New Spot in Belltown, Another for Brunch, and Why Hotel Bars Rule

Selections from Voracious, our food blog.

$13 in Mini Doughnuts  What: Four Dozen Mini Doughnuts Where: Daily Dozen Doughnut Co., inside Pike Place Market, just a few stalls in from the news stand at Pike Street. When: Every day. Cost: $11.09 with tip = $13 Insider Tip: Buy only the warm ones, and stick to the plain and/or cinnamon sugar. Would I eat it again? Yes. Though it's good to share. Official Tasting Notes:  The appeal of these tourist-friendly doughnuts is in their diminutive size. It's all about the cuteness factor. Tiny and puffed round, they're adorable. But what really sells these doughnuts is their smell: the scent of fried dough wafts through the Market, drawing tourists and natives alike.  And really, that's it. These tiny puffy treats are nothing more than sweet fries. You'll want them hot, not wearing much more than a thin coat of still-wet oil.  We ordered a dozen of each, sampling all available varieties: chocolate frosted with sprinkles, powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, and plain. The last two, least-dressed types were easily the best. Plus, they were hot.  However, four dozen tiny doughnuts lingered a lot longer in the Seattle Weekly editorial office than I'd expected. By 5 p.m., not all of them had been eaten. — Adriana Grant  Veil's Got Brunch!  Brunch at Veil When: Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m.—2 p.m., beginning Dec. 1 Where: 555 Aloha St., 216-0600. QUEEN ANNE Starting Saturday, Dec 1, Veil will begin offering weekend brunch. You may now start your Saturdays with a sensual bath of soft, pink light, clinking some variation of a mimosa (click on "dining" for brunch menu link) as you dig into duck confit hash or lavender-scented brioche French toast.  Personally, I'm already atwitter with what one wears to a shwanky, hip place for brunch. I mean, I'm all for fancy brunch, but sometimes being Veil-presentable on a weekend day just isn't an option. But I really want to taste oatmeal "risotto." So do I ignore the tick inside my head that for some reason prevents me from wearing jeans there? Suck it up and hop in the shower? Or stroll in wearing my nicest pink pajama set, maybe with some white, furry slippers?  Either way, since brunch service will include bottomless crumb cake baked up by pastry chef Dana Cree, I'm sure I'll need something with pockets.  Is it the weekend yet? — Jess ThomsonTxori Opens in Belltown  Txori Where: 2207 Second Ave., 204-9771. BELLTOWN Regular hours: 11 a.m.–1 a.m. Mon.–Fri., 9 a.m.–1 a.m. Sat.–Sun.  Thought you were done with the whole fast/feast thing? Think again. Txori (pronounced cho-ree) is finally opening.  Txori, the long-awaited pintxo bar by Harvest Vine co-owners Carolin and Joseba Jiménez de Jiménez, will open it doors to the public on Monday. Featuring small bites inspired by the cuisine of northern Spain, the menu has me drooling so much that I've planned an after-Thanksgiving fast, to last until my butt hits a seat there. Cured chorizo with shaved chocolate? Yes, please. Braised oxtail tartlet? I'll have two. The drink list also looks enticing; I think I'll try the Cava Manzana Verde, a green-apple sparkling-wine number made with Spanish olive oil.  The Joy of Hotel Bars  You don't have to blow $300 to get the hotel treatment in a hotel; just drop in for a drink. Hotel restaurants usually have some aroma of the corporate, but overlook that for the service. Whether you're full-on dining or stopping in for a brandy and coffee, all lobby, bar, and restaurant customers are treated like hotel guests, a civilized respite from the ofttimes insincere "thank you, come again" of retail chaos. My favorite high-octane pit stops in spitting distance of movies and downtown retail:  Dragonfish (Paramount Hotel, Pine Street & Ninth Avenue): Cheap drinks and Amerasian bar food, plus half sushi rolls from 4 to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. every day, and from 3 p.m. till close on Mondays. Two Immortal IPAs, tofu pillows, a generous half poke roll, curried jo-jos, and edamame cost just over $20. Solid, filling, fast.  Red Fin (Hotel Max, Stewart Street & Sixth Avenue): I didn't know this was the sister restaurant of Wasabi Bistro in Belltown—the Asian fusion thing again, but a little more contemporary. Whenever I've ducked in here, I've received nothing but the warmest welcome and the loveliest service. Happy hour (4–6 p.m. and 10 p.m.–1 a.m.) brings $4 sushi rolls, cheap edamame (beware the smoked salt!), and always two or three interesting draft selections.  (Guilty pleasure: I love the $3 pots of hot sake at both places. One gives me the warm fuzzies. Two take away all my cares of crowds and spending.)  Oliver's (Mayflower Park, Olive Way & Fourth Avenue): This is the kind of bar where you can still spy old guys in suits drinking like it's their job. Free bar snacks at happy hour and excellent Manhattans, though it's almost a shame not to order a gin martini here.  Lola (Virginia Street & Fourth Avenue): Disclaimer: I worked for the big guy until recently. And to tell you how much I enjoy Lola's bar—I still go there even without my (sigh) formerly super-sweet discount. Happy hour (4:30–6 p.m.) means $2 giant Greek beers and an assortment of more-creative-than-usual bar snacks, like savory doughnuts. — Maggie Dutton

 
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