Eastside execs share their favorite places to take clients

No longer is taking clients out for a meal solely about impressing them at the fanciest restaurant in town. The ubiquity of easy-to-use websites such as Yelp, Urbanspoon, and Foursquare has produced savvy diners. In order to win over out-of-town clients nowadays with food, business executives are forced to find hidden gems or interesting cuisines. We found five Eastside executives whose foodie sense is as keen as their business sense and asked them where they take clients. Sure, they mentioned some restaurants popular on Yelp, but they also gave us some lesser-known tips we were happy to discover. And we hope you are, too.

JamesWalsh_HeadshotJAMES WALSH
Portfolio manager at Coldstream Capital Management

His job: Coldstream Capital Management is an independent wealth-management firm. We offer financial planning, customized investment portfolios, family office services, and employee-sponsored retirement plans. We also work with endowments and foundations to establish investment policy and manage plan assets. We perform security selection, research, and manager diligence. I also work directly with clients to translate our investment direction to the specific needs of the family or institution.

Share an elegant dining spot that isn’t a typical suit-and-tie restaurant. One of my favorite hidden-gem restaurants is just a block from our (Old Bellevue) office. It is a Japanese sushi restaurant named Ginza. The quality of the fish is amazing, the best I’ve had anywhere.

What makes it ideal for clients? Ginza is quiet enough that one does not have to shout. It is super important for clients to hear and be heard. Plus, the quality, taste, and presentation of the food have always (impressed) guests I’ve taken there.

Walsh recommends: For lunch, order the Ginza plate. Five pieces of nigiri, one California or spicy tuna roll, plus miso soup. It gives the customer a wonderful sampling of their fish.

Partner at 425 Consulting Group, LLC

His job: The team at 425 Consulting Group specializes in processes and technology solutions across the following disciplines: software solution management, business process management, financial reporting and analysis, and business intelligence.

What’s your favorite restaurant to take clients for lunch or dinner? Matts’ Rotisserie & Oyster Lounge in Redmond Town Center.

What makes it ideal for clients? Matts’ has a great atmosphere, great food, and an excellent drink selection. Many members of the staff have been around for years and are always friendly. I never have to worry about clients having a bad experience there.

Berry recommends: The seafood chowder is my favorite! Rich and creamy. I also love the mixed grilled skewers with chicken, prawns, and sausage. The nachos and calamari are great for sharing with a group.

Profile,-charlesCHARLES KOH
Founder of EatSeattle

His job: We cover everything from new restaurant openings, events, and new distilleries and wineries in Seattle and on the Eastside.

Name a great hidden-gem restaurant. A favorite power breakfast and power lunch destination is located just outside the downtown Bellevue corridor: Gilbert’s on Main. The small deli founded by Steve Gilbert is famous for its large pancakes, fresh bagels, Matzo ball soup, and their giant Reuben sandwiches. Even New Yorkers are calling the Reuben sandwiches a must-try.

What makes it ideal for clients? Impressive food, ample parking, quick service, and a relaxing environment.

Koh recommends: Pancakes, bagels, Matzo ball soup, French onion soup, and the Reuben sandwich.

Jamie-Peha-82-copyJAMIE PEHA
Founder and president of Peha Promotions
Founder and editor in chief of TableTalk Northwest 

Her job: Peha Promotions is a strategic marketing and promotions company that delivers results through idea generation and relationship-building for large and small businesses. We blend wine, beverage, food, and philanthropy into creative campaigns, business development plans, and event concepts. Peha Promotions actively promotes the food and beverage lifestyle through its signature event, the Seattle Wine and Food Experience, the premier showcase for food and beverage in the Pacific Northwest. In addition, I founded TableTalk Northwest, a media platform that offers a “backstage pass” to culinary and wine happenings and interviews with today’s tastemakers.

Name a unique dining experience for day or night. Bake’s Place in Bellevue, a bistro that has a stage for concerts in the evenings.

What makes it ideal for clients? It’s easy to find and has great patio seating — weather permitting. You can always get a table at lunch, often without a reservation. Lunch selections are creative and well-priced. They have enough variety on the menu to appeal to anyone — gourmet deli sandwiches, interesting salads, and a killer burger. It’s also great for a happy-hour business gathering.

Peha recommends: Shaved Brussels sprouts salad with carrot, celery, dried cranberries, almonds, and basil vinaigrette. For someone who didn’t like Brussels sprouts, I am now a convert! It’s filling, blended well, and it is absolutely delicious.

Executive director and co-founder of Greenroads Foundation

Her job: Greenroads Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation advancing sustainability education and initiatives for transportation infrastructure. As the developer of the Greenroads Rating System, the foundation manages the certification process for sustainable roadway and bridge construction projects in the U.S. and internationally.

Clients from out of town are visiting — where do you take them? I love Purple Café and Wine Bar in Kirkland!

What makes it ideal for clients? It impresses business guests. Many of ours come from out of the country, so we like to share a taste of the Northwest style while they are in town. I’ve also had great service there, especially local wine recommendations to match the meal, since sometimes the staff shares secret finds. Once, the cream of cauliflower soup paired perfectly with a lovely gewürztraminer that wasn’t on the list, making a lovely summer afternoon dinner on the patio.

Anderson recommends: They never fail with the soups! I get them with Purple’s chopped salad for lunches and dinners.

Was your favorite place left off the list? Let us know in the comments.