The Watering Hole: LUC
This snapshot is going to kill Christopher's chances of witness protection.
2800 E. Madison St., 328-6645
The Atmosphere: LUC is classic French chic. It's everything you'd expect from a casual one-off from restaurateur Thierry Rautureau (a.k.a. Chef in the Hat) who made his mark on Seattle decades ago with Rover's, which just happens to be LUC's rich next door neighbor. LUC, named after Rautureau's father, has an inviting bar that's long and sleek, a color scheme that's calm and cheerful, and affordable bistro fare that is expertly prepared. What LUC doesn't get enough props for is its cocktails, which contain just as much sweat equity and personal attention as the dinner menu.The Barkeep: Christopher (fill in the blank). Christopher didn't want to share his last name with us, but what we do know is that he has lived in Seattle for five years -- three of which were spent bartending at Restaurant Zoe before joining the LUC family. The best part about working at LUC? Besides getting to talk to strangers like us? "It's fun working for Thierry," says Christopher. "He's always got a great sense of humor. He's just really fun to work for and has a good time. As I'm sure you know, he harasses everyone when they walk in the door." It's true. He does. But in a very, very good way. "We get it worse because we work for him." Besides knowing a thing or two about job security, Christopher is cute, friendly, and will charm you into ordering his favorite cocktail if you let him. Speaking of which...
The Drink: Chris's drink of choice is not on the menu. It's a champagne cocktail made with Aperol, St. Germain, and Chartreuse. He makes it "when people come in and they're undecided about what they want to drink, but they want me to make them something delicious," Christopher tells us. "It's been really nice out and people tend to go for the bubbly drinks."
The Verdict: We don't always love the cocktails we get during First Call, but this drink totally hit the spot on a hot sunny Seattle day. It's perfectly balanced, has hints of orange and elderflower, and is just the right amount of effervescence to keep the cocktail juicy. For $9, we'd happily return for this unnamed refresher. We'd order the drink again, too.