The Watering Hole: Luc, 2800 E. Madison St., 328-6645, MADISON VALLEY
The Atmosphere: Luc is classic French chic. It’s everything you’d expect from restaurateur Thierry Rautureau (aka The Chef in the Hat), who made his mark on Seattle decades ago with Rover’s, which happens to be Luc’s tonier 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’s expertly prepared. What Luc doesn’t get enough props for are its cocktails, which contain just as much sweat equity and personal attention as the dinner menu.
The Barkeep: Christopher didn’t want to share his last name, but we do know he’s lived in Seattle for five years, three of them spent bartending at Restaurant Zoë before joining the Luc family. The best part of working at Luc, besides getting to talk to strangers like us: “Working for Thierry,” Christopher says. “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 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: Christopher’s drink of choice is not on the menu, nor does it have a name. 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.”
The Verdict: This totally hit the spot on a hot day. It’s perfectly balanced, has hints of orange and elderflower, and has just the right amount of effervescence to keep things juicy. For $9, we’d happily return for this unnamed refresher.