Posted on | April 14, 2007 | 8 Comments |
Ever since Vessel opened to much fanfare end of last year, we’ve been meaning to check it out. So yesterday when our dear friends called up to say that they have a babysitter for the night and wants to come over downtown to hang out and would like to have dinner at Benihana, which is on the same block as Vessel, I was so eager to suggest meeting at Vessel for drinks first. After Seattle P-I’s restaurant critic linked to my blog, people started listening to my restaurant suggestions- now they think I know what I am talking about, isn’t fame great?
I am happy to report that Vessel didn’t fail to impress us. It looks like a Fifth Ave designer store from outside, which I think it used to be,. The sexy interior with minimalist furniture and modern design is super classy, the majestic yellow glass staircase that leads to the second floor lobby is kinda scary after two cocktails, but nonetheless very dramatic. It looks small from outside, but between the two floors there is ample seating available including some fabulous oversized ottomans. Also, a great location, right next to the Fifth Avenue Theatre between Union and University on Fifth in the historic Skinner building.
That is all great, but what about the drinks you may ask. Vessel is managed by mixologist Jamie Boudreau of Vancouver’s Lumiere fame. Obviously being a famous mixologist, the cocktails were out of this world! The two page cocktail menu has about 16 amazing unique creations, or you can order any drink that your heart desires from the well stocked bar. All the drinks in this menu are $10 a pop, but these potent 3 oz pours were totally worth the prize. All four of us had two drinks each, loved it all, and were pretty sloshed by the end of it.
Here is a sampling of what we had. My favorites were the two in the first picture. Bramble – Citrus and juniper infused vodka, blackberry liqueur, lemon and seltzer. Chartreuse Swizzle - Green Chartreuse, falernum, lime and pineapple. Siv had the Brandy Custa, the first picture on the second row with Cognac – super potent.
Food menu is very limited, just small plates, which is perfect for a bar. But unlike some of the nuts only bars, the menu offers pretty good selection of nibbles, including lamb chops and mini sandwiches. This is not a place you would go just for their food, but the food is pretty nice to have with these amazing cocktails. We didn’t order much since we had dinner reservations at Benihana.
Lamb Chops with potato gnocchi and spinach – All the ingredients were so fresh, which made up for the complete lack of seasonings in this dish.
Prawns with a green dipping sauce – very fresh cooked prawns, the dipping sauce was pretty good actually.
Overall, Vessel is a must try bar, a hip and glamorous place to hang out in Seattle with some amazing drinks to boot. If you think the prizes are too steep, they have a Happy Hour from 4-6 PM with $4 well drinks and appetizers starting from $4, though the portions are smaller than the regular menu size. Next time I am hoping to make it in time for happy hour.
Benihana review coming up soon.