This post first appeared on The Spirit World in September 2006.
I visited Elysian Fields about a week and a half ago when they had been open for just three weeks. Located across from Quest Field and just outside of the main Pioneer Square area, they provide a new option in casual dining. Elysian Fields is owned by the folks who own the Elysian on Capital Hill (and also Tangletown located in the former Honey Bear Bakery on the east side of Greenlake).
I had just left a miserable Mariners game and sat at the bar commiserating with other fans about the state of the team, the coaches and what we needed. We, of course, are all experts in how to turn the team around!
Although Elysian Fields sports a full bar I opted to go with a beer since they are, at heart, a brewpub and I’ve been trying to up my beer experience. Besides their basic lineup they offer seasonal beers and I opted to go with the Night Owl Pumpkin Ale.
This beer was a bit sweet with just the teeniest, tiniest hint of pumpkin. More noticeable was the spice which is a combination of nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, ginger and allspice. With these spices it was reminiscent of pumpkin pie. I thought the beer was very pleasant however, I couldn’t quite finish my glass – and I had only ordered a schooner. Once I hit about 3/4 of it, it seemed too rich to me but that may also have been due to what I chose for my meal. The combination may not have been the best.
My food choice was a Portabella Panini, made with a marinated and grilled portabella mushroom, corn relish and red pepper aioli. This sandwich was rich and satisfying! Very good! I loved the corn relish as it brought a clean element that was great with the rich mushroom! And the fries served along with it were perfect!
Although Elysian Fields has the same beers available as the other pubs that is pretty much where the resemblance stops. My impression of the Elysian on Capital Hill is always of wood – wooden booths and bar and the honey colored light wood brings to a space. It’s been some time since I visited Tangletown but if memory serves me the lower ceilings and arrangement feels very neighborhood-y.
Elysian Fields is much different. Rather industrial with a very high open ceiling and exposed ductwork, yet kind of slick with its centrally located round bar, big windows (some are actually garage doors which I assume will be open in nice weather) and clean lines. I liked the feel of the place but I can imagine those who love the Capital Hill location might not feel quite as at home as they would expect.
The menu has some common elements but is not the same. I’ve heard that prices recently went up at the Capital Hill location so my guess is they are on par at all locations.
I liked this place and will definitely be back again. Especially since it adds a nice alternative to the area for those attending sporting events at Quest Field or Safeco Field. Being on the edge of Pioneer Square it will be interesting to see how that affects the clientèle on Friday and Saturday nights.
24-September Afternoon Update: They also use a beer engine here for at least one of the beers. I noticed it while sitting at the bar but didn’t understand the significance until talking to someone a day or two ago. So I didn’t ask what beer or why – I guess that will be up to you to discover!
542 1st Ave South (entrances on both 1st & Occidental)