In the last few years, the number of restaurants in the Bellevue area has really expanded. One would hope that the increase in quantity/choice would improve the quality but it isn't clear that has happened. So we have to ensure that those ongoing, proven, established restaurants don't get overlooked (and they have to ensure they keep the qualities that made them perennials in the first place). Seastar closed down for a bit in the summer of 2017 for a remodel--I am not impressed with the results. It WAS a place lacking much ambience BUT with superior seafood and a knowledgeable staff. We have been going there for much of its 15 year history (and the shorter-lived Seattle site, which had better ambience but more competition apparently). It is STILL a really good restaurant but I don't think the remodel did anything to improve the atmosphere of the place and I have detected in my last few visits a bit of a down-grade in the staff's attitudes towards customers. The food is still high-quality but I miss the older menu choices. I bought John Howie's cookbook, we attended special wine dinner events in the past and always felt comfortable bringing friends here to eat. It's a good/great place that I would hate to see stumbled.
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