Inviting the town porter to your house every other Tuesday evening for drinks makes your home neither a porterhouse nor even a porter abode. Today’s Groupon will spare you any further awkward conversations about "what's the craziest thing you ever ported." For $15, you get $30 worth of hearty meals and West Coast ales at Porterhouse in West Seattle.
A glowing, crimson wall accentuates the industrial-chic interior of the Vessel, casting a rosy sheen across the abundant chrome finishes. The bar is rather simple in design—long, wooden, and abutted by plain black stools—yet the mixing that goes on behind it is as elaborate as a teenager’s explanation for missing curfew. A rotating staff of 25 bartenders, in addition to frequent guest mixologists, carefully shake and stir their inspired cocktails, dreaming up a new menu each night. Starting at lunch and continuing until as late as 11 p.m., culinary artists are also at work in the kitchen, churning out elevated bar fare such as foie gras–buttered popcorn and their Old Fashioned sundaes, made with Angostura ice cream, candied orange, and whiskey caramel.
At Poco Wine Room, the influences come from near and far. More than 20 wines available by the glass represent wineries from the Pacific Northwest as well as locales such as Italy, Argentina, France, and Spain. The origins of the food are just as eclectic: the monthly rotating menu may include Albondigas—pork-and-beef meatballs in a tomato piquillo sauce—or orange-chicken skewers topped with crushed almonds, which chefs favoring local ingredients whenever possible. Even the beer list spans the globe, with brews such as Pike Place IPA and Tieton Wild Washington cider sharing billing with standbys like Red Stripe.
At The Tin Table, the dinner menu offers local, sustainable, and pub-friendly eats, including modern American salads, meats, and seafood selections. Grab a seat at the bar to sip Chimay Blue Reserve ($10), tongue-tie on a few shoestring fries with truffle salt ($4), or simply snack through a plate of duck-liver pâté, cherry jam, sweet pickled-carrot ribbon and crostini ($5). For a hearty dinner, Tin Table tablemates can hang fangs on seared swordfish adorned with spicy avocado, sweet corn, red onion, and peppadew ($14) or Carlton Farms pork tenderloin flanked by braised rainbow chard, shaved garlic, and a fig drizzle ($15). To top off the evening, make a heartfelt request for the black-plum galette served warm with almond cream, caramel sauce, and vanilla-bean ice cream ($8), because, with the exception of speaker-boxed teddy bears, nothing says “love” like dessert.
Profiled in the documentary A Wink and a Smile, Miss Indigo Blue’s Academy of Burlesque keeps the sensual burlesque dance-form alive during one-day and muti-week classes. The academy’s faculty includes not only the accomplished Miss Indigo Blue, but also professional burlesquers Inga Ingenue, Elsa & Ernie von Schmaltz, Ruby Mimosa, and Waxie Moon—whose names hint at the playful nature of burlesque. The diverse class schedule offers something to bring out the sensual side in nearly anyone, female or male, earning praise from Seattle Woman magazine for its breadth of topics and from Examiner.com for its receptivity to all genders. Visiting instructors, special workshops, and performances mix up the already packed calendar of classes.
The Baltic Room's classy, film-noir vibe and hip-shakeable tunes make it a beautifully lit backdrop for enjoying a wide array of sumptuous sippables and delectable edibles. The multifaceted lounge cracks itself open at 7:00 a.m. on weekdays and 8:30 a.m. on weekends to refresh night-shift rodeo clowns with locally roasted Caffe Vita coffee ($1.25–$3.50) and light breakfast eats, such as fresh pastries ($1.50–$4) and breakfast sandwiches ($3.50). Daytime cocktails, such as the elusive Bloody Mary ($7), are available to mid-morning tipplers who state their orders three times while staring into a darkened mirror.