First Look: Quinn’s
Well, this post is about five or six months overdue. My "First Look" at Quinn’s was one week after they opened last fall. My second, a week after that. And I’ve been back several times since. The circumstances, however, have always left me without decent photos – even the night I was there with a group of photographers! This current set still isn’t great but it will give you a little idea of what to expect.
Quinn’s is the little sibling of Zoe in Belltown, both literally and figuratively! Scott Staples chef/owner named Zoe after his little daughter. I love Zoe’s but don’t go that often as it is not really a place you can drop into. There is a bar but it’s very small and more appropriate for those who have arrived a bit early for a reservation than for those who’s only intention is to sit in the bar. It’s crowded into the back corner and on some nights the bartender seems to drift back and forth between several duties including tending bar. The food there has always been great, though. But I tend to think of it more as an occasion place – somewhere you go when you actually make plans in advance.
So I was happy to hear that Scott was going to add another location, a more casual place. Quinn’s (named for the Staples’ son) opened last fall on Capitol Hill. This location is dubbed a "gastro-pub". More bar like; louder; smaller plates; more focus on beer, wine and other alcoholic offerings, this location is the perfect drop-in spot. That is if you can get a seat. Every time I’ve gone there has actually been a crowd waiting outside the door when they open at 5:00. And the staff is not always great about actually opening exactly on time. Sometimes it’s 5:05 or 5:10 – not a huge deal but bothersome when you are standing in the rain and the staff is just on the other side of the large windows taking their time finishing their staff meeting. Once the doors open the first floor generally fills within 30 minutes. I have yet to go upstairs and take a look at the second floor but it also seems to fill soon after.
The menu changes often, although it seems to be just a little at a time with just one or two plates migrating to something new. I have yet to have anything I didn’t like there and so far I’ve tried the Meatball sliders and rabbit pate (both pictured); braised oxtail; duck and duck rillette (that’s one dish); wild boar sloppy joe; wagyu beef burger; sauteed spinach; gooey gougere; and more. I thought the spinach had a few too many currents which made it overly sweet and I decided I prefer "plain" gougere (Quinn’s are stuffed with melted cheese) but those are both preferences not issues.
I guess probably the biggest compliment is the fact that I have been back so many times. In this town with so many great places to go – and more opening all the time – it sometimes takes me quite some time to get back to the places I like. The fact that I’ve now been to Quinn’s half a dozen times speaks volumes.
They have recently started opening for lunch as well as dinner.
When they first opened they did not take reservations. I’m not sure if they have changed that policy as their website doesn’t address it. I think, however, if you have a large group they will work with you. At least it has seemed that way in the past.
1001 East Pike St