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Coqktail Club: Joey’s

Our last cocktail club foray took us to Joey’s at the south end of Lake Union.  You may remember that some time ago Joey’s bought several of the local Cucina! Cucina! locations.  I don’t remember the story of why they picked which ones but I know, for instance, that the Cucina! Cucina! across from Bellevue Square was not purchased so I think it’s a bit hit or miss of which chain you will find where. 
The bar area at the South Lake Union Location has been pretty substantially remodeled.  The layout is still similar but large semi-circular booths have replaced much of the seating around the perimeter and individual bar tables have replaced the longer tables.  Entering at 7:00 pm, with the sun still bright outside and shining on Lake Union the bar was amazingly dim!  We assumed that as the sunlight disappeared and the light inside and out equalized the contrast would not be so great.  But at that particular time of day, you’d need a flashlight to look for anyone you were meeting! :-)  And it made taking photos, while trying to be discreet, pretty challenging! 
We picked a table along the back where we’d be able to spread out a bit.  Some of the seats were along the banquette and some were barstools.  The barstools were the correct height for the tables, the banquette was not.  I felt a bit like Edith Ann, then again the seat was so comfortable I wasn’t ready to move!
I started with a Bellini, which was the Monday drink special.  Joey’s does not appear to have a Happy Hour per se, but each night one of their drinks is featured and the price discounted.  R ordered a Ginger Margarita, M2 also had a Bellini.  The Bellinis were good and they were made in what I call the "Canadian style".  I call it that because Milestones in Kirkland (and Victoria and Whistler) is also a Canadian chain and they make their Bellinis much the same way, which is not traditional at all.  Instead the drink consists of a frozen peach concoction mounded in the center of a martini glass and then topped with champagne and/or sangria.  I happen to like this style quite a bit, but Mr. Bellini might not be so happy with it!  
R’s Ginger Margarita was also good.  But what we had really been looking forward to was the food!  Since Joey’s is a Canadian chain we had been looking forward to Dry Ribs – something we’ve never seen here in Seattle, but is one of our favorite bar nibbles whenever we visit Whistler.  We ordered the ribs and a bit later, Ahi Tacos. 
The ribs were not quite what we had expected but were good, none-the-less!  Our "normal" ribs are heavily crusted with salt and pepper and baked until chewy and the flavor concentrated.  These were nearly the same but, instead of salt and pepper, they were fancied up a bit with Chinese 5-Spice powder.  The flavor was great, although some of the ribs were cut a bit oddly so there were bits of bone in awkward places – don’t order this dish on a first date! 
The Tacos were yummy!  The shells were fried wonton wrappers.  They were filled with crispy, fresh vegetables and then topped with a lovely slice of beautifully grilled Ahi and a bit of some sort of sauce.  Along side was a wasabi aioli. 
The order included 4 tacos and they were all lovingly lined up in a little server that held them upright, keeping all ingredients in the taco and preventing the shells from getting soggy or broken. 
The wasabi aioli was good – it would be great served with all kinds of meats! 
For the next round of drinks we all tried something a little different.  R tried a Lychee Martini, M2 had the SuperSize Gin and Tonic, J had joined us and ordered a Gin Fizz and I decided to go with a Burnt Orange Cosmo. 
I don’t know what to tell you about the Lychee Martini!  My notes say, "The starfruit was a pretty garnish but…".  Hmmm.  Wonder what the "but" was?  The Super Gin and Tonic looked great!  Garnished with both a lemon and lime, the focal point of the drink was a float of citrus ice.  It looked sooooo cool and refreshing!  
J bravely instructed our server on the creation of a Gin Fizz, as neither she nor the bartender actually knew what one was.  Yikes!  What he got was actually very beautiful and a pretty good representation – at least of a Golden Fizz.  Oh well, what’s one little egg yolk?  :-) 
My Burnt Orange Cosmo was interesting.  I liked the twist of burnt orange peel in the drink.  It added an interesting flavor.  I’m not sure it would ever be one of my favorites, though. 
All in all it was a pleasant evening and once our eyes adjusted to the light it was pretty comfortable – although even as the sun set it was still pretty dark in the place.  The food was good and the drinks decent.  I’d come back again and I think it might be a really cozy place to be on one of those upcoming gray and stormy days that will be hitting Seattle sooner than I want to think about. 
Joey’s Grill
901 Fariview Avenue North
  1. Megan permalink
    02-Sep-2005 3:25 pm

    It could just be one of those days, but those cocktails are looking awfully good right about now. Can\’t wait for the next get-together!P.S. Your pics turned out great.

  2. Culinary permalink
    03-Sep-2005 10:48 am

    Hey, it\’s a holiday weekend – they are bound to look good! :-) Looking forward to see where you pick for September. It should be fun! And thanks – the pics turned out better than I thought they would. I love the color in the Bellini… ~ B

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