Everyone needs to go to the Bravern shopping center in Bellevue at least once. It might not be for you, but you need to see it, at least. To know it is there.
If you’re accustomed to squeezing yourself into tight banquettes at the tiny eateries of Queen Anne and Capitol hill, you’ll marvel at the dining rooms that go on forever, at the full moon-sized platters that arrive at your table overflowing with edibles. Everything at the Bravern is huge, crazy huge, and crazy clean. And most things are also, of course, crazy expensive. I mean, you’re not going to get a Tory Burch dress for cheap people, let’s face facts.
But here’s a little something that’s good to know about the Bravern: on Mondays, you can eat cheap there. Because every Monday Artisanal Table’s happy hour, which usually runs from 3 to 6pm, is extended until 9pm. Which means you can eat anything on the entire menu for 50 percent off. All. Night. Long.
The main attraction here is pizza, which at the discounted prices cost between $6 and $9. There are also pastas like papardelle lamb ragu and tagliatelli carbonara, plus salumi plates, salads, etc…. House beers are $3, house wines are $5.
Artisanal Brasserie next door also has a generous happy hour from 3 to 6pm daily, no extension on Mondays, with a dozen oysters on the half shell for $13.50 plus a bunch of wine, beer, and cocktail specials. I like the sound of white-wine sangria ($5)—hey, it may be February, but the sun is out—with St. Germain and peach. The full menu is here.
If, after indulging at the larger-than-life shopping mall, you need to readjust your perspective at a more small-scale venue, I suggest you stop by nearby Naga, the cocktail lounge attached to Chantanee Thai restaurant. It is absolutely a one-of-a-kind sort of place, and it serves very serious cocktails.