Tuesday we had an unexpected cancellation for a get-together with friends, so Ian, smart fellow that he is, made reservations at a favorite restaurant. Back in Ian's days as a hotel concierge, he made connections with quite a few fine eating establishments. This makes it very fun and rewarding to go out on the town with him.
First, the two of us met up for Happy Hour at Vessel, one of Seattle's premier cocktail bars. Two birthdays ago, Ian gifted me two free cocktail passes, and it seemed fitting we should use them for his farewell tour. We happened to be there on a night when they were hosting a guest bartender. We decided to order of the new list. Ian and I are both bartenders, and Ian knows a lot more about fancy cocktails than I do, but when we looked at the list, we only recognized two of the ingrediants on the whole page. We used his IPhone to look up things like Aperol and Gammel Dansk. This only heightened our intrigue.
We were both drawn to "Unnecessary Noise" a combination of various expensive spirits including Makers Marks Bourbon, Dolin Blanc and Pernod Absinthe. Since we didn't want to order the same thing, Ian took a risk and ordered the Haiku, whose ingredients you can read in the photo below. While Ian's drink was prettier than mine, with it's latte-looking foam art, it smelled and tasted primarily of beef jerky. Yes, the cherrywood smoked syrup was heavy on the smoke and light on the cherry. But Ian felt it was worth it since to order the Haiku cocktail, he was required by the bartender to write a haiku. We both clapped giddily when we were informed of this, and got busy wiritng. Ian wrote his in honor of his cocktail:
and I wrote mine in honor of him.
Always the leaver.
Never the one being left.
Not 'till this Monday.
After finishing our free cocktails, we headed down Pike street to meet up with two other friends at Steelhead Diner in the market. Before we had even ordered our entrees, an important looking young gentlemen who had come by the table to greet Ian, asked if any of us had any allergies. We said "no" and wondered what surprise would arrive. Shortly, we were gazing at the restaurant's famous "Caviar Pie", a cheese spread hors d'oeuvre featuring some five different kinds of caviar. It was delicious and disappeared quickly.
I had decided to spare no expense for our unexpected night on the town, so I treated myself to the Wagyu beef tri tip with golden russet potatoes, fresh greens and red wine sauce. If beef can be incandescent, this certainly was. Everyone else ate lushly and lavishly as well. We decided on two desserts. I really wanted the $10 sundae and shared it with Chase. Ian and Nir went for the Black Velvet cake. This was also the first time Ian and I had ever eaten out on the restaurat's balcony. We had a sweet view overlooking Post alley.
After our delicious meal was done and we were simply enjoying the atmosphere, BJ returned to say goodbye to Ian, and also to inform us that our meal was on the house. Yes, our $200 meal was on the house. I'm so glad I had decided to spare no expense since I ended up with no expense at all. In fact, the whole night only cost me about $16 in tips. And it was some of the best eating/drinking I've enjoyed in some time. It was magical. Another night of surprises during Ian's final week. What will happen next? Probably a call from Joss Whedon saying he'd like us to pitch him a new series and co-write it. Yep. He's probably reading our paper right now wondering how he can get us on his team. Joss, all ye need do is ask. And provide caviar maybe.