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Fearless Critic restaurant review

Daily 4:00pm–midnight

Features Date-friendly, good wines, outdoor dining, veg-friendly
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


2600 1st Ave.
Seattle, WA
(206) 441-1500
Black Bottle
Seattle’s original gastropub has kept its strange menu and approachable wine list

We don’t know how the Black Bottle’s managed to stay somewhat classy. It’s deep in the belly of the Belltown beast, yet most of the time it feels like a break from the 1st Avenue mayhem. Oh, it’s still a meat market—how can it not be when it’s lit to make everyone look beautiful?—but the high ceilings, white walls and bare bulbs give it the air of an art gallery and the guy next to you might be wearing architectural eyewear instead of a popped collar.

Black Bottle was Seattle’s first official gastropub. Even in the more forgiving days of 2005, patrons weren’t keen on the incredibly unfocused menu: a Thai standard like larb gai next to Northwest classics like locally made sausages, or simple steamed clams next to South Asian lamb and curried vegetables. The prices are a bit all over the place, too: $5 for fried chicken, $9 for a flatbread. Vegetable dishes (there are plenty) are the most consistently good. The “Broccoli Blasted”—charred florets brushed with olive oil and generously salted—is a favorite, but a word of advice: don’t try to eat a whole plate at once; it’s as gross as eating a whole chocolate cake by yourself.

Although it’s clearly wine-centric, the Black Bottle has an odd list that seems targeted to people who don’t really know wine but want to feel like they do. That said, there are some very affordable boutique selections, too. And the bar’s almost equally known for its sangría, margaritas, and mojitos.

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