The Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 4-6 p.m., closed Monday.
The Deal: At their best, happy-hour menus offer a wide range of drink options and dishes that are less about making you thirsty and more about making you satisfied. At their worst, they offer two wine options, well drinks, and a woefully limited number of food items that you wouldn't want to eat sober. Thankfully, the happy-hour menu at Preservation Kitchen is one of the good ones.
The wine list at Preservation Kitchen is heavy on Northwest wines, and at happy hour, glass pours are $2 off. These include sparkling wines and names like Efeste, Milbrandt, and Alexandria Nicole. House wines are just $5 a glass, and microbrews--including the likes of Diamond Knot, Pike Brewing, and Mac & Jack--are just $3. For cocktails, you can choose from the $5 list, which includes cosmos, Cape Cods, martinis, and greyhounds, or from the $7 list, that includes cocktails like the Vesper, Dark & Stormy, and Moscow Mule.
With drink prices and options like those, who cares about the food? You should, that's who. Ranging from $6-$10, the happy-hour menu includes actual meals. Meals you may want to eat outside the 4-6 p.m. timeframe. Something you could even call dinner. Things like fish & chips, steamed mussels, steak frites, and braised short ribs. My only complaint is that there weren't more small plate/snack options. There's bruschetta and polenta tots, but hopefully as summer approaches, a salad will make an appearance on the menu.
The Digs: Preservation Kitchen is located in a historic 1916 home, surrounded by gardens and towering evergreens. Happy hour is only available in the cafe annex, which is more modern and sterile, but includes a nice outdoor patio. You'll find Preservation Kitchen just off SR522, on the way to and from I-405. It's also a stone's throw from downtown Bothell and the Burke-Gilman trail.
The Verdict: The city motto of Bothell is "Stay for a Day or a Lifetime," which I never tire of mocking. The drink deals and menu options at Preservation Kitchen however, made me eat my words. The fish in the fish & chips was a little overdone, but the trade-off was a super-crispy panko exterior. The fries, on the other hand, were above and beyond most of the fries I've had in the city, rivaling french-fry standard-bearers like Palace Kitchen and Brouwers. The beer and wine options are impressive given the prices, but the well-crafted Vesper--garnished with a large, singular peel of orange--is a deal at any hour.