The Watering Hole: Cutters Crabhouse, 2001 Western Ave., 448-4884 . PIKE PLACE MARKET.
Her name rhymes with mai tai, but she prefers vodka sodas.
The Atmosphere: What used to be the outdated Cutters Bayhouse is now Cutters Crabhouse--a renovated, modern restaurant perfectly suited for the throngs of tourists and nearby condo-dwellers who just can't get enough of that view! Not only is the furniture and all around trimmings of the bar and dining room updated, the wall separating the two has been knocked down. Forget the Berlin Wall. The absence of the divider that once blocked the 180-degree view of Elliott Bay from those perched on a stool, minding their own drink, is an absolute game changer--and you'll want to play.
The Barkeep: Thanh-Mai (tuh-MY) Leck. People call her 'T'. She works the lunch shift, but if you get there in time for happy hour, you'll probably catch her before she leaves at 4 p.m. With her incredible smile and easy-going nature, she's easy to spot. She's been at Cutters since before they re-launched April 11th. "I came with the renovation," she says.
She's also happy to be on dry land.
"I was a part of the Argosy cruises for eight years," says Leck, who describes her former role as an all-around girl. "I did everything there except for be the captain. I was the wedding coordinator, supervisor, bartender, server, deck crew. I'd help set up the boat for dinner cruises--wash the windows, scrub the deck, tie up the line, get it ready for the guests to come aboard. Then, I'd put on my little penguin suit and wait the tables or whatever my assignment was that day."
For obvious reasons, Leck needed a change and found the Cutters opportunity online. She was hired immediately. Who doesn't need an all-around girl?
The Drink: Basil Gimlet. It's one of Cutters' most popular cocktails during happy hour. It's a muddled combo of Hendrick's gin, basil, mint sprigs and homemade lime sour with a splash of simple syrup.
The Verdict: It's very light and refreshing, perfect for the 65-degree weather we were having that day. I happen to like semi-sweet cocktails, so I enjoyed it. It's a true crowd-pleaser. Someone a little more cocktail savvy would probably like something a bit more alcohol forward and balanced. But when your drink is as pretty as this Basil Gimlet served by someone as charming as Leck, it doesn't really matter. And that view!