Last weekend, one of my favorite gal pals and I headed south to Seattle for a ‘girls gone mild’ getaway. Our main objectives: eat, shop, and loiter among aspiring musicians and artsy folk. Mission accomplished. To most, Seattle is famous for grunge music, great architecture and…well, Starbucks. Apart from that, there’s a definite vibe in that town that makes me want to go back again and again.
The first night, we made our way to Belltown – as you do – and set up shop at Cellars for some share plates and scenery. The place opens up to the street a la garage door and attracts a trendy, uber attractive crowd.
Next up we popped into Amber, a short stagger away from Cellars (we meant to stop in for a night cap, but stayed until closing). Good cocktails, friendly servers and a nice mix of geeked out architect types and trendy try-hards. People watching galore.
If the weather is good, give Copacabana Cafe a try. Located opposite the famous (and ridiculously touristy) Pike Place Market, the kitschy eatery has great views and authentic South American fare. They even serve up a proper Pisco Sour – the signature drink of Peru. Muy bien.
After soaking up some rays on a sun drenched patio and sipping sangria, we floated over to the Tasting Room in Post Alley. We bellied up to the bar and had a lovely visit with Phil Cline from Naches Heights Vineyard. Why o why can we not get our paws on these wines in BC?! I walked out of there with their Pinot Gris and Syrah, which was awarded a gold medal at the Seattle Wine Awards Sunday night. Be on the lookout for NHV next time you’re in Washington State.
While you’re meandering through Post Alley, you’ll find plenty of musicians and buskers, some of them rather talented like this young chap: http://www.myspace.com/madshenryjacobsen. Mads Jacobsen. Watch for him.
Some friends of mine who live in Seattle (would we call them Seattlers? Seattle-ites maybe?) suggested a few stellar spots that we checked out the second night:
If you’re only in town for a short time and you’re looking for a good resto, Spur Gastropub will not fail you. This Gastown-esque eatery has great atmosphere and food to match. They change their menu monthly, serving what’s fresh and in-season. The pairings and presentations are creative and borderline bizarre, but in a deliciously good way. You’ve gotta try the Sockeye Salmon Crostini – I know, typical west coast fare – but this appie packs some punch. I had the sunchoke infused gnocchi and my date had the trout – both good choices. The desserts are just as inventive as the mains so we had to try a couple. I would suggest sitting at the bar – the staffers were fun and knew their shtick.
As a follow up to Spur, cross the street and cruise through the alley to Bathtub Gin. A refined gentleman who was manning the door carded us whilst reading his book by candlelight. You heard that right. The bouncer was reading a book. This is pretty representative of the patrons you’ll find inside. Picture a multilevel, soho style loft with a bar on each floor. Jazz music, good conversation and cocktails that’ll blow your dress up. I had the Soviet Mule, a vodka cocktail ofcourse, appropriately (or inappropriately) served in a copper mug. You know, the kind of mug a ‘beggar’ might have used during the cold war? Cheeky.
We topped the night off at the most obnoxious place we could find on the Belltown bar strip. Frontier Room, kind of like a Buffalo Bills of the south, minus the ski bums and cage dancers, was the perfect place to krunk out. Giddy. Up.
If you fancy a little cross-border shopping, be sure to hit up the ever popular Nordstrom Rack. Comparable to Century 21 in NYC, this place is a zoo so elbows up. I scored a schwack of Michael Kors for cheapie cheapie. Free People, not far from the Rack, has beautiful, organic and unique pieces, AND the biggest change rooms you’ve seen in your life. They ship to Canada, but I do wish they would open a few locations north of the border.
Lastly, you can’t leave Seattle without soaking up some art. Kurt is on now until September 3 at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), an amazing collection of art inspired by the late Nirvana frontman and Seattle native, as well as a few pieces by the man himself. There’s some cool pics of their gig at the Commodore in 1991…it was a school night so I wasn’t allowed to go. Also check out the Andy Warhol Media Works exhibit, a collection of his photographs, polaroids and film clips. I’ve seen several Warhol exhibits before, but this collection focuses more on the many mediums he used, which is probably not as well known to the masses.
“It’s better to burn out, than to fade away” – Neil Young (Kurt Cobain, 1967-1994)