Blending light tapas with imported desserts, an array of wine, and dancing, Pastíche's confines conjure up Old-World sentiments to create relaxing and romantic evenings. Pleasing vino virtuosos, Pastíche pours an assortment of 17 red wines, including Hugger Mugger pinot noir from Walla Walla Valley, Washington ($8/glass), and the 2007 Baer Winery ursa red blend ($15/glass), which was born out of alchemists' failure to blend merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, malbec, and petit verdot into a brick of pure gold. Glass tilters can also choose from 10 white wines by the glass, including the Tucker Cellars muscat canelli ($6) or Delaporte sancerre ($9).
To properly pair one of Sax's specialty cocktails with an entree, simply read the personified cocktail name, then apply logic. For instance, a Miles Davis—Godiva chocolate liqueur, Stoli Razberi, Chambord, and a splash of cream ($8)—would likely fill his trumpet-blowing cheeks with a hearty 10-ounce flatiron steak served aside white-truffle mashed potatoes and veggies ($18). And a Bossa Nova—mixed with 10 different cane rums, limes, simple syrup, and soda ($8)—wouldn't be able to pick a plate because Bossa Nova is a music style, not an autonomous music-legend cocktail. Other entrees include seafood risotto ($18), pasta primavera ($14), and 14-ounce lamb chops served over Mediterranean couscous ($22).
Depending on when you arrive at Old Town Bistro, you may think you've reached two completely different venues. During the week, chef David Ortiz and his staff serve up steaks, salads, and pastas. Prizing eclecticism over any particular type of cuisine, house specialties include fish and chips platters with house-cut fries and barbecue sandwiches loaded with pork shoulder that's been smoked for 24 hours.
On the weekend, the eatery transforms into a dance club with a thundering 10,000-watt sound system. Local DJs test the limits of eight house subwoofers, spinning tracks synched to videos on 10 flat screens. The sprawling dance floor keeps dancers in motion beneath a colorful swirl of disco lights as opposed to a colander taped on a spotlight
Belltown Billiards stepped up the nightlife game by blending a pool hall with a sleek, modern lounge. Stripes and solids roll atop eight custom-designed Brunswick pool tables, above which curved, industrial-style awnings arc like wings. Nearby, black leather couches in the lounge give onlookers a comfortable spot to watch games or the cue-twirling victory dances that follow them. Bartenders also pour out a selection of beers, cocktails, and wines from a neon-lit bar.
The onsite kitchen, helmed by a professional chef, makes Mediterranean-inspired entrees with fresh, local ingredients from nearby Pike Place Market. Small groups can order apps such as bruschetta or pork sliders from the à la carte regular menu. Thin-crust pizzas and buffet-style meals from the large-party menu cater to crews of up to 400. Belltown Billiards also hosts regular public events, and DJs spin dance beats every night.
Much like Thailand itself, Thaiku's menu comes loaded with traditional and authentic Thai delicacies; unlike Thailand, it contains few elephants. Kick-start your tummy's tuk-tuk with an appetizer such as giow tawt ($6.50)—crab and cream cheese wrapped in won ton and served with plum sauce—or the por sia sod ($6.50), a fresh salad and Chinese sausage roll wrapped in rice paper and topped with house hoisin sauce. Along with classic noodle dishes like pahd see iew ($8.50), adventurous diners can feel like they're eating from a genuine Bangkok street stall minus the backpack-shaped sweat stain on their back with an order of North Thailand's staple kao soy (fresh egg noodles in yellow curry and coconut broth, $8.95), guay tiow bed (a soup of rice noodles, sliced duck, rich anise, cinnamon, and sweet soy broth, $7.95), or the gai yaang ($12.95), a marinated chicken paired with sticky rice and a sweet green papaya salad.