Art is the restaurant and lounge in the new Four Seasons Hotel. The building also houses private, luxury condominiums. The restaurant name comes from the hotel and restaurant’s proximity to the Seattle Art Museum. Many of the dishes are served in ways evocative of painting or other creative endeavors. Kerry Sears, the former chef/owner of Cascadia is now at Art after closing his own place. We miss Cascadia but are happy that he continues to bring his creative combinations to to the table.
Thursday before starting our stroll through galleries and studios open for Seattle’s First Thursday Art Walk, M and I stopped by for sustenance to fuel our walk. The lounge (and I believe the dining room, too) are on the West side of the building where there are views of Puget Sound broken by some industrial buildings along Western Avenue. I liked the yin/yang of this arrangement, sitting in a plush lounge while looking at a nitty-gritty view, as I think it’s a part of what makes Seattle, Seattle.
We arrived for the start of happy hour in the lounge, which offers several small plates and drinks for $5. Always a sucker for an interesting sounding cocktail, I ordered a Bellini Martini which combines elements from both drinks into one peachy libation. Made from vodka, pureed peaches and Prosecco it was refreshing and tasted of summer. M had a lemon drop (not on the happy hour menu) and said it was wonderful, too.
For our first course we sampled the Blue Shrimp which is served with Horseradish and Bloody Mary Dressing. The combination was outstanding. The shrimp was so fresh it tasted as if it had been just brought in especially for our order. Horseradish is finely grated over the shrimp (be careful if you are not a horseradish fan) and the dressing is served in a tiny little glass, complete with a sprig of celery. I actually took a little swig of it and it would have made a perfect aperitif, too.
It was hard deciding what else to choose but we opted to try the tuna roll and sliders, something Kerry was famous for at Cascadia.
Of course everything here comes with it’s own little twist. The tuna roll was elevated with jalapeños, crisp garlic, daikon shoots and wasabi cream. The presentation was beautiful as was the tuna and the overall taste combination. We ended with a plate of sliders, which are available in either beef or in a vegetarian style. The condiments for the sliders were served as if they were paint on a pallet, which was both beautiful and fun. The only slightly disappointing note of the evening was that we’d ordered a side of mushrooms with our sliders and they were overlooked. Not a big deal at all, but I call it out only because I think the servers here had a few too many tables to handle which showed in a couple of other small ways, too. It’s understandable that with the low prices for this quality food that Art is watching costs.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Art. The ambience of the lounge is plush without being fussy. I think it will be a nice, cozy place to hang out when the darker days of winter set in, too. Happy hour is an outstanding deal. I’ll need to get back to sample an actual dinner here some time soon.
Located in the Four Seasons Hotel
99 Union Street