View From the Top
The day couldn’t be more perfect – fantastic views, a delicious meal, and wine at Seattle’s most iconic landmark. We found ourselves whisked up 520 feet in less than a minute, where we were greeted by magnificent views from the top of the Space Needle.
Celebrating its 5oth birthday this year, the Space Needle was built for the 1962 World’s Fair as a monument to science and technology. At the observation deck, visitors have the choice of remaining indoors or exploring outdoors while beholding the same incredible views.
Colorful exhibits containing items from the World’s Fair are displayed throughout the space. If you are lucky enough to be there in the afternoon, you can enjoy Washington wines served at the wine bar.
The heart of the Space Needle is Sky City, the very first revolving restaurant in the U.S. While enjoying your meal, the view constantly changes with a complete rotation every 47 minutes. Chef Jeff Maxfield insists on using local, seasonal ingredients. His classical training allows him to highlight these fresh ingredients in delicious and innovative selections. Seafood is popular item; the restaurant prepares 200 pounds of fish daily. And they consistently win awards for their comprehensive wine programs featuring Northwest wine.
We began our meal with a Pinot Noir along with burrata and hot coppa drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar and accompanied by watercress, cured olives and oven-dried tomatoes. It was light, creamy and satisfying, while leaving room for the dishes yet to come.
Everything on the menu sounded appealing, but we chose dishes which showcased the chef’s culinary skills. Even though salmon would have been an easy choice, we decided to try the Dungeness crab toast on brioche with creamed leeks, tomato confit, and watercress tarragon sabayon. It was the perfect balance of flavors and not too rich.
Our next selection was the Walla Walla onion agnolotti with hazelnuts, braised cabbage, fig reduction, and a gorgonzola cheese with basil. The sweet onions and fig reduction were balanced by the tangy cheese and salty hazelnuts in a heavenly pasta. At the end of our meal we were completely satisfied, having attained what we felt to be the perfect Seattle dining experience.
Everything about the Space Needle was futuristic in 1962, a trend which continues today. Interactive exhibits allow visitors to easily identify landmarks seen on the ground and provide real-time information. Roving photographers take complimentary photos which can be shared immediately on Facebook, emailed or printed from kiosks.
A recent $25-million renovation added a glass pavilion on the ground floor to house the gift shop, making more room on the observation deck for lingering and appreciating the stellar views. The restaurant received a makeover including the addition of retro design elements and vintage menus, a reference to its proud history.
Details: The Space Needle is located at the Seattle Center and open daily. A popular destination, it receives more than 1.2 million visitors annually. Make reservations at Sky City and your visit to the observation deck is complimentary. Purchase a CityPASS for $69, which allows visits to six popular attractions including the Space Needle during a nine-day visit. Don’t miss Chihuly Garden and Glass located next door, where you will be amazed by vibrant glass installations. Check their website.