Like a classic work of Victorian literature, a trip to the bar often begins with an introduction to colorful characters and ends with the revelation that everyone in the room is related to each other. Continue an age-old struggle with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of specialty cocktails, local wine, and small plates at Clever Bottle in Belltown.
Clever Bottle's menu pairs specialty cocktails, local wines, and draft beers with upscale bar snacks in a mood-lit space with chocolate-brown accents. Clever Bottle's collection of wines features many locally sourced from the Seattle area, letting tipplers taste the fruits of regional vines, such as a red 2008 Owen Roe Sharecropper's cabernet sauvignon ($9), without forcing them to kiss all the grapes in the produce aisle. Specialty cocktails, such as a rum and rye old-fashioned, blended with chocolate bitters and orange zest ($9), and a juniper lillet, with Lillet Blanc and juniper berries ($8), enlist Clever Bottle’s spirited stores to adeptly whet whistles. Nibbles of upscale bar snacks complement sips with shareable small plates ranging from warm olives sprinkled with herbs ($5) to sea-salt-covered pretzels swan-diving into ponds of Walla Walla mustard ($6).
Delicate dangling lighting fixtures and the bar's illuminated rows of liquor and wine bottles set the intimate space’s wooden tables and chairs aglow. Soft candle accents and barren walls enhance the casually sophisticated atmosphere, allowing oenophiles, novice wine sippers, and reanimated cavemen with no prior knowledge of modern vinification processes to enjoy the drinks, snacks, and ambiance.
Clever Bottle's mixologists and charcuterie chefs source local gourmet ingredients from Pike Place Market for a menu of appetizers, libations, and desserts. Crafted in-house, a selection of bitters house-made with bluebell flowers, chocolate, and the personality of sunshine adds spice to the ever-shifting menu of cocktails. The wine list, which is made up of 98% Seattle varietals, serves as a flavorful guide to the many local wineries that populate it. Abundant candlelight sets a romantic tone for quiet dates or proposals that involve serenading a sweetheart with a champagne flute.