Pike Place Market is a perfect spot for secrets. There are nooks and crannies in its maze of multilevel buildings that even the most ardent of locals can't claim to know. But here's one you should definitely familiarize yourself with: Maximilien. And you should go for happy hour. And sit outside. Though Maximilien is terrific for post-work festivities year-round, it's particularly sublime in the summertime, when the patio's open. Enjoy the salt air, the subtle drone of those poor viaduct commuters below, and the million-dollar views of Elliott Bay while you sip on $4 French martinis. Though not terribly strong, the pleasant combination of vodka and pineapple and cranberry juices is a good way to kick off any evening. Or jump to the best deal of all: a bucket of six Kronenbourgs for $15 during happy hour, which lasts from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday though Friday, and 8 to 10 p.m. on Saturdays. The $2.95 food menu also delivers: mussels steamed with butter, white wine, shallots, garlic, and parsley; or scallop ceviche doused in olive oil and lemon juice with bell peppers and red onions—both as tasty as they ought to be. For the less adventuresome snackers, there are Belgian frites (served cone-style) and a French hot dog (a sausage on a baguette). You'll be miles away in no time, aided by a congenial waitstaff that dotes on its happy hour clientele with the all of the pleasantries you'd expect from a fine French bistro. "Mademoiselle," as they say, "bon appetit."
81A Pike St. (just south of the fish market), 682-7270. DOWNTOWN