WHERE: RAVISH | 2956 Eastlake Ave. E, Seattle | (206) 913-2497
CRAVE FACTOR: On weekday evenings, Eastlake Avenue is a whirr of rush hour traffic, with homeward-bound motorists buzzing past various storefronts with nary a glance out the passenger window. But there’s at least one restaurant that offers a respite from the late-day madness.
Ravish, the year-and-a-half old restaurant across the street from Seattle’s standby happy hour haunt Eastlake Bar & Grill, serves up a mean helping of full-portioned small plates with a trio of cocktails du jour, often including a multitude of liquors and ingredients.
The Prickly Pear, a zesty mix of Absolute Pear, Hot Monkey jalapeno vodka and St. Germain, with a dash of Tabasco for spunk, is a spicy intro to an adventurous menu that takes advantage of owner Lisbet Mielke’s catering roots — she also owns Ravishing Radish catering. The daily Panini sandwiches are a collaborative experiment among the Ravish and Radish chefs, and are constructed from fresh ingredients. Mine featured prosciutto, brie, pear and arugula. It varies every few days, but promises not to disappoint.
The happy hour menu is a limited version of the regular menu, but doesn’t skimp on portions. Flank steak skewers with coconut curry sauce are practically worth a double order, and the autumn green salad, featuring roasted squash, peppered bacon, Rogue Creamery Oregon blue cheese, pecans and maple vinaigrette, is light and colorful for all seasons.
Bartenders Luke McKinley and Nick La Porta, both of whom have been at Ravish since its inception, have recently incorporated champagne-based drinks to the menu. The latest concoction is the Mexican 75, a spin-off of the classic French 75. This one was designed as a result of an unexpected influx of mango puree, and features white rum and limes, making for a smooth, south-of-the-border taste to cap off a fine evening.
FUN FACT: Throwing a party or wedding? Ravishing Radish Catering and Ravish use the same kitchen, so if you like what you taste on Eastlake, your party will get the same treatment, as the catering menu is in tune with restaurant offerings.