I must begin with ***

*** I struggled with whether to add the following addition to my "Curate Seattle" list. I have a very slight interest ("crush" is too strong) on this brand new place. Not head-over-heels. It's like the movie "One Fine Day:" not great acting, at times annoying, and not even that unique of a storyline, but for some reason I still really like it. It ends and I either want to go hug someone or watch it again.
Like the following recommendation, it certainly isn't winning any Oscars any time soon, but it will leave you in a great mood.

Canon: whiskey & bitters emporium and I share an archeological urge to dig into classic cocktail culture. We are clearly not alone, as this trend has swept the country and Seattle over the last few years.
(Here at home, think Spur, Tavern Law/Needle & Thread, Bathtub Gin, Zig Zag, Knee High Stocking).

This newest joint has a few features that are worth experiencing.

Taking over Licorous's old spot on 12th Avenue, Canon put some pre-prohibition memorabilia up on the walls and filled the shelves with old and new liquors to tempt every inkling. Things that made this place intriguing and creative:

1. The Vermouth Experiment: For $12 I got to try three rye manhattans, one with Dolin,

one with Chinato, and one with Punt e Mes.

In the bottom of each glass were these deep red, dense marinated cherries (imported from France for $200 a jar, according to the waitress), which I wouldn't share with anyone for even $5. Seriously, I asked the waitress to bring extra so others could try because I wouldn't part with mine.

2. The Hanky Panky (gin, sweet vermouth, and fernet) was served in an adorable personal-sized medicinal glass bottle wrapped in a handmade logo.

3. Cocktail books from the 20's and 30's were stacked on the bar, tempting me to keep ordering and learning.

Although I daydreamed of little tweaks to service and decor, I sincerely appreciated their passion - the details to the beverages and cocktail experience - that are necessary to continue grow my knowledge and appreciation for all the little details that make a great drink a truly great drink.

How wonderful that cocktailing is a skill worth learning - something you can enjoy in your 2o's and on into your 80's.


Seattle Looks Like Graham Baba

I'm going to kill about 18 birds in one stone with this one.

I could spend time curating dozens of the most current, hip, hospitality joints near my house - or we could simply talk about Graham Baba Architects.*** These are the craftsmen/women who make them the artistic, gritty, and chic places they are. Their aesthetic taste is responsible for entirely too many of my choices - where to spend my money, my time, and my hunger.

I've written about many of these spots in the past, and it's high time to say "thank you" to the architects for giving me somewhere creative, intriguing, and excellent to sit.

Thank you for the Kolstrand Building. And all the oysters, bikes, and cocktails within. (Walrus & the Carpenter, Staple & Fancy)

Thank you for the Melrose Market (in conjunction with Dunn + Hobbes).

Thank you for Rain Shadow Meats.

Thank you for Marigold & Mint.

Thank you for the Piston & Ring Building (La Spiga, Plum Bistro)

Thank you for iron railings, gritty gears, and sanded wooden beams.

Thank you for reusing railway ties.

Thank you for making "wood-firing" at Eltana Bagels possible, and for Skillet Diner. Thank you for the Terry Ave Building (now Cuoco and Brave Horse Tavern). Thank you for Revel & Quoin.

***Frank Bruni of The New York Times describes their work eloquently: "a palpable conviviality that so many restaurants aim for but so few achieve. That kind of warmth and vibrancy often boil down to luck: to the animation of the crowd that gathers, the pitch of people's voices."