I'm quite sure I have found the city's best dining deal. I eat out more often than I'd like, so it's difficult to describe the joy and satisfaction of finding a place where I only need to shell out a small amount of my hard-earned money and receive insanely good food worth so much more in return.
First, a confession: When Anchovies & Olives opened on the ground floor of an ugly new building just a few blocks from my house (at 15th and Pine), I was annoyed. I grumpily wondered aloud if Seattle really needed another Ethan Stowell restaurant. Selfishly, I was also concerned about the disappearance of on-street parking at the hands of smug, upper-class foodies. My boyfriend and I made a point of "forgetting" the restaurant's name, walking by and gesturing towards "Artichokes & Ostriches" or "Asshole & Ornery."
My feelings have changed.
[caption id="attachment_33143" align="aligncenter" width="420" caption="Photograph: Geoffrey Smith"][/caption]
The food at Anchovies & Olives is undeniably great. And while A&O is too pricey for us to have dinner there often, it's now my favorite neighborhood restaurant. Why? Because they've created incentives for local residents to drop in casually for a drink and some snacks. (Also, service is off the chain.) Case in point: Their twice-daily Power Hour, featuring $1 oysters (and we're talking good oysters—Totten Virginicas, Kusshis, Kumamotos), $2 Peronis, and $5 wine and prosecco.
BUT IT GETS BETTER. Right now during late night Power Hour on Friday and Saturday nights, A&O is offering $5 "Chef's Choice" specials. Five bucks gets you a plate of whatever the hell the kitchen wants to make you, and believe me, you want to be picking up whatever they are throwing down. Such as:
• Smoked mackerel over a salad of fennel, peas, chickpeas, and red currants. ($5!)
• Fried skate "riblets" (scrumptious long pieces of tender cartilage with plenty of meat to suck and pick off) with celery, pine nuts, onion mostarda, and chilis. ($5!)
• Saffron risotto with geoduck and sorrel. ($5!)
This is a genius idea: It's a chance for the kitchen to use up stuff that need to be used up ASAP and and test out newly arrived seasonal ingredients. But more important, it's fun: The chefs get to play, the diners get to be surprised and delighted.
Anchovies & Olives Power Hour is offered twice daily, from 5 - 6 pm and 10 -11 pm, and goes until 12 am on Friday and Saturday.
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