By day, staffers decant 70 premium teas at La Romanza Bistro Italiano's afternoon tea service, which pairs pours with venetian finger sandwiches and in-house baked goods topped with flourishes such as edible glitter. Lunches and weekend brunches last until nightfall, at which point the bistro transforms into an intimate eatery for cocktails and cuisine inspired by rustic Tuscany flavors. Chefs whip up abundant appetizers and salads, handmade pastas, and entrees accompanied by house-baked bread. Gluten-free options accompany each course.
To complement each bite, the staff pours house-crafted cocktails infused with specialty tea as well as wines by the glass, imported from Italy—a country that knows as much about wine as Einstein knew about having eccentric hair. To celebrate the weekend's arrival, local jazz pianist Loren Temkin and bassist Dune Buter entertain diners every Friday and Saturday night with their interpretations of classic compositions.
Founded by movie-industry veterans Scilla Andreen and Carlo Scandiuzzi, IndieFlix culls a massive collection of independent and festival-selected films from across the globe into a convenient online streaming-video library. Filmmakers can submit their comedic, dramatic, or documentary masterpieces to the site, which fairly distributes movies of all genres and lengths, with artists fully retaining their films' rights and action-figure tie-ins. Audiences delve further into IndieFlix’s arsenal of cinema gems with Film Festival in a Box game—lauded by the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and Seattle magazine—which allows cineastes to display their knowledge without having to stroll through the local megaplex with a megaphone.
QFC West Seattle, the latest outpost of the growing local grocery chain, is designed for maximum convenience. Not only is the store open 24 hours, it also offers indoor parking for those looking to avoid the rain. With an extensive produce and organic section, a wine department that offers generous bottle discounts to QFC Advantage Card holders, a hot food bar, deli, bakery and in-store Starbucks counter with limited seating, nearly anything is possible inside the bright, clean space. Other amenities include a daily pharmacy and RedBox machine, perfect for anyone under the weather needing to pick up a prescription, grab a meal to take home and wanting to catch the latest new release DVD. Parent company Kroger offers a self-scanning checkout option, as well as an app that lets shoppers download digital coupons straight to their phones – how perfect for the tech-friendly Pacific Northwest.
West Seattle Fabric Company's sewing emporium extends to the new Stitch and Sew Studio, which is located down the street from the fabric store. Within this creative haven, guests are encouraged to flex their imagination with the studio's collection of easy-to-use sewing machines and ample work surfaces. In the bright, open studio, instructors teach patrons of all skill levels—during classes, events, and parties—sewing and quilting tips and tricks. From alteration lessons to quilt binding and mending, new Stich and Sew Studio provides clear and simple instruction in a friendly and casual atmosphere. And during open sewing sessions and sewing classes, staff members dispense pro tips as students harness the studio's patterns and tools to whip up pillow shams, dresses, and curtains to shade their stuffed animal cloning lab.
When Joan Barnes founded Gymboree Play & Music in 1976, she envisioned a facility where parents and children could play together in a safe and age-appropriate environment. In the following decades, Gymboree Play & Music spread to more than 30 countries across the globe, helping youngsters from infants to 5 years old develop cognitive, physical, and social skills. The company's instructors lead classes such as Play & Learn, its flagship course, in which parents and kids move through a seven-level program filled with storytelling, play activities, and debates on the merits of sandwich crust. Talented staffers also prep youngsters for school and foster development in areas such as music, art, and sports. Throughout all classes, they make use of custom play equipment designed by acclaimed playground designer and seesaw-tamer Jay Beck.:m]]
Lined with Swarovski Elements crystal pendants, gemstones, Japanese seed beads, sterling-silver findings, and handmade glass beads, Fusion Beads seems to glimmer. For the experienced beader, it's a treasure trove of all the materials necessary to create stunning pieces, and the knowledgeable staff help beginners sift through the stock to find everything they need to start a necklace or bracelet. The team also hosts several classes each week, covering everything from the techniques of basic beading to the more advanced metalsmithing, precious-metal clay manipulation, and bead weaving. Because the shop only hires dedicated beaders, each employee has firsthand knowledge to help shoppers with their projects, whether they want to create the perfect gift for a loved one or make the perfect earrings for their look-alike bobble head.