December 2013

The Best New Bars & Craft Cocktails

From this Issue

!--paging_filter--p[trains]brstrongMud Bath /strongbrCommuters using Sound Transit’s Sounder north line in Everett during the 2012–2013 winter are forced to secure alternate transportation 122 times due to mudslides, rocks and other debris blocking the tracks.

!--paging_filter--pBefore we rush blithely into the new year, we take a moment to consider the year that was, pressing the replay button on the best and worst of Seattle in 2013. Read on for all the memorable moments.

Coffee with a Side of Snark:

!--paging_filter--pstrongIN/strongembrTap Cocktails/embrTasty, punchy and made fresh daily, the cocktails created at some of our favorite bars, including a href="" target="_blank"Montana/a, Radiator Whiskey and The Bait Shop, make grabbing a dr

!--paging_filter--pspan style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"This year’s gift guide is a showcase of local talent, from shopkeepers to artisans, with ideas ranging from hostess gifts to luxury goods for everyone on your list.

!--paging_filter--pThe invite reads “creative cocktail attire,” but your closet is filled with tame, everydayoutfits. If there’s ever a time to shake things up beyond basic black—with sequins, metallic, satin and a fierce punch of color—it’s the holidays. As your dance card fills up this season, step outside your comfort zone with festive looks from local designers and boutiques.

!--paging_filter--pstrongTHE PANEL: /strongbrAndrew Friedman, Liberty BarbrAndrew Bohrer, Vinum ImportingbrCourtney Matzke, Rob RoybrKenaniah Bystrom, EssexbrAmanda Reed, Tavern LawbrA.J.

!--paging_filter--pTuck a gift card into a canoe pencil case, $23, with pencils, $10, both from Fleurt (West Seattle, 4536 California Ave. SW; 206.937.1103; a href="" target="_blank"

!--paging_filter--pManscaping is easy, given the right tools. A rose gold Mühle shaving brush, $140, straight edge Dovo razor crafted out of yew wood, $237, andnbsp; Mühle chrome razor, $65; em(all pictured above)/em all from WardCo.

!--paging_filter--pAfter learning his trade in San Francisco favorites such as Scala’s Bistro and others, Erik Carlson moved back to his hometown of Seattle in 2008 to open the bar at Ballard’s Moshi Moshi. He soon garnered a reputation for crafting intriguing and delicious drinks. In 2011, he became bar manager at Ballard’s French outpost, Bastille.

!--paging_filter--pstrongPLANTING THE SHRUBS/strongbrWhile “shrub” sounds like it might echo the veggie cocktail trend, it actually goes back much farther—to the vinegar-based drinks, or shrubs, that our forefathers and foremothers imbibed in Colonial times.

!--paging_filter--pa href="" target="_blank"Opened by two industry pros, Vif /a(French for full of life) serves a menu that’s meant to balance the Fremont neighborhood’s hefty food options: Uneeda Burger, Dot’s Delicatessen and Pase

!--paging_filter--pSmall in size and sophisticated, the home bar has gone from hiding in a cupboard to being a front-and-center showstopper. (And it has never looked better.) Stocked with local spirits, brswell bar accessories, mixology books and your most charming glassware, a well-styled bar cart adds polish and panache to your everyday—and party—décor. How to steal this look?

!--paging_filter--pstrongspan style="font-size: medium;"Rumba/span/strongbrCapitol HillbrRun by the folks from Tango next door, owner Travis Rosenthal and manager Kate Perry,a href="" target="_blank" Rumba is an island gem/a on the Pike Street Hillclimb.

!--paging_filter--pspan class="field-content"It’s about this time of year that I start to feel a little bit tired. Of pie. Of the pumpkin drudgery in particular. But here comes Alyssa Lewis to the rescue!

!--paging_filter--pGive the teen (or tween) queen on your list a thrill with this deluxe 12-piece fashion-size set of Butter London nail color, $65 (a href="" target="_blank"

!--paging_filter--pThank the host or hostess of your holiday parties with locally crafted goodies, paired with colorful serving utensils. Sea salt from the Strait of Juan de Fuca, $17, from Admiralty Salt Company. Pink peppercorn plum jelly, $9, both available at Ludlow Home (Phinney Ridge, 7315 Greenwood Ave.

!--paging_filter--pThese delicate ceramic votive candleholders by LASdesigns look cool filled with air plants, $18 and $22, available at SugarPill Apothecary (Capitol Hill, 900 E Pine St.; 206.322.7455; a href="" target="_blank"

!--paging_filter--pSet a festive table with an oven-friendly ceramic Washington state plate (pictured above), $80, made on Orcas Island by the Corbé Co. (online only, a href="" target="_blank"

!--paging_filter--pDon’t be afraid to give jewelry as a gift—pick something that has personality, but is versatile enough for everyday wear. Common Objects cocktail sword necklace, $64, from Venue (Ballard, 5408 22nd Ave.

!--paging_filter--pWhen my husband and I moved to Seattle from Louisville, Kentucky, eight years ago, we were quickly given the scoop on the city’s culture.

!--paging_filter--pLast July, Chateau Ste. Michelle’s semiannual Riesling Rendezvous wine tasting event brought together hundreds of the true geeks of the wine world, excited to spend three days focused on a single grape variety.

The eye-catching street-level anchor of the new Hotel Ballard is co-owned by restaurateur duo James Weimann and Deming Maclise, and it shows: The pair is known for their keen sense of style; their use of reclaimed, refurbished and antique furnishings in their gorgeous interiors, which are on display at Bastille and Poquitos.

!--paging_filter--pOn a concrete slab in a warehouse in SoDo squats a contraption worthy of Professor Potts: a stainless steel barrel, wrapped in insulation like a diaper and topped by two long copper pipes, tubes sprawling this way and that. But don’t be fooled.

!--paging_filter--pWhen the sun goes into hibernation and Seattle acquires a seemingly permanent damp sheen, your mood isn’t the only thing that shifts—your skin does, too.

!--paging_filter--pGiven its long history as a city of music, it’s a little surprising that Seattle hasn’t had a regular television show dedicated to emerging local bands.

!--paging_filter--pArtisanal. Handcrafted. Small batch. While we may roll our eyes at the current worship of these buzzwords, there’s no denying that they signify products made with different priorities than those of giant companies. The Pacific Northwest is a bastion of such quirky innovations—so much so that it can be hard to keep track of all the small and wonderful things made here.

!--paging_filter--pSome of Seattle’s most spectacular architecture can be found in local churches, but those among us who go to church—perhaps only at this time of year—rarely explore beyond the familiar. A new book makes clear what a shame this is by showcasing the tremendous diversity found in church design.

The dirt road up Flagg Mountain is not for the fainthearted—or the low-clearance car. It is steep and narrow, with hairpin turns snaking through woods and scrub. But the views at the top are more than worth the teeth-chattering drive: The craggy peaks of the North Cascades fan off to the west, and the Methow River meanders through a valley of meadows and pines.

In October, adored and anonymous British street artist Banksy—whose work customarily fetches tens of thousands of dollars—set up a simple stall at New York’s Central Park and offered his own original spray-painted pieces for $60 each. He staffed the booth with a nondescript older man wearing a baseball cap and a vest.

!--paging_filter--pstrongWHERE: /strongWhistler, British Columbia, for the WHISTLER FILM FESTIVAL (12/4–12/8; a href="" target="_blank"

If you’ve managed to amass a large wine collection (some would suggest you’re just not drinking it fast enough, but we digress) and don’t have space for a climate-controlled, cave-like room where it can properly age, Georgetown’s Phenol55 may provide that subterranean solution.

!--paging_filter--pspan style="font-size: large;"DINING/span/p

!--paging_filter--pGiven the tendency of bars and restaurants to rely on Pandora Internet radio or iPod playlists to provide background music, it’s a rare and genuine thrill to walk into a joint and discover someone tickling the ivories on a real piano.

!--paging_filter--pThe several-block radius around Le Zinc’s 15th Avenue digs is a little Italy: a href="" target="_blank"Spinasse and Artusi/a are down the block, a href="h

!--paging_filter--pMultidisciplinary performer Dayna Hanson is known for making stage work that is very smart, very funny and very strange. Her new show at On the Boards, The Clay Duke (12/5–12/8; $20;, delivers on that reputation. brstrongCOFFEE SHOP:/strong Macrina Bakery in SoDobrstrongDAYNA’S ORDER:/strong A glass of water and a slice of quiche.

!--paging_filter--pSeattle-based photographer Eirik Johnson is captivated by the most modest of dwellings: makeshift hunting shacks, remote forest campsites, animal burrows. In his show Barrow Cabins, he reveals such structures in stark relief, pairing twin shots—one taken in winter, one taken in summer—of slapdash shanties at the northernmost edge of our continent.

!--paging_filter--pSeasoned Nutcracker fans know exactly when to watch for it: at the top of the second act. That’s when an “Easter egg” of sorts appears in the background of the set illustrator Maurice Sendak designed specifically for Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of Nutcracker.

!--paging_filter--pJane Yuan never thought that one day grocery and retail powerhouses Williams-Sonoma and Dean DeLuca would be selling the fruit crisps she created for friends in her Mount Baker kitchen.

!--paging_filter--pDear Mayor Murray,strongbr/strongI hate to-do lists—my mother was always thrusting them in my teenage face—but that doesn’t mean I can’t make myself obnoxious by offering you one now that the election is over. The coming four years are big ones for Seattle, with numerous huge projects coming online and posing challenges.

Fuyu persimmons
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar

1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 small piece of ginger

1. Peel the persimmons and slice them into 1/2-inch slices.
2. Bring the rest of the ingredients to boil.

While Rachel Yang was growing up in Korea, her family ended meals with sujeonggwa, a dried persimmon tea.

!--paging_filter--pimg src="/sites/" alt="Chilewich mod placemat and Manhattan tray" height="586" width="440"/p

!--paging_filter--pMy favorite part of Christmas has always been the tree.It’s not only the happy focus of the holiday, but, amid the beribboned bounty arranged beneath, it is a welcome bit of natural beauty.nbsp;Before the hustle of the holiday firmly takesnbsp;hold, my family gathers for our tree trimming (complete withnbsp;Nat King Cole caroling on the stereo and brandy toddies innbsp;our cu

!--paging_filter--pstrongimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/medium_1213_andrew-at-liberty-bar-final.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 10px;" height="120" width="120"Andrew Friedman, owner, a href="" target="_blank"Liberty Bar /a/strongbrstrongBest bar to visit on your night off: /stronga href="

!--paging_filter--pspan style="font-size: medium;"strongDOWNTOWN/strong/spanbrstrongArt at The Four Seasons/strongbrThis creamy-hued dining room has such a knockout view of the waterfront, it might overshadow the food of a less capable chef. But the constantly evolving menu created by culinary vet Kerry Sear and his seasoned crew flat out wows.

!--paging_filter--pLinda*, a 35-year-old attorney in Seattle, is the first to admit that going out for breakfast with her is rather tortured. She calls herself über-controlling, and it starts with not eating anything with fat in it. No butter on her toast (and only one piece of toast, thank you), no cream in her coffee, no yolks in her eggs. No syrup, no pancakes, no red meat. Oatmeal is OK.