At The Scotch and Vine, owners David and Jill Pritchard blend upscale, artisan American cuisine, fine wines and scotches, and local, seasonal cuisine. The staff pours libations from more than 210 single malts, blends, bourbons, and ryes, as well as from a wine list that earned an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator. With that deep selection to work from, friendly, knowledgeable tenders help diners pair their dinners with the ideal wine, craft beer, or whiskey. In the kitchen, meanwhile, expert chefs sizzle hearty elk burgers, juicy sirloin steaks, tender seared chicken, and roasted beet salads. This cuisine helped Scotch and Vine earn a spot on King5 Best of Western Washington's 2013 list of the area's five Best New American restaurants.
The strains of Spanish guitar and live blues bands form a classy soundtrack to wine tastings or seminars on Scotch-crafting, while plates of fine cheese from regional farms complement the flavors of smoky spirits, frosty brews, and rich red wine. The bistro's cushy leather booths, accents, and soft lighting evoke the image of a grandfather's cozy study or a precocious 6-year old’s tree fort.
Great American Casino brings a little bit of Vegas to the Northwest, gathering hooting and hollering patrons around table games such as baccarat, Texas Hold 'Em, blackjack, and other styles of poker, such as Progressive Fortune Pai Gow. Most tables have a betting limit up to $300, and aside from the top-shelf thrill of walking away with the pot, regular players can earn rewards redeemable toward electronics, meals, hotel stays, and Great American merchandise.
Like the best Vegas casinos, Great American brings more to the table than just gambling. There's live entertainment most nights, including local bands and musicians from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. There are full-service dining rooms where the menus also bear an Asian influence, with dishes such as pad thai and Kalbi ribs. The menus are slightly different at each of the four locations, but generally encompass an international spread that might include pizza, pub-style fish 'n' chips, and creme brulee, much like the meatloaf served in the United Nation's cafe.
At Bison Creek Pizza & Pub, the past meets the present in both food and décor. Located inside the historic Burien Theatre, the pizzeria serves its gourmet pies from a modern kitchen, but it pours mixed drinks from the theater's original saloon-like bar. A stage has replaced the screen, and free live shows blare music across the expansive room regularly. Bison Creek's menu exemplifies the same juxtaposition of tradition and change, boasting specialty pizzas that it's served since opening in 1975, now with modern twists such as gluten-free crusts, soy cheese, and invisible slices.
Customers can build their own pizza, but the pub is known for its gourmet options such as the 6th Gear—a pizza piled high with chicken, bacon, and artichoke hearts simmering garlic cream sauce with onions and garlic. The menu has expanded as well. Grinder sandwiches filled with tender pulled pork or heaps of salami, bacon, and pepperoni come with a pile of fries, and the kitchen produces pasta dinners with homemade sauces such marinara, alfredo, or pesto cream.
Mick Kelly’s Irish Pub boasts a full menu of eclectic pub fare for lunch and dinner daily. Appetizers range from the elegance of steamed local clams ($8.99 for a half pound, $14.99 for a pound) in a white-wine, garlic, and butter sauce to the potato decadence of seasoned fries ($4.99) baked under a blanket of cheddar cheese and topped with sour cream and green onions. Empty-handed post-auction attendees can make a taste-bud bid on the hearty selection of handheld sandwiches, such as the french dip with a rosemary-shallot au jus ($9.99), whereas the eatery’s Irish specialties promise to make eyes, noses, and mouths smile. Summon a serving of the corned beef and cabbage ($9.99–$11.99) or the slow-cooked Guinness beef stew ($8.99–$10.99) to satisfy a Leopold Bloom–esque appetite, or indulge in the apple-brandy pork chops ($15.99) or spicy prawn penne ($14.99). For guests allergic to the moon, Mick Kelly’s Irish Pub serves up a bounty of brunch bites on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon.
The weather in the Pacific Northwest isn’t always ideal for spending time outside, which is why Java Billiards keeps daytime as well as nighttime hours. More than just a shelter from the elements, though, the all-ages pool hall stands as an emphatic answer to boredom. It invites families to sink shots on five different pool tables and rack up wins during games of checkers and foosball. Making good on the “java” part of its name, the facility’s full espresso counter brews fresh lattes and mochas and serves up smoothies and italian sodas. Perhaps most importantly, Java Billiards maintains a safe environment for all ages by not serving alcohol or advertising itself as a hangout for vampires.