Swing by the cozy Madrona wine bar Bottlehouse (1416 34th Ave) and let the resident cheesemongers build you a custom board that pairs deliciously with a local wine. Choose a cheese, meat, or combo board and don’t forget to add on a seasonal vegetable plate. Francophiles flock to Le Pichet (1933 First Ave), by Pike Place Market, to sip champagne and nibble on the assiette de charcuterie, a selection of house-made sausages, pâtés, and terrines—plus air-dried French ham. Thoughtfully curated French cheeses are sold by the ounce. Ballard’s Trailbend Taproom (1118 NW 50th St), with its lively patio and laid-back vibe, is a great choice if you’re noshing with kiddos who might be a little less keen on cured meats and aged cheeses. Platters here feature chewy pretzel knots with a selection of mustards, and a vegan flatbread board abundant with Mediterranean-inspired dips, pickles, and olives. Fine cheese and meat plates are available too.
Seafood connoisseurs should check out pocket-sized JarrBar (1432 Western Ave), near the downtown waterfront, for tinned fish (think Spanish pulpo and oil-packed mussels) served with marcona almonds, piparras peppers, and tiny dishes of Aleppo pepper and salt for seasoning every briny bite. Or hop the ferry to Bainbridge Island, where stylish Seabird (133 Winslow Way E) features a rotating “seacuterie” that might include salt-cured salmon mojama, smelt boquerones, and mussels escabeche. To create your own picture-perfect picnic platter, drop by Pike Place Market’s DeLaurenti (1435 First Ave) and stock up on everything you need to create a gorgeous spread—from paper-thin sheets of Culatello salumi to plump wedges of creamy brie.
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