For those of us who think that breakfast is the perfect time to add a light wine or a splash of champagne, Crepe Cafe and Wine Bar proves the ideal brunch spot. It's a cozy, comfortable neighborhood cafe with stunning breakfast, dinner and dessert crepes. Bonus: The staff is friendly and attentive, and the food is consistently delicious. Go on Tuesdays for half-price bottles of wine, and be sure to check out weekend brunches that last until 3 p.m. Consider starting with French onion soup, the pear and pepper salad or "Sonia's Goat Cheese Delight," before moving on to crepes like the "Mushroom Medley," "Blame it on Rio" (think chorizo) and the veggie-heavy "Roasted Delight."
Recommended for Wine Bars because: Crepe Cafe and Wine Bar proves to be a cozy, comfortable neighborhood cafe with stunning breakfast, dinner and dessert crepes.
Corinne's expert tip: Brunch lasts until 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Portalis--which recently found a new location at 6754 15th Ave NW--offers a wine club, wine consultations (to find the perfect food-and-wine pairing for your event) and the recommended paired wine plus local artists' works on display on the walls. The shop features 500-plus "notable, adventurous, lovingly selected world wines" including an expanded selection from Washington state. Portalis is for people ... who are into great wine and want a knowledgeable local wine merchant to use as a resource when making their wine selections." The nearby heart of Ballard proves a great neighborhood for walking around, browsing in the various shops, enjoying the sidewalk cafes and bookstores...and topping it off with some exciting wine purchases at Portalis.
Recommended for Wine Bars because: Portalis Wine Shop features 500-plus "notable, adventurous, lovingly selected world wines" including an expanded selection from Washington state.
Corinne's expert tip: The new location at 6754 15th Ave NW brings the venue to 15th Ave NW & 70th Street, across from Brunswick & Hunt and down the street from popular spots like The Fat Hen, Delancey, Essex & Honoré Bakery.
A delightfully intimate setting in lower Queen Anne neighborhood, The Sitting Room proves a perfect stop before--or after--an event at the nearby Seattle Center (think events from concerts to roller derby and basketball games). Its close quarters, comfortable-couch seating areas and funky decor are a nice change of pace from the sleeker, uber-modern settings in so many newer downtown bars and bistros. (Inspired by the cafés, bars and bistros of France and old-world Europe, The Sitting Room opened its doors in December of 1998.) This venue boasts two happy hours--from 5 to 7 p.m. and from 11 p.m. to close.
Recommended for Wine Bars because: Since 1998, The Sitting Room has been the city's sleek, Euro-chic bar and bistro located on lower Queen Anne hill.
Corinne's expert tip: This venue boasts two happy hours--from 5 to 7 p.m. and from 11 p.m. to close.
Lively, casual, welcoming. Wrought iron fixtures, poured concrete floors, and old-brick walls. Over 70 wines available by the pour or in flights. It's an excellent destination whether you're on a date, meeting with friends, or holding a business function. There are four locations in the Seattle metro area, and you can reserve your table at their web site - so no matter where you're closest to, you're close to an excellent afternoon or evening with wonderful food and amazing wines. Every day from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Bellevue, Kirkland and Woodinville locations (not downtown), the happy hour menu means $2 off drinks. Yet, more exciting news? Diners can snack on discounted, deletable dishes like gorgonzola-stuffed dates, calamari and steamed Manila clams.
Recommended for Wine Bars because: Purple Cafe and Wine Bar is a bustling, downtown see-and-be-seen-venue where good wine and small plates thrill. (Their other three locations have great happy hours.)
Corinne's expert tip: Daily at the Bellevue, Kirkland and Woodinville locations, from 3 to 6 p.m., the happy hour menu offers $2 off drinks and an array of discounted dishes like gorgonzola-stuffed dates, mini-baked brie, shoestring fries, calamari and steamed Manila clams.
Hidden away in Post Alley, with an entryway-roof of wine-casks, find the charming Tasting Room. Definitely a hidden treasure, The Tasting Room Seattle (and its sibling location in Yakima) features artisan-crafted, hard-to-find wines from all over Washington in a wine cave-like setting. The Tasting Room is Washington's first cooperative wine cellar, and features vintages from winemaker-owned wineries such as Cameraderie, Harlequin, Latitude 46, Natches Heights and more. Their site offers a listing of available bottles and vintages, plus a calendar of events; currently, they host wine hops every Thursday and "Pie Day" every Friday, with Pagliacci Pizza alongside their favorite wines. The Tasting Room Seattle is open seven days a week beginning at noon.
Recommended for Wine Bars because: The Tasting Room Seattle, tucked away in Post Alley, features artisan-crafted, hard-to-find wines from all over Washington in a wine cave-like setting.
Corinne's expert tip: Check the calendar for "Wine Wednesdays," a weekly ritual of relaxation set to live music and local wines. Music starts at 5 p.m. and goes until 7-7:30.
Smash is "where wine and food collide," as the site proudly proclaims. With over four dozen wine-glass pours (including smaller 3- and 6-ounce tastes) Smash's selection focuses on Northwest wines, but also includes vintages from France, Argentina, Italy, New Zealand and other tasty locales. Smash offers 10 different wine flights (three tastes per flight). Ask questions, sample their offerings, and build your own wine flight tailored to your personal tastes. Along with the wines come cheese sample flights, which are either available from their own pre-set menu, or you can build a custom platter to accompany your personalized flight! Care for something a little more filling? Try an entree from Smash's outstanding menu.
Recommended for Wine Bars because: Smash Wine Bar & Bistro Restaurant proves a friendly Wallingford venue "where wine and food collide."
Corinne's expert tip: Happy hour happens daily from 5 to 6:30 p.m., boasting "great wines to go with some of our favorite comfort foods", including Yukon Gold "Pot-Tots" Cakes.
Don't just find a night spot in Capitol Hill; visit a wine bar! And if you've got a large group, consider renting this space out. (Yes, seriously.) The upstairs level holds 40-60 people and makes a great place for enjoying wines and a light dinner with a few dozen of your closest friends. Poco calls itself "a locally owned, one-of-a-kind neighborhood tapas bar, wine room and cocktail house." While everything is sourced locally as much as possible (including spirits), the wine list is divided between local New World favorites and Old World stars, especially those hailing from Spain. The head chef "brings authenticity" to the tasty tapas menu, thanks to the talent's three years spent training in Madrid and Barcelona.
Recommended for Wine Bars because: Poco is a locally owned, one-of-a-kind neighborhood tapas bar, wine room and cocktail house, located in Capitol Hill.
Corinne's expert tip: The entire space is 21 and over. During sunny days, the patio is open for seating until 10:30 p.m.
Black Bottle boasts a "full bar and hard-working wines," complemented by "unfussy, rustic food to be shared." Upscale, contemporary digs and an interesting variety of wines, beers and cocktails give this bar (in Belltown) an instant appeal. The adults-only wine bar has a wonderful menu (from 4 p.m. until midnight), offering choices from grilled lamb and sumac hummus, to roasted tomato and spinach flatbread, ceviche, bacon-wrapped scallops, pork belly and kimchi plus Southern dishes like crispy fried chicken and collard greem. Shared plates are encouraged! Take out is available, and this venue opens its patio, when the weather is warm enough.
Recommended for Wine Bars because: Sleek Black Bottle in Belltown boasts a "full bar and hard-working wines," complemented by "unfussy, rustic food to be shared."
Corinne's expert tip: Take out is available, and this venue opens its patio, when the weather is right!
Locals and visitors alike flock to RN74, Michael Mina's downtown outpost, known for its "creative, modern, yet simple interpretations of regional French cuisine." In the chic lounge area, visitors enjoy delectable treats like duck fat fries, bacon-flavored popcorn, jazzed-up deviled eggs, sliders and beef skewers. Main dishes include locally-sourced, seasonal highlights like house-aged steaks, vegetables from local organic farms and Puget Sound seafood (like Michael Mina's Ahi Tuna Tartare). But perhaps, most importantly, patrons return for RN74's extensive wine list that highlights the Burgundy region of France plus boutique wine producers from Washington and Oregon. In addition to pouring at least 40 wines by the glass (priced from $6-$32) and 1,300-plus wines by the bottle, RN74 currently features Champagne and sparkling wine from around the world. Try them by the glass, half-glass or as a flight representing five different countries.
Recommended for Wine Bars because: Michael Mina's RN74 features modern yet simple interpretations of regional French cuisine plus a renowned wine list.
Corinne's expert tip: Those heading to one of the many nearby theaters and performance halls enjoy three-course "Pre-Theatre Menu," nightly from 5 to 6 p.m. ($44).
This simple, elegant bistro offers an appealing mix of American favorites with a menu showing influences from France, Italy and South America. The minimal decor is serene and upscale with white tablecloths, neutral colors and candlelight. Start with a bottle of wine from a list of more than 100, and then try an entree such as roast duck with cranberry sauce and veal sirloin in wild mushroom sauce. The dessert selection changes daily, but look for the highly recommended pecan pie. Reservations recommended. While the venue is open seven days a week, lunch is served Monday through Friday. Bis on Main features Late Night Happy Hour seven nights a week in the cozy bar and lounge.
Recommended for Wine Bars because: Enjoy lunch Monday through Friday at Bis on Main, a simple and elegant bistro that serves American favorites influenced by global cuisines.
Local Expert tip: Bis on Main features Late Night Happy Hour seven nights a week in the cozy bar and lounge. Monday through Thursday, Happy Hour commences at 8:30 p.m., at 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and all night on Sundays (from 4:30 p.m. until closing).