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Wintergrass: Bellevue Restaurant Guide

David Siegel, contributing writer to

The Wintergrass Music Festival returns to Bellevue's Hyatt Regency Hotel February 24-27, 2011. While primarily a bluegrass festival there will be an eclectic mix of bands from many musical genres including Gypsy jazz, Celtic music, Old-Timey, Swedish polskas and many more types of acoustic string music. This is one of the best indoor festivals in the country and draws a very dedicated following of bluegrass fanatics, many of whom bring their instruments with them and participate in informal jam sessions throughout the festival space. Having  previously been held at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma this will be the festival's second straight year at its new digs in Bellevue.

If you have never been, this is a great opportunity to get to know Wintergrass as it establishes home in Bellevue. The bluegrass music festival will make the Hyatt Regency its home through 2018! For those who have been to Wintergrass when it was in Tacoma, it may be a bit intimidating to get your bearings especially if you have not spent much time in Bellevue. This guide is here to assist you make the most of your time. Whether you are looking for a quick bite to eat in between bands, a more relaxing dinner, to whet your whistle or perhaps just want to get out and stretch your legs this guide is here to help you get around town. Not knowing what the Hyatt's music venues will be like until this weekend, it is clear that the sheer number of dining and entertainment options in such close proximity to the festival makes Bellevue a much better choice than Tacoma.

Quick Bites to Eat
Casa D's Taqueria - Cheap, Fast and Big Portions
102 Bellevue Way NE, 425-462-8410 - 5 minutes walk less than 2 blocks south of Hyatt right down Bellevue Way

Sushi Maru - Conveyor Belt Sushi, Pretty Affordable, Quick and Lots of Selection
205 105th Ave NE, 425-453-0100 - right behind Safeway less than 2 blocks south of hotel

Boom Noodle -  Pretty Quick, Affordable and Satisfying on a chilly, NW day.
504 Bellevue Square, 425-453-6094 - 4 minute walk down Bellevue Way, just past Blue C

MOD Pizza - Superfast pizza, Thin Crust Personal Pizzas, $6 unlimited toppings
317 Bellevue Way NE, 425-455-0141 - 5 minute walk, just south of Bellevue Square Mall

Top Pot Doughnuts - Donuts...lots of them
10600 NE 9th Place, 425-457-7440 - just right behind the hotel less than a block east

More Relaxing Dinner
Z'Tejas Southwestern Grill - Best Cornbread, Southwestern Fare, Happy Hour, Fun & Casual spot
535 Bellevue Square, 425-467-5911 - Across the street at Bellevue Square, right off the skybridge from Lincoln Square

Daniel's Broiler - Excellent steaks, Killer Happy Hours (4-6:30pm & 9pm-12am), Great Views
10500 NE 8th St, 21st Floor, 425-462-4662 - In same complex (Bellevue Place as Hyatt), in Bank of America Tower

Maggiano's - Good Food, Big Portions, Best Cheesecake, Great Service
10455 NE 8th St, 425-519-6476 - Right across the street from the Hyatt at Lincoln Square

Pearl Bar & Dining - Beautiful Restaurant, Awesome Cocktails, Excellent Happy Hours (3-6pm, 9pm-12am)
700 Bellevue Way NE, 425-455-0181 - 5 minutes walk, on the south side of Lincoln Square, across from the Westin Bellevue.

Monsoon East - Excellent Food, Elegant Restaurant, Weekend Dim Sum Brunch
10245 Main St, 425-635-1112 - A nice 12 minute, 3-block walk south of the Hyatt in Old Bellevue

Grand Cru Wine Bar - Great Wine Selection, Lounge and Happy Hour Bar, Signature Cocktails
1020 108th Ave NE, 425-455-4278 - A little over 2 blocks north of the hotel near Ashwood Park

ViaVita Cafe - European-style Cafe & Wine Bar, Panini, Pastries, Gelato
1032 106th Ave NE, 425-449-8917 - A stone-throw from the north entrance of the Hyatt

Places to Whet Your Whistle
Twisted Cork - Lounge & Restaurant with plush decor, Breakfast & Brunch, Seasonal NW dishes with a twist, Live Entainment on Weekends
900 Bellevue Way NE, 425-698-4100 - Lobby of the Hyatt

Munchbar & Piano Bash - Newest Restaurant & Bar, Tasty Pub Food, Dueling Pianos, Late-Night Scene
505 Bellevue Square, 206-307-1475 - Across the street at Bellevue Square, 2nd floor right off the skybride from Lincoln Square

Tap House Grill – Best Beer Selection on Eastside, Over 150 Taps, Decent Happy Hour
550 106th Ave NE, 425-467-1730 - 6 minute walk about 2 blocks south of Hyatt

Paddy Coyne's Irish Pub - Decent Pub Grub (Good Fish & Chips!!!), Guinness on Tap
700 Bellevue Way NE, 425-453-8080 - Right across the street from the Hyatt, next to Maggiano's

The Spot Off Main - Genuine Neighborhood Bar, Happy Hour with Tasty Bar Food, Good Beer Selection
20 103rd Ave NE, 425-646-6434 - A good 12 minute walk south of the hotel in Old Bellevue

Stretch Your Legs
Lucky Strike - Swanky Bowling Alley with big video screens, decent happy hour from 4-7pm
700 Bellevue Way NE, 425-453-5137 - right across the street in Lincoln Square, up the escalators one level

The Parlor - Upscale Billiards Parlor, Happy Hour all day on Sundays, $12/hr tables during the days.
700 Bellevue Way NE, 425-289-7000 - 3rd Floor of Lincoln Square, up one level from Lucky Strike

Downtown Bellevue Park - City Oasis, ½ mile loop trail, Cool Water Fountains
10201 NE 4th Street - About 5 minutes from Hyatt, just south of Bellevue Square Mall

Bellevue Botanical Gardens - Beautiful Escape from the city, Japanese garden
12001 Main Street, 425-452-2750 - 5 minute drive away, on the east side of 405

Bellevue Arts Museum - Intimate Museum with interesting, one-of-a-kind exhibitions in craft and design
510 Bellevue Way NE, 425-519-0770 - Just one block south of the hotel right on Bellevue Way

For more Bellevue restaurants and where they are located, visit Bellevue Restaurants Guide.

Enjoy the Festival!!!

Updated February 9, 2011

David Siegel | David Siegel
David is a freelance writer.


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