Did everyone have a good valentines day? I have to be honest; it’s one of those days that I never think twice about it. I don’t do cards, chocolates, or flowers… but I do go out and eat. Usually, the husband and I go out on Valentines Day without a reservation and try to find a place to eat. It’s actually a fun game. The only dilemma is the long wait, but it’s always worth it when the host gives you a look of disgust when you ask about the wait time… like duh you know its Valentines Day.
This year, the husband and I went out with some friends to the Crab Pot. Which, by the way, you should check out my friend Erica’s awesome blog for more delicious reading.
The Crab Pot is probably the most touristy place I can think to eat when in Seattle. They give you bibs! However, it’s awesome. The copious amounts of fresh seafood you get is unreal. My belly was very full of crustaceans and very happy.
Post shellfish food coma we meandered over to the back bar at the E. Smith Mercantile in Pioneer Square. Over the past year Pioneer Square has seen an influx of unique bars and restaurants. Most recently, I saw E. Smith Mercantile on the cover of the Seattle Met Magazine. The back bar (at least at this point-in-time) is only open on weekdays. They often have Friday specials (e.g., steak tartar and dirty martinis), so for Valentines Day they had a handful of delicious specials, including flower bouquets, chocolates, cocktail specials, and oysters & caviar.
As usual, I went for my good ol’ standby, Mary’s Revenge, which is brut champagne, lavender bitters, and byrrh (a wine-based aperitif made in the mid 1800’s). It’s pure love in a flute.
While we were enjoying our cocktails and coffee jello-shots (alcohol-free) we chatted with a local photographer Libby Bulloff who specializes in Tin Type Photography. You can find their art at the E. Smith Mercantile. It was a fascinating conversation to learn about a lost art. Tin Type Photography is photography made by creating a direct positive on a thin sheet of iron coated. Here is a great article about Libby and her partner Stephen’s work. The article shares the story of how the stumbled into this type of photography and how they were introduced to their camera Henrietta. She said there are only about 2,000 other photographers who do Tin Type Photography right now. If you are in Seattle, you should check them out. The husband and I are planning too!
There are many things that I love about this place. First, the owners are wonderful (two daughters and their mother). They are so friendly and knowledgeable about their business, the goods they sell, the history of the building… they are fountains of knowledge. Second, you can enjoy a cocktail and shop at the same time.
Really… their magazine collection is the best… Frankie, Gather, Diner Journal, Cherry Bombe… all magazines you wouldn’t find in the grocery store.
The only danger is walking out with way more goodies than you anticipated walking in the door. If you’re in the market for unique mercantile, dry goods, local art, homemade bitters then you have to stop by (at least the check out the store, if back bars are not your thing)… just make sure you save me a seat!