My next happy hour adventure brought me back to Capitol Hill to The Tin Table. Part of the Century Ballroom, this quiet, quaint, 2nd floor bar is definitely a hidden gem. If you weren’t looking for The Tin Table, it isn’t likely you’d stumble upon it, but it is definitely worth seeking out.
Although Century Ballroom has been around for quite some time, The Tin Table extension is relatively new, only about 4 1/2 years old. The Tin Table gets it name from an actual tin dining table, the focal point of the restaurants dining room.
Their amazing bar manager, Michael was so knowledgeable. He recently left The Tin Table to pursue other adventures but left the bar in the hands of Nathan, another great bartender. Previously from Mistral Kitchen and Tavern Law, Nathan will continue the uniqueness The Tin Table is known for. Michael’s cocktail menu was rather unique, on par with some of the best craft cocktail lounges in Seattle. Using ingredients like kummel, green chartreuse, fruit purees (he was juicing rhubarb when I was there) and local spirits, he shakes up some incredibly creative and delicious libations. I look forward to returning soon now that Nathan has settled in.
I started with the house sangria, at only $4 a glass on happy hour, this is a steal! Made from scratch every time, unique for sangria, it is a blend of malbec, brandy, a splash of 7up and citrus. I really enjoyed how light and refreshing it was. Sometimes sangria can be a bit too intense but this was mild while maintaining the traditional sangria flavors.
I met with Frank, their head chef, a really nice guy who is incredibly passionate about simple food and local ingredients. His passion is undeniable when you learn he makes everything (except the ketchup & cheese) in house! From compotes to crackers, literally everything is done by hand, in house, even the ice cream for their ice cream sundaes! I couldn’t wait to dig in.
Their soup of the day was a sweet red pepper and corn soup with an avocado mousse and chile popcorn garnish. Simple and delicious! The peppers were sweet and the mousse was so purely avocado (a mix of avocado, lime & whipped cream). They change this every few days, but from what I heard about past soups, this is always worth a try. Frank knows soup!
I also ordered a cheese board after being told the apple, rhubarb, ginger, orange compote (SO delicious, like a semi-sweet pie filling) and crackers were made from scratch. I couldn’t resist trying them! A beautiful presentation, with a variety of cheeses that rotate often, this is easily sharable and recommended. There is even a list at the back that you can order from to customize a cheese board instead.
Another great small plate is the side dish of the day. While it isn’t on happy hour currently, sometimes it rotates in. The current salad was a farro wheat with a light dressing, greens, summer squash & golden raisins. Another simple dish that highlights local, seasonal produce.
The Tin Table usually has some sort of dip on the happy hour menu as well. When I was there, it was a Watercress and Sweet Herb, made with a blend of cream cheese & a few other cheeses. It was a bit spicy, with bold herb flavor and soft pita bread served alongside. Another great dish to share!
Not on the happy hour menu but worth a try was the Salmon Roulettes. Another simple presentation, served with homemade pink peppercorn shortbread, this was a unique dish with subtle flavors that all combined very well. The salmon wasn’t overpowering, the shortbread was delightfully crunchy, buttery and slightly savory and the fruit compote served along side balanced out the entire dish. Creative and unique.
Another item not on the happy hour menu but that Chef Frank is proud of is the Grilled Sausage dish. Of course he makes his own sausage in house (sensing a theme here?), and adds just the right herbs and spices to make a well-balanced dish. Served with sauerkraut, spicy braised greens, homemade stone ground mustard and a caraway biscuit, the flavors in the dish are all just right. Slightly bitter sauerkraut, spicy greens, slightly sweet mustard and the subtle pork flavors blended so well into a really balanced bite. The biscuit was flaky and a nice carb to “wash” it all down with!
Of course I HAD to try the Floozy Burger, a $10 highlight of the happy hour menu. And wow! Served with the largest mountain of shoestring fries I’ve ever seen, the huge burger almost pales in comparison. Once I got in to the burger though, it was a great balance of caramelized onions, bacon, cheese and a sesame brioche bun, and of course, a homemade patty with herbs and spices. It was juicy, again super simple and a great blend of flavors.
Chef Frank wouldn’t let me leave without trying their ice cream sundae of the day. (They are just above Molly Moon’s and want people to know they make their ice cream in house, with a variety of unique and traditional flavors!) When I was there, the sundae was a Pina Colada, a mix of toasted coconut ice cream, topped with rum caramel sauce, a to-die-for pineapple compote, whipped cream and macadamia nuts. My only qualm about this sundae was there was not enough pineapple compote topping! Otherwise, it was delicious, and again, all made in house. Quite impressive!
I was lucky enough to sample a few more beverages off their craft cocktail menu. The Basil Spring Julep is absolutely AMAZING! $2 off during happy hour, this insane blend of basil infused bourbon, rhubarb syrup, lemon and bitters was delightfully refreshing & not overpowering. The basil infusion really subdues the potentially strong bourbon flavors. Highly recommended.
I also tried the Northwest Cosmopolitan, a unique twist on a traditional cosmo using Oola Gin instead of vodka, and a local cranberry juice instead of a mass produced one, causing a bitter/tart bite. It is also topped with a splash of cava, which completely changes the flavor. Although I wouldn’t compare this in almost any way to a traditional cosmo, it is a unique beverage worth a try if you’re looking for unusual flavor.
The best part of this experience was the personalize service we received from both Chef Frank and the bar manager, Michael. They both took time to talk to us, telling us about the history, stories of the building and the restaurant, while educating us on the food and drinks. Their passions for their craft were evident. A wonderful experience, where I truly felt welcome and left incredibly full, satisfied, more knowledgeable and excited to return!
Happy Hour Details:
Tuesday-No Specific Happy Hour, but 10% off your entire bill!
Wednesday/Thursday-4-6pm AND 11pm-1am
Sunday also 11pm-1am
With so many happy hour options, The Tin Table is definitely worth a visit! http://www.thetintable.com/