Happy Hour

This Week in Happy Hour: James Beard Edition

Where to sample some of Seattle’s greatest chefs during the best hour of the day.

By Sara Hendrickson May 14, 2014

We'd bet money that James Beard would love to let his (proverbial) hair down at any of these chef's happy hours.

The 2014 James Beard Awards came and went the first week of May with local boy Blaine Wetzel taking home an award for Rising Star Chef of the Year, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t give a shout out to the other Seattle chefs who were recognized in the semifinals, including three who were nominated for Best Chef Northwest. Here, seven stellar chefs who have restaurants with happy hours.

Best Chef Northwest Nominees:
Renee Erickson (The Whale Wins)

At the Whale Wins, “Whale Call Happy Hour” is 3–5 every day, and features a special menu of small delights. In the past, it has included pickles, olives, soups, and toasts topped with things like vegetable hummus and shaved radish salad, and sardines, curried tomato paste, and shaved fennel.

Ethan Stowell (Staple and Fancy)
Shouldn't this guy have been nominated for Outstanding Restauranteur by now? Staple and Fancy doesn't offer happy hour, but three of his other restaurants do: Happy hour runs 4–6 daily at Bar Cotto with $5 starters, an $8 salumi board, $8 pizzas, and drink specials. At Anchovies & Olives, snag $1 oysters, discounted starters, and $10 pasta dishes washed down with $6 wines and $3 beers from 5–6 daily (late night, 10–11). Finally, Tavolàta’s hour of happy includes $8 pasta dishes, various other discounted starters, $5 glasses of wine, $3.50 beers, and $7 martinis and Manhattans. Salute!

Jason Franey (Canlis)
Technically Canlis doesn’t have a happy hour per se—there are no discounted foods or beverages—but there is a bar menu with prices that are a little easier to handle than the spectacular dinner menu. And the live piano in the swanky lounge is a nice perk. Seating in the bar is first come first served and starts at 5:30 on weekdays, 5 on Saturdays, with piano accompaniment starting at 6.

Best Chef Northwest Semifinalists:
Jason Stratton (Spinasse)
Spinasse’s slightly more casual kid brother Artusi serves a happy hour menu with $7 glasses of wine, $5 Fernet shots, and discounted cocktails and bottles of wine, from 5–7 everyday. There’s food, too.

Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi (Joule)
Beef: it’s what’s for power hour at Joule. We’re talking about a $12 steak dinner, $10 kalbi burger, and $8 steak salad, with rotating cocktail and wine specials as well. 5–6, Monday through Thursday.

Eric Donnelly (RockCreek Seafood and Spirits)
As the name implies, the daily happy hour at RockCreek includes seafood and spirits from 4–6, and currently features Barron Point clams calabrese; calamari, white bean, roasted tomato, cured olive salad; and other bites, as well as an $8 gin rickey with New Amsterdam gin, lime, sugar, and soda, served on the rocks. $5 wines and $4 beers, as well as $25 bottles of champagne.


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