The Hours: 4-5 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 10-11 p.m. Saturday.>"/>
The Place: Urban Enoteca, 4130 1st Ave. S., 467-9463, SODO.
A jar of candied bacon ($6).
The Hours: 4-5 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 10-11 p.m. Saturday.
The Digs: This place is huge. It's in a warehouse off First Ave. and incredibly easy to miss. If you're driving south, take a sharp left just before you get to the overpass. You'll see a sandwich board pointing you in the right direction, eventually. The space itself is much more in-your-face. Equal parts wine tasting room and party venue, Urban Enoteca also has a kitchen. But the kitchen is the first thing to get ignored once you step foot inside the place and all of your senses go into a feeding frenzy; it's absolutely gorgeous, offering state-of-the-art architecture to match its fancy decor. I was so overwhelmed with the expansiveness and beauty of it all, I can't tell you exactly what the furniture was like, except that there's no way to afford the stuff on a writer's budget. There's a waterfall in the entryway that drips from the ceiling, if that's any indication. Regardless, if you want to check out where the food comes from, take a right at the hostess desk. The culinary team is led by chef Chris Opsata--another gem worth getting out your GPS for.
The Deal: 25% off all bites, which is basically the appetizer portion of Urban Enoteca's dinner menu (yes, they have full dinner service here--who knew?); $5 wine pours (there's a red and white to chose from); $5 beer; $5 wells.
Applewood-smoked pheasant crostino ($8).
The Verdict: (Note: the prices listed here do not reflect the discount). The best bites were the ones we ordered: candied bacon with pomegranate ($6); duck fat roasted marbled potatoes with a tarragon aioli ($6); crostino with applewood-smoked pheasant, preserved walnuts, squash and frisee ($8); and arancini with chanterelle, fontina and sage ($8).
This is perhaps the best happy hour in SoDo, if not most of Seattle. Guests are free to sit anywhere inside the Enoteca to enjoy their discounted food and drink. There's not really a dining room, but who needs one when you can take a seat in front of the fireplace, at the wine bar, at one of the communal tables or at a tall bistro four-top. Here, you are free to be royalty for an entire hour, watching as plates of incredible food are brought to you, your wine glass is refilled, and the fire is stoked to keep you warm. Okay, I've never actually seen someone stoke the fire, but I'm sure it happens.
Duck fat-roasted potatoes ($6).
Happy hour is only available three nights a week here, so make sure to pencil this place in during the holidays to give yourself a little cheer when you need to be pampered.