Our third day in Seattle was a chill one--Memorial Day. We slept in a bit (a rainy morning certainly helped with that), indulged a craving for Vietnamese at a very empty (but still tasty) Pho joint, then headed down to the Seattle Aquarium. We love aquariums, and when I thought about writing this post, I was completely surprised by how many we have actually visited over the years. Virginia Beach, Boston, North Carolina, South Carolina, Baltimore, and Chicago to name a few. Oh! And San Fransisco, too. Each of course has their own unique high points, and we determined that Seattle's is the octopus exhibit. Her name was Java, she was humungous, and showed off for us plenty by blasting around her enclosure and changing colors.
From there we ambled up the stairs by Pike Place Market, and at the top saw a sign for a tasting room--Patterson Cellars. Once inside, we realized we had been at the winery location the day before, so the owner sent us up Post Alley to The Tasting Room--maybe some of the best advice the whole trip!
I actually found The Tasting Room to be an incredibly novel concept. It was a wine shop, wine bar (with tasty bites), and tasting room all in one. That may not sound so amazing, but in practice, it's a very cool thing for small wineries that want to get their product out there. You can come to this location, conveniently situated in downtown Seattle, and taste wines that you would normally only be able to try (tasting portions) at the wineries themselves, which can mean an hour drive or a weekend trip. As a consumer, you have the opportunity to be exposed to boutique wines without the inconvenience of travel. What I especially enjoyed was the option to taste the wines in different quantities (oz) up to a bottle. We enjoyed several flights of Washington wines, and I think were most impressed (again) with the Cab Franc's we tried.
Also of note at The tasting Room was the staff--more specifically, Jason Ramos. He took care of us the moment we stepped in the door--a sommelier, and Renaisance man of sorts, we quickly turned our conversation to things he would recommend we see in the city. Before the end of the afternoon, we had a personal invitation to attend a mixer that his social club was hosting at their clubhouse--which just happened to occupy the top two floors of the Columbia Center--the highest skyscraper in Seattle. That is for another post, but suffice it to say, Seattlites are friendly and accommodating, and Jason went above and beyond to make us feel welcome there.
We had dinner reservations that night at Matt's in the Market, and to kill some time we headed down to Zig Zag, often touted for having the best cocktails in the city. I enjoyed my normal gin martini, while Salmaan was more adventurous. We also were able to try some aquavit--something we had read about a million times in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, (where they drink this stuff constantly). In reality? Woof. Like drinking rye bread. Very strange to my palette.
Matt's in the Market was a great time--and was our first time experiencing something wonderful--foi gras. Difficult to describe, but impossible to forget...like...I don't know. Meat chocolate?