Bottomfeeder: The Greenwood Serge

Gainsbourg sits at the heart of Seattle’s new neighborhood du jour.

After a lifetime spent serving as the uglier, buck-a-beer cousin of trendier Northwest Seattle haunts like Ballard and Fremont, Greenwood est en feu. The Baranof and Yen Wor are bona-fide karaoke destinations (the Baranof is a destination for a host of other reasons as well), the Crosswalk serves the sportin' types, the Pig & Whistle has reopened, South Park's Baron Brewing is set to launch a German-themed pub where a Tully's once was, and ethnic eateries abound near the neighborhood's primary intersection of North 85th Street and Greenwood Avenue North. That's also where you'll find Gainsbourg, the new restaurant-lounge opened by "Rocket Queen" Hannah Levin and her partner in life and business, J.J. Wandler.Gainsbourg is named after French entertainment icon Serge Gainsbourg, a prodigious cocksman who consistently pushed the erotic envelope with his oft-brilliant work in song and film. At the establishment that now bears his name, he's everywhere: on the walls, on the jukebox, and constantly looped on a projection screen overhead. All told, the interior is haunting and romantic, lit by candles save for the open kitchen, where the cooks' handiwork is viewable from a seat at the bar. But perhaps the most intriguing touch is the parlor area in back that leads to the latrines. It's a ringer for the Black Lodge in Twin Peaks. It's no coincidence, then, that Gainsbourg just began hosting "Twin Peaks Tuesdays" every week on the obvious night at 10 p.m.When I first visited Gainsbourg during its soft opening around Thanksgiving, I was struck by how ridiculously inexpensive everything was. It was and likely will remain the only time I've ever told a restaurant proprietor that he/she should raise prices. He/she has, but small plates containing escargot ($6), a croque-monsieur (the French take on grilled ham and cheese: $6), oysters on a baguette ($6), and frites ($3) are still insanely cheap—and resolutely satisfying.Gainsbourg just added hard liquor to its eclectic list of beer and wine. Alongside French-themed offerings like the Kir Royale, the French 75, and a drink named for one of Gainsbourg's exes, Brigitte Bardot (gin, peach nectar, soda water), is a drink called the Ugly American—a shot of Old Crow with a High Life back. Lesson learned, copain: When in Greenwood, do as the Greenwoodians.

 
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