At Ship Canal Grill, chefs give a nod to local cuisine with a menu largely composed of seafood from the Pacific Northwest. Though plates such as the salmon pesto and honey-walnut prawns dominate a good chunk of the menu, according to Thrillist(http://gr.pn/MKhCeh), turf-based dishes such as the Overboard lamb sliders with caramelized onions and aioli “pack a punch." The eclectic fare also encompasses petite pizzettas and Mediterranean dishes, which pair neatly with the creative cocktails or wines from a huge drink menu. But the eatery's decor inspires just as much intrigue as the edibles.
Bare light bulbs and rotund pipes hang overhead in homage to an industrial design, complemented by 20th-century construction-era photos from the Museum of History and Industry. An open loft looks out over the main dining area, aglow with candlelight and ringed with tan and periwinkle. At the lower-level bar, a bridge of wrought iron holds miniature vehicles over a marble countertop as light seeps in from tall windows.
In the loft, flat-screen TVs and one large projection screen broadcast games, and the billiards room hosts good-natured competition, as patrons unwind over a game of pool, darts, or dodge-darts. A steady string of events keeps other customers entertained: trivia on Tuesday, standup comedy on Wednesday, and live bands on Friday.
While guests ogle the boats and kayaks passing by outside, Chef Manual Frias stays in the kitchen, cooking up inventive takes on American comfort food. He seasons New York strips with house-blended rubs, smothers meatloaf in bourbon mustard glazes, and stirs bacon, pulled pork, and prosciutto into the aptly named three pig mac and cheese.
To complement each hearty dish, the tenders of Eastlake's tiki bar pour local microbrews and whip up tasty cocktails like the John Daly, a blend of lemonade and wild tea-flavored vodka. Though the deck and patio are seasonal, the dining room, complete with its own bar, is open all year. Here, rounds of trivia test knowledge every week, while flat-screens TV show the day's biggest sports games or rowdiest congressional boxing matches.
Forgoing silverware often indicates bad manners or a brutish disposition. That isn't the case at Abay Ethiopian Restaurant, where eating with you hands is not only customary, but required. That's because they serve their cuisine in the traditional Ethiopian fashion?on giant communal platters accompanied by heaps of Ethiopian injera bread instead of forks. Diners use the spongy flatbread to scoop up portions of meats, lentils, stews, and spiced vegetables from the shared platter, partaking in a dining experience firmly rooted in community and fellowship. On select nights, though, this traditional Ethiopian experience gives way to a party, replete with tune-spinning DJs and a fully-stocked bar illuminated by fuchsia and turquoise lights.