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T+L Reports: Seattle Goes Global

Ballard, a neighborhood once populated by Scandinavian fishermen, has become the city's international culinary mecca, with a score of new restaurants and bars. Taste the best of Puerto Rico—smashed plantains, deep-fried catfish, coconut flan—at Sofrito Rico (2320 N.W. Market St.; 206/789-0516; dinner for two $25). · Striking black-and-white photographs of Mexico at La Carta de Oaxaca (5431 Ballard Ave. N.W.; 206/782-8722; dinner for two $30) set the mood for lamb birria. · Volterra (5411 Ballard Ave. N.W.; 206/789-5100; dinner for two $75) specializes in contemporary Tuscan cuisine (truffle bruschetta, homemade pasta in duck ragù). · Modeled after a Chinese apothecary, Fu Kun Wu (5410 Ballard Ave. N.W.; 206/706-7807), located at the back of the restaurant Thaiku, is known for its late-night potions like the Yohito—a mojito mixed with the bitter African herb (and aphrodisiac) yohimbe. · Old street signs and local artwork line the brick walls at Portalis (5310 Ballard Ave. N.W.; 206/783-2007), a wine bar and shop that serves 30 vintages by the glass. · The Hi-Life (5425 Russell Ave. N.W.; 206/784-7272; dinner for two $50) churns out regional dishes with a twist: wood oven–roasted oysters, applewood grilled salmon, and wild-mushroom pizza. · Formerly the private studio of celebrated chef-owner Bruce Naftaly and his wife, Sara, Sambar (425 N.W. Market St.; 206/781-4883) is an intimate lounge mixing up inventive cocktails. Who needs dessert when you can have the Barbapapa (Hangar One lime vodka, Cointreau, and lime juice with rhubarb sorbet)?—Julia gardner

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