When pharmacist Gary Gougér first started making wine, he was an amateur who was simply translating his love of vino into a pleasurable hobby. Soon, his passion took over, and he began racking up numerous International Gold awards for his red blends. His science background, coupled with training at one of the world’s finest winemaking schools in Australia, helped Gougér take his wines to the next level. Gougér now oversees his own winery, built in 2013 inside a renovated firehouse, where his bottles take center stage at tasting-room events ranging from holiday events to varietal samplers.
The Grant House serves up simple yet sophisticated fare in a beautiful, historic setting. Drop in for dinner, with the Northwest seafood cakes ($9), pan-fried and served with roasted red pepper aioli, serving as a lavishing leadoff hitter for your roster of edibles. Entrees include grilled wild Northwest salmon ($21), a four-cheese ravioli ($17), and beer-battered halibut and chips ($14)—each adequately equipped to help your shy and socially reserved stomach make some new, albeit temporary, friends. For nocturnes attempting to break free of their lifestyle habits, The Grant House also offers up a lunch menu. The peach salad ($7 half-size, $10 full-size) coyly cloaks seasonal greens and goat cheese in a saucy sherry vinaigrette, while a barbecue pork sandwich ($8) boldly flaunts a snazzy get-up of provolone and Walla Walla sweet onions in a house-made sauce.
When the instructors at Design Metals School aren’t crafting alloy masterpieces—such as the intricate rail that encircles the pendulum at the University of Alaska’s library—around the country, they impart the skills of their trade to groups of torch-wielding students. The teachers pull from 25 years of experience in metal fabrication for their classes, demonstrating and critiquing pupils’ techniques for welding, cold bending, and making cool showers of sparks.
El Presidente exemplifies a classic Mexican restaurant, with a colorfully decorated dining room, a bar stocked with frosty cervezas, and a menu of authentic dishes. Follow the aroma of sizzling carnitas and roasting peppers into the kitchen, where you'll find chefs whipping up enchiladas, burritos, and Mexican specialties—such as tender steak picado and sweet and spicy chicken mole. They also extend their culinary expertise towards variety of seafood dishes, smothering jumbo shrimp in house-made ranchero sauce and packing burritos with crab, shrimp, and chicken.
Guests await meals at tabletops and booths out in the expansive dining room, where Mexican artwork speckles the walls. Crystal-clear speakers create a festive atmosphere by playing lively tunes in lieu of stuffy muzack or recordings of the word "sorrow" repeated over and over again.