Traveling Table: Seattle

Four of the Northwest's brightest stars shine near the Puget Sound

Cascina Spinasse Chef Justin Niedermeyer has pulled together a sentimental vision of Piedmont at his bitsy Capitol Hill trattoria. Customers pack narrow tables (pictured) to slurp up his pastas ($19 to $22) like tajarin with sage butter and ravioli stuffed with the pick of the season's fields. Don't overlook other corners of the ever-changing menu, including vitello tonnato ($14) and the braise of the day, such as duck legs with tiny turnips ($28). 1531 14th Ave., 206-251-7673 or spinasse.com

The Corson Building Five nights a week (or so), chef Matt Dillon and company throw a pastoral dinner party amid the herb gardens and dovecotes they've cultivated in a former stonemason's shop. Around candlelit communal tables diners share platters of food with new acquaintances: Right now they might include house-made labneh with nettle salsa verde, dandelion greens with pickled fiddleheads and eggs from resident hens. Dinners range from $50 to $90; reservations are essential. 5609 Corson Ave. S.; 206-762-3330 or thecorsonbuilding.com

Spring Hill Chef Mark Fuller brings a new level of sophistication to West Seattle dining without sacrificing warmth or fun–or cocktails. His small plates conjure both the forest (in spruce needle-cured beef, $8) and the sea (in razor-clam crepinettes, $10). Entrées ($18 to $32) from the long, open kitchen are generous and thoughtful–even for vegetarians, with a special plate composed nightly just for them. 4437 California Ave. SW; 206-935-1075 or springhillnorthwest.com

Anchovies and Olives It might not overlook the Puget Sound, but chef Ethan Stowell's fourth restaurant has the ocean at its heart, serving up briny bites with modern Italian brio in a chic concrete-and-wood room. Look for chilly crudi of hamachi or geoduck ($14), handmade tagliarini with sea urchin ($16) and brothy compositions like fluke in a prawn brodo with gnocchi and nettles ($19). The wine list is full of offbeat Italian choices at reasonable prices. 1550 15th Ave.; 206-838-8080 or anchoviesandolives.com

Editor's note: Spring Hill is now called Ma'ono Fried Chicken & Whisky.