The single-minded approach of chef Scott Carsberg has kept his Belltown restaurant, Lampreia, on many best-of-the-Northwest lists since it opened in 1992. And one ingredient at a time, he keeps bettering that best. "I let one really fine ingredient speak," says the Seattle-born chef, who last fall was giving voice to Piedmontese white truffles in appetizers like longhorn beef carpaccio with a Parmigiano tulip and the aromatic, rare mushroom. "I just won't stack three or four intense flavors," he says. Carsberg plays up the sweetness of an Italian wine, Saba, reducing it to a delicate syrup to accompany sautéed foie gras with Asian pear. His seafood tasting menu is sublime—with dishes like sautéed Alaskan spot prawns (another favorite ingredient) with red beet agnolotti, and poached bass filet with manila clams. "It takes a lot of thought to take one piece of bass and serve it simply in a broth. It's all in the timing—in the sound of the fish as it's cooking." Truffle appetizers: $70. Tasting menu: $58. 2400 First Avenue; 206-443-3301.
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