On the Monday prior to Thanksgiving, the Cocktail Club met for our last gathering of the year. We selected a fairly new place; one that had been written up in the Seattlest a few months ago. The place is the Black Bottle, located at the North end of Belltown.
When we arrived at 7:00 the place was packed! The earliest arrivals from our group had managed to grab a small table in the front window but as others arrived it was evident we just were not going to fit – even with squeezing in on the windowsills! A very nice group of women seated at a larger table next to us offered to change places with us. It was such a great thing for them to do! We really appreciated it.
The place was on the dark side, but lit with a candle on every table. The tables and chairs were all simple wooden pieces. Everything about the place was filled with a welcoming warmth; it’s a place you want to sit and stay awhile.
Soon drinks arrived and we began our tasting. R ordered a Martini (Bombay Gin) and pronounced it "fine". It must have been okay since she ordered the same thing for the second round. :-) M2 was taking it a bit easy (she’s been working her behind off lately!) and started with a Vodka Tonic and was rewarded with a good textbook drink. JB, always testing the bartenders, ordered a Blueberry Tea. Our server wasn’t familiar with it, but told us that "the bartender knows every drink in the world". Okay, then! This shouldn’t pose any problem, and indeed it didn’t. JB pronounced his cocktail, "Delightful!" I started with a Lemon Drop after asking, as I always do, if they made theirs on the sweet or tart side. The server said she’d just tell the bartender I preferred something on the tart side and that’s what I got. It actually may have been just a bit too tart… next time I’ll just order and see what I get by default.
We also decided to start with a little bite to eat and JB ordered the Smoked Chicken and Sun-Dried Cherry Flatbread. When it arrived it was a bit of a surprise – not really what I would have called a flatbread, more like a foccacia or even just a savory tart of some sort. That didn’t really matter though – it was divine! The smoky chicken with the sweet-tart cherries was delicious! They offer several other flatbreads and I plan to try them all at sometime in the near future.
At some point as we were inhaling the flatbread, K, N and JH arrived. In no time they had placed food and drink orders and soon a Stoli Razberi with Soda, some odd Manhattan type drink, a plate of Seven Spice Shrimp and another of Skirt Steak with Daikon appeared at our table. Oh, and somewhere in there a couple of coffee drinks – one Spanish and one Irish – arrived, too.
All of the drinks were good – even though the Manhattan seemed odd to me, N said it was better than he could make on his own – and I have to admit that the bartender did seem to know how to concoct most anything we threw at him! The food was especially good, though. The shrimp were spicy and even the crispy heads were good! The steak was tender, juicy and filled with the flavor of satisfying goodness. All of the plates are set up to be shared, although one could make a meal out of one or two of them. And, what I think is rather nice, is that all menu items are a flat $8 – very reasonable, easy to track and split among a group.
As we were preparing to leave I took a last look at the menu and there are many things I’d still like to sample, starting with the rest of the flatbreads! Yum! In fact, I liked this place so much that I’ll be back there next Monday with a few other friends!
2600 1st Avenue (at Vine)