Spur Gastropub

Written by on April 15, 2010 in I Eat Seattle, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(spurseattle.com) – Belltown
How I heard of this place: Through my friend Rocky. A friend was coming to visit from out of town and asked me to take him to a “classy downtown bar”. Being unfamiliar with the bar scene, I went straight to Rocky.
Type of cuisine: Flashy, yet simple, fancy, yet obvious pub grub.
Ambiance: According to their website, Spur is an intimate urban pub. According to my dining companion, the place is the “Industrial Revolution era done right”. Every detail of the space was planned and meticulously, specifically chosen and placed strategically. The urban-saloon style lights hanging over the bar sported bright filaments, the large iron chandeliers with mesh, the “good stuff” in the dark wooden shelves at the bar – complete with rolling ladder to access the higher shelves – all of it added to the saloon with a modern flare. Mirrors along the wall opposite the bar gave the impression of a large, full space. The space works. Every detail was hand picked and hand placed giving a hip, urban, modern vibe to an Industrial Revolution era saloon. My out of town visitor was mightily impressed, “Atmosphere win.”
What I ordered: When we sat down we were offered a small container of corn nuts – highly salted and fried to a crisp – with a serving bowl. I ordered the grass fed beef burger with provolone cheese, fried shallots and whiskey ketchup ($15). It came with a side of delicate fries that had a slight smoky flavor as if they had added bacon fat to the canola oil used to fry them. (I later learned that it was actually liquid smoke in the canola oil, which was not quite what I had hoped to hear.) My dining companion, being on a diet ordered the smoked salmon crostini with homemade (in house) mascarpone, fried capers and pickled shallot, decorated with watercress ($9). My dining companion also ordered, at the recommendation of the bartender, a Sazerac. Apparently it is one of the oldest known cocktails having been invented in New Orleans in pre-Civil War times. The bartender made his own version by coating the inside of the glass with absinthe, to allow the drinker to inhale the perfume of it while sipping the rye whiskey, Peychaud’s Bitters and simple syrup concoction.
What I loved: The fries were the hit of the night as most everything else was overly salted. Until I found out that the kitchen uses liquid smoke. At which time, I was most impressed by the salmon crostini – the light mascarpone, the peppery watercress and the soft, moist, delicately smoked salmon.
Why I loved it: The atmosphere was definitely the winner of the evening. It offered a cozy setting, unpretentious, casual and warm. It was like a second home, where one could be part of the family, know the bartender, recognize the regulars and enjoy solo time at the raised oddly shaped wooden tables or an evening of intellectual conversation with a handful of friends over drinks and small plates. It offered itself as a space which welcomes everyone equally and embraces you in its urban saloon setting.
Cost: Average for a bar snack or meal ($9-$15)

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