillon Point are easy on the eyes. The happy hour food menu (proportions are a bit small) is disappointingly deficient, if not unusual. Maybe I'm missing something here, but does a simple iceberg lettuce salad actually sound tempting to anyone with beer?

Posted By:  Meiwa Chen

La Bu La
If the thick bamboo and elegant dark wood inside the Bamboo Garden don’t help you forget that you are right next door to an adult entertainment store, the Sichuan peppercorns probably will. Hidden in a tiny strip mall, the location is less than ideal but the spicy Sichuanese cuisine makes up for it. With an extremely descriptive menu, your mouth will either water or dry up in retaliation for even considering ordering the “Sliced Pork Kidneys in a Tangy Broth.” No? Then how about the dish so candidly dubbed “The Other Parts of a Pig” – composed of pork intestines and pig blood cubes? Didn’t think so. Stick with the “Swimming Fire Fish” and “House Special Pancake” and your tongue will thank you. So will your wallet, as most of the dishes are less than $10. See, you forgot about the porn now, didn’t you?

Posted By:  Meiwa Chen

Seven Salon
After hearing a few raves of 7, the trendy hair salon in Bellevue Square (the original Seattle location is expanding and moving to Pacific Place sometime in 2008), I gave in and decided to forgo my usual $15 trim at Hair Masters. Expecting a miraculous hair makeover, I coughed up wads of cash at 7 for a stranger to play scissorhands with my hair…all for misplaced, hard-to-control layers. I am blaming it on the miscommunication between me and my stylist, with the pounding music bouncing off the walls in the metallic beads-adorned salon. We had to shout to hear each other (and ourselves). The salon was packed, the stylists looked like they commuted from Capital Hill, and appointments are generally booked weeks in advance, but I’m going back to Hair Masters.

Posted By:  Jessica Baxter
Photo:  Jessica Baxter

The Tap House has a bit of an identity crisis. The red walls and black furniture, as well as the 160 beers on tap suggest upscale happy hour and late-night dining destination. The numerous TVs depicting sports matches and the late 80s rock soundtrack, however, are Sports Bar all the way. The black-clad wait staff seems as uncomfortable with this dichotomy as I am. Still, the service is Johnny-On-The-Spot, allowing you to take utmost advantage of the under $3 fancy-pants happy hour menu. (Get the Santa Fe Beef Won Tons and the Volcano Goat Cheese.). The wine selection is overpriced and copied from the Safeway drink cooler, but this is not a wine bar. The beers are where the Tap House excels. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the choices, try one of their 5 samplers. But unless we’re about to be ushered into a new era where sports fans and foodies unite, the Tap House needs to pick a genre.

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Restaurants (23)
Nightlife (3)
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