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First Look: Oliver’s Twist

This was sort of a perfect weekend and it started with a questionable Friday night.  Questionable because we had another huge windstorm come wailing in on Friday evening.  R and I had plan (well I made the plan and she was gamely following whatever I suggested) that involved three places and a drive in between place two and three.  And this was not a fit night to be out and about – especially if you were hoping to keep your hair looking anything like it had when you left the house!  Then it turned out that we added another short drive and a fourth stop – we must be gluttons for punishment!
But we persevered and I think we are both glad we did.  The first stop was at Queen City.  It was really just a place for us to convene since we come from opposite directions and, depending on traffic and parking, it’s pretty hard to get to a certain place at an exact time. 
I arrived a bit before R, spent some time commiserating over the weather with a gent sitting next to me while I was sipping a glass of wine.  R arrived shortly after and I laid out the evening’s plan.  First a stop at the McLeod Residence, a new place in town that’s part gallery, part membership club, part cocktail lounge.  It was their very first grand opening night during the First Friday Art Walk in Belltown.  An interesting place, packed to the gills, we’ll be back to check it out again. 
Next stop involved a drive to Fremont, or actually to north Lake Union to the Gas Works Gallery.  This was a multi-purpose visit.  First, this space, home to several artists, takes part in Fremont’s First Friday Art Walk but, more importantly they are the home to, an organization who’s sole purpose is to raise funds/food for Northwest Harvest.  Now, you all know how I love to support NW Harvest so I’m saving the detail on that for a post I’ll write after this one
Following our stop at Gas Works Gallery we weren’t quite ready to go home so we decided to head to a new place that R had recently read about, Oliver’s Twist at 69th and Greenwood.  The primary draw for us was the supposed focus on quality cocktails and we wanted to put them to our own test. 
The place is rather non-descript from the street – or maybe that was just because the driving rain and wind made it hard to see much of anything.  Upon entering however, you immediately  feel welcomed.  We made our way to the bar and joined a couple other folks sitting there.  It turned out the woman on R’s left was someone she knew from a previous life.  The man on my right was very nice and he and I chatted while R and her friend caught up on all of life’s little details. 
Both R and I ordered a Vesper – always a good choice to test how seriously the place takes it mixology.  However, there were several other favorites on the menu.  Of course the Vesper is seeing a resurgence in popularity since it’s 007’s cocktail of choice in Casino Royale but we’ve been fans for quite some time – not since the first Casino Royale – we’re not that old!   It was a perfectly mixed cocktail with a beautiful orange twist.  We were very happy!  And also a little hungry. 
We perused the menu and decided to order a couple nibbles.  The first was blue cheese-bacon stuffed dates with Marcona almonds.  What a great combination of flavors and textures!  The other plate we ordered was something we already knew a bit about, oregano salumi salami, Sicilian orange jam and grissini.  We love our Salumi salami and the oregano is one of my favorites.  That hit of herb in the middle of the meat is just such a pleasant surprise.  Well, add a bit of the Sicilian orange jam they served with it and wow!  Savory, sweet heaven all in one bite!  Theoretically we could have wrapped the salami around the grissini or something like that.  But we didn’t bother. 
We also managed to steal a couple bites of the truffle popcorn they serve.  The bartender had given it to my new gentleman friend as he seemed to be a semi-regular. He shared the popcorn with us and it was amazing.
We called it quits after our Vesper.  But I will definitely be back to this place, especially since it’s sort of in my neighborhood – close enough anyway.
Saturday was, of course, the amazing and bizarre Seahawk win over the Cowboys – what an exciting and nail-biting game!  And then tonight M and I finished the weekend with a bite at Palace Kitchen followed by Pearl Django at Jazz Alley.  In between I accomplished several things around the house and spent some time out and about just getting some fresh air.  Overall, a very good weekend – hope yours was, too! 
Oliver’s Twist
6822 Greenwood Ave N
  1. 08-Jan-2007 5:07 pm

    Your photos keep getting better and better.  When\’s the book coming out?  Cheers,

  2. Culinary permalink
    08-Jan-2007 6:50 pm

    Thanks so much, BH!  Not sure about the book… ;-)  but I think I might be investing in a "real" camera soon.  I love my little guy and it\’s perfect for those out and about shots but I\’m feeling the need to start getting serious about "studio" (or what is more commonly known as the top of my washer) shots. 

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