Sunday, December 6, 2009

South End Grapes take an Eastside Flight

When I'm not ensconced in my Steilacoom sanctuary, I live in Bellevue, and I work for the man. It is an interesting way to split the time, though I would not recommend it for everyone. One of the perks of spending the weekdays in "town" is the abundance of restaurants and happy hour hangouts. For me, what makes a bar worth visiting is getting to know the people who work there (well, ok, obviously in addition to great drinks and food). Recently, I've had the pleasure of getting to know the nice folks over at Barrio Bellevue. If you get a chance, I heartily recommend that you visit them. The drinks are amazing and thoughtfully crafted, the food is tasty and spicy, and the candle-lit atmosphere is mellow and inviting.

When Mark at Barrio heard me discussing my garden (one track mind, have I!) with my good buddy Wasabi Prime and learned I canned my own grape juice, he told me to bring it in one night and he'd mix up some treats. Recently, I brought in a few quart jars and he was sweet enough to oblige. Mark created a whirlwind of tastes and combinations, each one tastier than the next! It was a bit like watching a scientist in his laboratory, only you got to drink from the beakers. Here's a sampling...

This frothy delight featured eggs, Pisco, and bitters. It tasted a lot like love or maybe ambrosia?

My favorite cocktail is the Aviation, grape juice changed it from the classic sky blue color - we dubbed it "Red Skies at Night". It included one of the delicious preserved cherries that they make there at the bar. Turns out these are made of pie cherries, not sweet. We'll be making some this summer...

Many thanks to the Mark and the crew over at Barrio for indulging us and for showing us how the humble grape can go uptown.

Also many thanks to Wasabi Prime for making this all possible. You rock!



  1. Growing up on the Eastside, I never thought I would hear the words "Barrio" and "Bellevue" in the same paragraph, much less all smushed up together. What's that old poem that your drink name comes from? Is "red skies at night" "sailor's delight?" Maybe that could be the cocktail's alt name. Very cool that you bottle your own grape juice! - Karen

  2. Yes I just moved to Bellevue a few years ago and in that short time there has been such boom - with El Gaucho, John Howie, Barrio, Purple and so many other tasty dining options..