You’ll enhance your meal at Ray’s if you arrive when it’s still light enough to take in the stunning views. Located in the Ballard neighborhood, Ray’s sits right on the water’s edge overlooking Shilshole Bay, Bainbridge Island, and the Olympic Mountains. As you might expect from a bayside restaurant that started life as a boathouse, seafood reigns supreme at Ray’s. As a starter, try the rich seafood chowder with razor clams, smoked salmon, rhyme fingerling potatoes and fennel layered in a bowl with fresh cream added at the table. For your main course, you can’t go wrong with the sumptuous slab of grilled Pacific Northwest king salmon served medium-rare with grilled Manila clams, fregola sarda, and black kale; or with the sablefish (smoked or cooked with sake). The main floor restaurant, open for dinner only, is a casually elegant, low-ceilinged room with a central bar and giant windows all around. The second floor café, with its high, exposed-beam ceiling, is a more casual dining area with a huge, heated deck that’s a beloved spot for outdoor, family-friendly dining from spring through fall. Many of the same dishes are served in both dining rooms, but the restaurant is where you’ll want to dine if you’re in a romantic mood. Great local and international wines are available to accompany the succulent seafood that makes Ray’s such a standout. It would be worth dining here even if it didn’t have one of the best outlooks in Seattle. In the end, I like Ray’s because it represents the best of what Seattle seafood restaurants used to be, with fairly straightforward preparation that concentrates on the basic flavors of the fish. In keeping with the times, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes are offered and there’s a happy hour between 4 and 6pm.