Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Seattle Times writes: Arresting pub grub & cocktails at Tavern Law

Tan Vinh took a look at our Happy Hour and wrote in today's Seattle Times, "Tavern Law in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood has gussied up pub grub (oxtail banh mi sandwiches, cheeseburgers topped with pork belly) and fine cocktails, $7 at happy hour.

No furniture has been moved around or replaced at Tavern Law. Yet, things feel a bit different, a bit more approachable. The speak-easy style bar feels less self-conscious now.

It's partly the food. Less dinner fare and more pub grub, albeit gussied up: an oxtail banh mi sandwich one week, a cheeseburger topped with pork belly another week.

It's also the cocktails. All specialty drinks cost $9 now, none more. There's happy hour now too, with $7 cocktails — a rum drink with aggressive notes of clove, cinnamon and nutmeg called Kingston Cocktail; a sparkling take on the mojito called Old Cuban; and an English Fizz that tasted like a spiked Earl Grey iced tea with a squeeze of lemon.

That fizz sounds about perfect when Tavern Law starts outdoor seating in mid-July. And that succulent burger, coated in provolone and topped with two slabs of sous vide pork belly, the soft bun spongy enough to absorb the fat that would have dripped on your shirt otherwise. Juicy and rich. And evil. Just pure evil.

Tavern Law, 1406 12th Ave., Seattle, runs happy hour 5-7 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and all day Sundays with selected cocktails for $7 and well drinks $4. All food 10 percent off (206-322-9734 or"

Photo of David Nelson pouring an Old Cuban cocktail at Tavern Law. A Gun Club sits in the foreground. Photographer = Joey Anchondo, Seattle Times

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Clancy Reminisces on Her Favorite Bartenders in the U.S.

San Diego's Maureen Clany wrote a nice article musing about Frank Bruni's recent New York Times story on The Bartender of Your Dreams. She wrote in part, "After reading Bruni’s article, I'm excited to re-visit what some call “the Vatican of saloons." I plan to put a Doug Quinn performance at the top of my agenda the next time I’m in New York. In the meantime, I’m sloshing together a Tanqueray & Tonic on this sunny Memorial Day and giving thanks for the fabulous bartenders and bar scenes I’ve gotten to know over the years.

These are some of my favorites. I’d love to hear about yours.

I was first introduced to David Nelson (left) over a captivating concoction called a Kentucky Tuxedo, a heavenly marriage of Bulleit Bourbon, Sherry, homemade lavender syrup and homemade orange bitters. But the engaging bartender/mixologist of Spur Gastropub and Tavern Law in Seattle has charmed me in many other way since that first sip. At Spur, David’s creative, but never contrived, cocktails share the stage with the fabulous food of chefs Brian McCracken and Dana Tough. But at Tavern Law, it's all David, all the time. Even though McCracken and Tough offer a tantalizing menu, the focus at Tavern Law is on Nelson’s unique, delicious drinks. It’s a treat to soak up the warmth and quiet energy of the room and to watch Nelson deftly whip up both classics and original potions. He loves to share his knowledge and passion with customers. Pull up a bar stool and you, too, will find out that Becherovka is not a Slavic dance."

What an honor to be included. Thank you!