Monday, November 29, 2010

Easing into Monday... {Barrio}

So, we've already used up our one dinner out cushion for the week. We have our Thursday dinner planned with friends this week, so between the two, we should be staying home otherwise. We'll see how that goes. We stopped on Capitol Hill on our way home and walked the familiar corridor of restaurants trying to decide what to eat. We had Tavern Law, The Local Vine, La Spiga and Barrio to choose from. I hate to say this about TLV because it was a place we held so close to our hearts in Belltown, but it's just not the same. I'm pretty sure we don't know anyone left working there. It's still very nice and the food is good. It just doesn't have that familiar Cheers feeling to it anymore. We settled on Barrio. Barrio is a member of the Heavy Restaurant group which also includes Purple (another of our Seattle favorites... Lobster baked Mac and Cheese, anyone?) in various locations around the Seattle area. I hesitate to call Barrio Mexican, though it's more Mexican than any other type of food. It's more modern than just regular Mexican food, though.
We've been to Barrio only a handful of times in the past. They have an absolutely beautiful bar. I truly think the test of any restaurant is the experience you have sitting at the bar. This isn't a test we'd put Barrio through before, so tonight was the night. They run a fairly early happy hour from 3-6pm. We arrived just about 5, so we had plenty of time to take part. 

B has a usual drink he orders at Barrio, the Kentucky Cartel (Bulleit bourbon, Canela tequila, honey, old fashioned bitters, and Laphroaig). Bourbon, Tequilia and Scotch don't sound like they're meant to go together, but it's really quite good. I had my first Flip, a "There's an Egg in My Flip"(Johnnie Walker Red, Maple, Lustau East India Sherry Solera and a whole raw egg). I had no idea what a Flip was, but when the bartender explained it had a whole raw egg in it, I got a little nervous. He told me the texture was a little different. I asked if it was slimy. He said it was more like creamy. I didn't honestly believe him, but I tried it anyway. It was really, really good!

We had a light meal (light as in quantity, not calories) of yucca fries, taquitos and churros. I asked the bartender (whose name I wish I'd gotten since he was awesome) if he knew what part of the yucca they used to make the fries. He didn't. We've encountered yucca fries in the past and I've always wondered. I imagine it's the root. This may not be a pressing concern for many people, but yucca are pretty much everywhere in New Mexico (besides the fact that they are the state flower) and looking at one, it's pretty impossible to imagine which part yields a french fry-like food.

The taquitos were also great. The guac, cream and chile on the side really made the dish. The churros were super light and tasty.... and really, how could you go wrong with the little espresso cup of dipping chocolate?

While we ate, I sat totally memerized by the bartender making drinks. Again, it's a shame I didn't get his name. He was truly artistic in his cocktail crafting, though. He was precise and cavalier all at the same time... plus he had a super cool tattoo of a Corpse Reviver (#1, I think) on his forearm.

Slowly but surely we're building up our repetoire of restaurants open on Mondays. It really does soften the blow to the start of the week. Next up, Urbane at Olive 8 on Thurday... Table for 8!!

Barrio Capitol Hill on Urbanspoon

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