Ingredient Origins: Chef Joshua Theilen keeps his ingredients local, getting meats and cheeses from Washington producers, salmon from Oxbow Organic Farm, and organic produce from Full Circle Farm.
What to Drink: Beer lovers can partake of Washington’s best, including brews from Silver City Brewery and traditional English ales from Hale’s Ales Brewery. There are also craft cocktails such as the Moulin Rouge, reddened by Washington raspberries, Lillet Rosé, and recitations of diary entries.
Where to Sit: Grab a table in one of two dimly lit dining areas surrounded by red walls and local art, belly up to the bar to watch the bartender’s magic, or eat al fresco on the outdoor patio.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Fly through the air in a trapeze course at Versatile Arts (7601 Greenwood Ave N)
After: Tip back a few German-style lagers and hefeweizens at Prost (7311 Greenwood Ave N)
Southern transplants Gabe Gagliardi and Mike Dahm love their new home in Seattle. When they first arrived, though, the two friends thought the city needed a barbecue boost. So instead of turning the Space Needle into a makeshift skewer for hunks of pork, they created The Boar's Nest, a Southern barbecue stop serving all the classics: hickory-smoked pulled pork, southern-style fried chicken, and fall-off-the-bone ribs. Of course, barbecue isn't barbecue without the sauce. That's why Gabe and Mike took it upon themselves to create their own line of homemade sauces, each of which carries the tune of a different barbecue region, including South Carolina, Memphis, and Texas.
The chefs at Lock & Keel Tavern value simplicity. Rather than fry or grill meats, they smoke each cut before incorporating it into barbecue sandwiches and variations of classic pub food. Alongside hickory-smoked pulled-pork sandwiches and hand-shredded chicken seasoned with house spices, the culinary team whips up homemade voodoo chili and four varieties of mac and cheese. Twelve beers on tap—eight of which come from local brewers—complement their no-frills chow. Feasts unfold on the outdoor patio or in a dining room with exposed brick walls and four plasma televisions that broadcast football, hockey, and competitive knot-tying. Pool tables, a jukebox, and WiFi help pass the time until Lock & Keel closes at 2 a.m.
Where to Sit: The sophisticated boathouse serves upscale seafood and steak, and the more casual café, located on the restaurant's top deck, also plates sandwiches and pasta. But breathtaking views can be found in both locations. For views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, sit at the boathouse's 30-foot bar or the open-air café.
When to Go: Daily happy hour takes place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at both the boathouse and the café, and again at the café from 9 p.m. until closing. Whenever you go, don't worry about parking—it's free, and there's even complimentary valet during peak hours.
The Cocktails: In the boathouse you might order a Honey Bee—gin, St. Germain, honey, bitters, and an edible blossom, whereas the café serves straight up and frozen specialties, like the Lemon Refresher—Limoncello, Cointreau, house sours, and lemonade.
Tony and Thurston Tsui created Thurston's Bistro and Lounge by applying a simple recipe: great food, drinks, and music. In the kitchen, they cook everything from a classic French filet mignon in bordelaise sauce to mac and cheese in a homemade cheese sauce filled with buttery bites of lobster and crab. Meanwhile, bartenders prepare craft cocktails with house-made syrups and infusions. Local musicians such as vocalist Kate Rowley and pianist Matt McKlousky entertain four nights a week. On Saturdays, they relinquish the microphone to other patrons for an evening of karaoke.
Unlike some other places with the Dante name, this Dante's is only three levels. Spanning 5,000 square feet, the space is home to pool tables, air hockey, foosball, darts, pinball, and vintage arcade games. Oh, and there are drinks, too. Drop in to watch a game on the 75" projector screen, sip on beers from the bar, or head to the giant dance floor to shake a leg. From the menu, theme-fitting burgers and sandwiches include the Exorcist burger with bacon, pepperoncini, cheddar, and swiss, as well as fire wings that come with veggies and the unyielding desire not to leave any bites uneaten.