Wednesday, May 18, 2011

FoodTrek: Good Food for Good Times at Black Bottle Postern

I did a little Snoopy-Dance when I heard one of my favorite Seattle gastropubs, Black Bottle, was heading East and opening in Bellevue. Why? A simple answer, it's really good. I like a watering hole within reasonable distance from my already far-away house to enjoy quality food with good drinks, and to be totally honest, a place without the distractions of televisions or loud music to get in the way of sitting at a table with friends and just eating and drinking the night away. Black Bottle, the Wasabi has come home to roost.

This one's mine... where's yours? - Photo by Wasabi Prime

Technically, it's full name is Black Bottle Postern in Bellevue, the "Postern" part just a nicer-sounding description for side or back entrance, but it's no hidden away speakeasy. Big tall windows surround the main wall facing the street and the interior is kind of a funky mix of Danish modern using natural materials, and a little Steampunk/industrial funk thrown in with the custom hanging light fixtures and lamps. It's larger, with a more open floorplan than the Seattle Black Bottle, which has a cozier neighborhood pub feel. Postern's larger space is probably due to the fact that it's right below a residential building and close walking distance to the main retail square of the city. I kind of like that it's not right in the nexus of Bellevue/Lincoln Square, which tends to have more glitzy chains or a club-type atmosphere. I have a bit of a Granny Confessional moment here, but to quoth the sage Detective Murtaugh of the Lethal Weapon movies (portrayed by the fabulous actor Danny Glover): "I'm too old for this s#@!." Just give me plenty of tables, a well-made cocktail, and familiar food favorites prepared with quality ingredients.

Cocktails with Danger as their middle name... or their first - Photos by Wasabi Prime

It's a real question when it comes down to the issue of going out to eat or not. While I'm all about being frugal and money-conscious, I don't want to skimp on the food. Going to a restaurant or bar is a treat, so I don't want to just go to the place that has the cheapest plate of soggy, greasy fries and flavorless beer. When I do decide to go out, I try to go to places that make things that I just don't have the patience to prepare, or if they make the simple comforts, they're done in a way that's successful beyond any chance I could have to recreate it at home. I know flatbreads are just the bar food equivalent for pizzas, but Black Bottle's flatbreads earn their gastropub keep. The dough is crispy and chewy, piled high with fresh, interesting ingredients. The pear gorgonzola flatbread with caramelized onions was one of the newer, Postern-only menu items, and I'm not ashamed to say, I ate the whole dang thing. And despite the odd pairing, I had their take on tuna poke, a platter of thinly sliced, delicate yellowfin spread out like petals of a flower, sitting in a sesame-soy sauce littered with finely chopped peppers and aromatics. It seems spicy upon first glance, but it's surprisingly mild, with just a pleasant warming sensation of the chilis to compliment the sesame flavor. They respect the food, which I appreciate. It's not oversauced or seasoned so heavily that you can't recognize what went into the dish.

The closest way to Hawaii without jumping on a plane, Postern's tuna poke - Photo by Wasabi Prime

I didn't try nearly as much as I wanted to on Black Bottle Postern's menu, thanks to my glutton-filled affair with the flatbread, but it just gives me more to look forward to, the next time I visit. Since I don't have to battle the traffic over the 520 bridge to get to the original in Seattle, I'll definitely make it a point to visit this one more often when I want the good food that is most certainly good to eat.

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4 comments:

  1. Nice, I really want to come visit one day, everything looks ans sounds like it is worth the trip from Central America!!!

    David Fickas

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  2. I am behind the times. I didn't know about this place. But thanks to you...now I do. :)

    P.S.- Love the poke shot. I'm missing Hawaii.

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  3. Rosella RossetterMay 20, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    Great review! The food sounds delicious and looks equally as good to eat. I am looking forward to visiting Seattle in June/July. Lunch or dinner at Black Bottle Postern will most certainly be at the top of my list of things to do. If it is anywhere near as good as Black Bottle in Belltown-Seattle, Black Bottle Postern has "done it again". Kudos to you all!!

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  4. Ooooh, that flatbread looks amazing, yum! :)

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