My birthday is this Sunday and I'm thinking of treating myself to a nicer-than-normal dinner. I have kind of a starving artist budget so probably won't go Kai crazy or anything like that; if I could keep it $50 or less and have that include a cocktail that'd be good (especially since I'm going to Seattle in Aug. and plan to do some splurge dining while there).
Had thought Crudo but alas, they are closed this weekend. Am leaning toward Citizen Public House (especially since I hear good things about the cocktails) but suggestions are welcome (or if you support CPH, recommendations for specific dishes/drinks -- for cocktails I tend toward tequila or gin and not too sweet but really, anything goes).
CPH yes, If they have the trout risotto dish on the menu go for that, They make a killer Manhatten, I don't drink a ton of bourbon, but I drink their Manhatten
Also if you want a gin based drink they have a Bijou - but if you don't like chartruese avoid it - if you do it is delicious
for apps - the pork belly pastrami and the chopped salad are my favorites
I was disappointed to get no other replies but whatever, CPH was a win.
THANK YOU for the Manhattan recommendation, Dapuma! Manhattans are typically a little too boozy-tasting for me (if I want boozy I'll drink it straight; if I'm drinking a cocktail I tend to want more going on) but this one was terrific. It was smooooooth and delicious and smelled fantastic. It was expensive but I'd drink it again in a heartbeat.
Not being a big eater I skipped the appetizers (made a choice between appetizer and dessert; dessert won!) and went straight to the entree -- pan-seared scallops (with Hampshire bacon, roasted corn grits, wilted snow pea greens & cola gastrique). SO DELICIOUS! If anything maybe a little wee bit too salty but overall lovely. Nice blend of sweet (scallops, corn, gastrique) and salty/smokey and vegetal. The scallops were perfectly cooked and the grits were a revelation. I've eaten a fair amount of grits in my day and these were the corn-iest (fresh sweet corn flavor, with whole kernels mixed in) and had a way of surprisingly, delightfully melting in my mouth. How can grits do that?! Magically delicious!
Then dessert, which was nearly the death of me (I'm SO FULL now!). Guinness pudding ("Stout-infused chocolate pot de creme, Irish whiskey crema, cocoa shortbread"). I'm not a beer person but I actually wish there had been a little more of that malty/bitter stout flavor to it. I could identify neither Guinness nor whiskey flavors. It was pretty danged good pudding, but if I hadn't had to drive home I think I'd rather have skipped the dessert and had another Manhattan instead. Oh well.
With tip I overshot my $50 goal but oh well to that too. I really enjoyed my meal. Service was good -- attentive without being too present (I like to be left alone while I eat, but appreciate a check-in and water refill every now & then and they met that balance admirably). I also appreciate that even tho' I was dining alone they put me in a big comfy booth instead of shuffling me off to a tiny table somewhere (I sometimes feel guilty for taking up a big table by myself, but at 6-ish on a Sunday night they didn't need the table yet so it was ok).
Only one complaint and it is very minor -- when I was seated and the host was clearing off the other place settings he broke a wine glass. None of the glass actually hit me, they cleaned it up fairly promptly and they did offer me another table (I declined because they seemed to have gotten it all) but it would've been kind of nice if they'd, I dunno, discounted my dessert or something to make up for spraying glass shards at me. Perhaps if I'd complained about it they would've but it really was pretty minor and didn't seem worth making a big deal over. So I'm not REALLY complaining...but they definitely would've scored extra big bonus points with me had they made some sort of compensatory gesture.
Overall, tho', a great experience and I'd love to go back.