A tall glass of wine, a sizzling plate of food, and a serene room can make for an exquisite meal. The team behind Chantanee Thai Restaurant & Bar know that well, and for almost 20 they have brought their refined Thai staples and chill service to the downtown Bellevue community. Duck dishes arrive wok-crisped and glazed with rich garlic sauce or slow-cooked in a fragrant combination of coriander and five-spice powder. Platters of stir-fried vegetables and cashews get a kick from housemade chili paste, which can be used to make any dish spicier or just more red if you happen to love the color.
On one wall, a large Thai-inspired art piece gleams gold over the room and a circular booth with lime green cushions pops amid earth-tone chairs and blonde wooden tables. In another artistic play, a row of stout wooden planks hangs from the ceiling, visually separating the dining room from the nearby lounge area. There, a curving bar winds the length of the room and bartenders mix up complex drinks, pour absinthe, or set their signature Blue Blazer drink on fire.
Paddy Coyne's shares its name with a sister pub on the west coast of Ireland, but patrons don't need to compare menus to be assured of the bar's Irish bona fides: the menu boasts corned beef with cabbage, fish 'n' chips, and traditional soda bread. Along with the classic eats, patrons can enjoy freshly pulled pints and engage their brains in trivia nights, where participants can win prizes.
Bar Code's resident mixologist, Evan Martin, has earned his fair share of drink-making accolades. Behind the bar, he fashions craft cocktails, such as the la diabla--a refreshing blend of lime-infused ginger beer, strawberry-tinged tequila, and creme de cassis--and the vodka-based usual suspect infused with lavender bitters. The drinks are a big draw, but locals also flock to Bar Code because of its twist on pub eats. White cheddar and applewood-smoked bacon flavor the mac and cheese and flatbread pizzas come topped with meatballs and jalapenos. Other eats include cheeseburger flights, caprese melts with fresh mozzarella, and weekend brunch. Free underground parking is also available.
To Drink: Alongside local draught beers from Washington and Oregon brewers such as Odin’s Gift, tenders pour out spirit flights, including the Cooley Distillery Collection with Greenore 8 year, Connemara 12 year, and Tyroconnel single-malt Irish whiskey. In the mixology department, artisans whip up potions such as Liam's Libation: Jameson, banana, spiced syrup, lemon, and bitters.
When to Go: * Saturday and Sunday during brunch, when they serve up boxty, a pancake of potatoes and scallions popular in the north Midlands.
Where to Sit: Grab a sturdy wooden table near the towering stacked-stone fireplace, or belly up to the bar on a cherry-stained stool to admire the dozens of Irish whiskeys and scotches.
While You Wait
If You Can’t Make It, Try This:
If you don’t mind forgoing the food and hopping right into the revelry, head to Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Avenue NW), an Irish-style watering hole that marries exposed brick walls, chandeliers, and live music.
What to Drink: The bar’s 19 rotating taps feature beers from local favorites and microbrewers around the country. Bartenders also pour selections from an impressive collection of more than 30 scotches.
When to Go
Inside Tip: Barking Dog Alehouse takes its family-friendly vibe seriously, offering a special kids’ menu packed with chicken tenders, burgers, and miniature ice cream sundaes.
Guests might get the cold shoulder at Knee High Stocking Co. when they first enter the non-descript front door of the Prohibition-themed bar. It's not because the host is unfriendly but rather playing the part of a speakeasy worker, as highlighted by The Seattle Times in 2010. Once inside, the cold shoulder quickly dissipates into warm welcomes as guest cozy into the dimly lit bar where revelers sip on cocktails of yesteryear. Donning Prohibition-inspired duds, mixologists handcraft these complex toddies, from the pink lady infused with apple brandy to the hard-hitting Mayme Taylor blend from scotch and ginger beer. And in the kitchen, chefs put a creative twist on simple bar fare, such as pairing tater tots with coriander ketchup, pizzas with walnut pesto, and lamb burgers with wood barrels full of beer. Even though Knee High Stocking Co. prides it self on being all about the past, the bar is quite modernized, taking reservations by text-message only, as mentioned by Eater Seattle.