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All You Can Eat

Trend-setting restaurants, Northwest cookbooks, local food news and the people who make them happen.

September 25, 2008 at 4:38 PM

Chillin’ at Polar Bar

Polar Bar 1.jpg

Since we’re in a “staycation” era, I want to share a fun way I’ve found to travel through time and space without ever leaving Seattle.

It’s Polar Bar, at the recently renovated and reopened Arctic Club Hotel. It’s leather and wood and cushiness, set to a smooth soundtrack. It’s detail oriented, from the calm iciness of its decor to the adorable coasters that feature a map of the Arctic Circle and a lounging Polar Bear, martini in paw.

I’m also convinced it might be haunted (side note: if you’re a ghost fan, check out the Market Ghost Tour at Pike Place Market, www.seattleghost.com). It could be the top hat and collar collection in the lobby, or the scads of historic photos of long past Arctic Club members, gazing out from the netherworld. It could be the board room with its giant leather chairs that sit with the weight of unfinished business and heavy conversations.

Then again, maybe I’m just a fraidy cat.

Either way, the “spirits” that haunt the bar are lovely. The menu abounds with classic cocktails, like the Flying Fortress ($12) and the Harvey Wallbanger ($11). We tried the Bee’s Kiss (a deliciously sweet blend of 10 cane rum, cream and honey, $8) and a Pimm’s Cup (a refreshing glass of spiced gin, ginger ale, lemonade and cucumber, $8). They went nicely with the beef and lamb sliders ($3 each), brioche and cheddar (a fancy pants grilled cheese sandwich, $4) and risotto croquettes ($5) with red onion jam. There’s also a range of dainty desserts if you’re looking for an after-dinner spot to keep the conversation going and linger over coffee or wine.

Polar Bar 4.jpg

Another blast from the past is the absinthe fountain perched atop the bar, slotted spoons, sugar cubes and all. A few rounds of pool ought to help you come back to earth before you head home. But wait, we’re on vacation…

(Another phrase for a vacation where you never leave home: Abdication!).

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