Escape this evening to that almost-island filled with happy hour haunts and neighborly joints—also known as West Seattle.
At Elliot Bay Brewery and Pub, start out with the chipotle beef taco small plate: two steak skewers marinated in chipotle vinaigrette and served with shredded cabbage and flour tortillas, $8.95. There’s also the coho salmon and beet salad: grilled salmon with apple cider vinaigrette, walnuts, and crumbled bleu cheese, $12.95. Or, try the pesto turkey burger with kalamata olive tapenade, which is served with sweet potato fries for $9.95. The burger pairs nicely with the Hop Von Boorian, a Belgian-style ale named for the founder of Burien. Save room for the raspberry-lambic cheesecake, prepared with raspberry-infused beer from Belgium and topped with whipped cream and fresh raspberries. A slice goes for $5.95.
The tuna carpaccio, $18, makes for a great, light entrée or appetizer at Jak’s Grill, as does the prawn sabayon—a plate of jumbo prawns sautéed in garlic with spring asparagus and sweetened with marsala sabayon sauce, $16. The grill’s Tuscan rib eye 20 oz steak—pressed with Tuscan rub, topped with sun-dried tomato basil butter, and cold-smoked for a smoky barbecue taste—runs for $34.
Want something swankier? Go to La Rustica, where a braised lamb shank dusted with balsamic vinegar, garlic, and rosemary goes for $28.95. The fresh halibut carpaccio is another popular special—it’s stuffed in parchment paper and steamed with lemon, olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, and white wine, $27.95. Pair it with a pinot gris. The chipino, a French fish stew, is packed with mussels, scallops, and halibut and prepared with white wine, tomato, and saffron, $32.95. Try it with a chilled chardonnay.