Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Entertaining Seattle style, a weekend in our own backyard

Last month our friends Chuck and Wes came up to visit for the first time from LA. We met them 3 years ago during a Tales of the Cocktail seminar where after they took us to Johnny's Po-Boys for a quick lunch before our next session started- this immediately secured them as our friends as those were some damn good po-boys!

I picked the boys up at the airport and we immediately headed to Salumi for some damn good sandwiches, Seattle style. I think they liked the product as the trunk was loaded with salumi on the way out. It was such a gorgeous spring day that we decided to grab a beer (or two) out on the deck at Rays Boathouse.

We met Dayne back at home and had a casual happy hour before heading out to Union where Rocky had arranged a fabulous tasting menu (damn if I didn't give both my menus to Chuck so I don't have all the dishes). But let me tell you, when dinner starts with Rocky using a huge knife to saber off the cork of a champagne bottle you're in for a good time! All the food was amazing although there was too much of it!

Saturday morning we started off at Besalu for the best pasteries in the city and then caught a ferry over to Bainbridge Island. Our weather wasn't as good on day 2 but who doesn't like a ferry ride, scenery and getting some good lunch (and a Playboy Bloody Mary) at the Pub?

That night, cocktail crawl Ballard. We eased into things at the Copper Gate then headed down for a nosh, splitting between La Isla & Ocho. More drinks at Moshi Moshi and finally on to Sambar. We have some awesome bars in our little hood!!

Cocktail geekery was enjoyed by all!

Sunday while the boys went to the geek museum I prepped the house for a little cocktail party we were throwing in honor of Chuck & Wes' visit. I think when you have great bartender friends and great cocktail geek friends it's best just to let them all have at it! So with that in mind Dayne pulled up a various assortment of bottles from the liquor dungeon and put them on the island/bar, he & Chuck made a big jug of punch & he also created a huge ice block to chip from, Rocky made some kick ass spring rolls, I filled the absinthe loucher and the guests arrived with more bottles of delicious spirits.

There is nothing better than having your house filled with bartenders. Period. I did basically nothing the whole evening except ask certain people to make me a cocktail. It was a very nice group of folks too with the travel prize going to Blair for coming up from Portland and driving back the same night. Other usual suspects were in attendance including Paul, Jim & Zane, Keith, Stevi, and a special appearence by Murray.

Monday morning Chuck made Brandy Milk Punch for us and we had brunch at home before they went to explore Pike Place with Zane. Another bar crawl that night, Downtown to Queen Anne. Easing into things at Vessel (the night before was not an early one!) we then made our way down to Spur for some seriously delicious dinner, on to visit Anu and her awesome Saffron Sandlewood Sour at Rob Roy and finishing the evening with Jamie at Tini Biggs.

Rocky, Chuck, Wes and I had a leisurely and awesome lunch the next day at Matt's in the Market before the boys had to fly back to LA LA land... but I know they will be back, right boys? :)

Photos from the weekend here

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The San Francisco treat!

A free night in our favorite SF Kimpton, a few new cocktail bars & restaurants to check out and Dave & Dino's birthday party... all great reasons for a weekend in the bay!

We couldn't help but notice that there was no traffic when we landed on a Friday night last month, we were checking into the Palomar 30 minutes after we had landed! After snacking on the chocolate dipped strawberries waiting for us in our room we grabbed a cab and headed out to The Alembic Bar. This wasn't our first time here but last time we had met friends on a Sunday so there was a much different vibe going on Friday evening. We had a few cocktails made expertly by Danny & Daniel- The Gilded Lily with real gold dust (although a bit too perfumy for my taste), The Southern Exposure (which was a delicious blend of mint, lime juice, celery juice & Junipero), a Promissory Note (Repossado, vermouth, Canton, honey, absinthe and a radish slice and grated nutmeg garnish), and a "Take Your Chances" which resulted in a Dark & Stormy.

We had to only wait a few minutes before we could sit at the bar but by the time we left it was packed. Go before 9pm and you should be fine. It was sitting here at the bar that I first noticed the bartenders could shake one drink while stirring another simutanously- envision the head patting/tummy rubbing and you get the idea.

Off to dinner at SPQR. They don't take ressies so we went down the street to Dosa and had a cocktail and a dosa, which was yummy! The place is very large and pretty and was quite a scene. We headed back to SPQR and were seated at a tiny table in the front window next to another tiny table, the space was really too small for even a 4 top so two 2 tops was a squeeze to say the least. All our food was good and if this were in my neighborhood we would frequent it but it wasn't good enough to be a destination restaurant in my opinion.

Off to Heaven's Dog where another round (or two) of wonderful cocktails like the Bumble Bee, Remember the Main, Tiger's Milk #2 & an Old Fashion were served up by Erick, Jackie and Eric. And again there was the simultaneous shake/stir going on!

The next day was beautiful and sunny so we headed out to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan Town. It is a small community festival with lots of dancing, music, Japanese street food, etc. A very nice way to spend the day!

Later that evening we joined our friends in celebrating Dave & Dino's birthday at a great little wine bar in Burlingame. This was the second year in a row we were able to travel down and play with the boys, very fun and lots of great wine!

The next day Ally made a wonderful Easter breakfast for us all and then we went for a little walk in the Skyline area. We were all looking forward to lunch at In n'Out Burger before hitting the airport but they were closed for the Easter holiday! grrrrrr!!

We left the sun and our friends and came home to dark, stormy skies greeted at SeaTac by this double rainbow!


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