Northwest cuisine, world-class cocktails, an elevated wine list, tasty beers, and one of Seattle’s best vistas await you at this new Alki Beach destination
Like so many parts of Seattle, the Alki Beach neighborhood is changing. The strip of businesses along Alki Avenue once featured little more than bike rental huts, snack shacks, and dingy sports bars, but over the last few years an air of sophistication has wafted in on the tide, bringing upscale dining and drinking options to the beach. The latest example, Pacific Room recently opened at 2820 Alki Ave. SW. (Pictured above: Assistant GM Derek Delos Santos and General Manager Kurt Niemeyer.)
The space is gorgeous, right across the street from the beach, with roll-up glass doors that open to patio seating. It is easy to imagine long day-drinking sessions here–sipping on cocktails, nursing beers, munching on prawns, people watching and enjoying the amazing view. Inside, sophistication and comfortable elegance drip from the walls, with a huge bar on the left and long, festively lit fireplaces built into the right wall. At the back of the room, a performance area that will regularly host live music.
First up, the food at Pacific Room is top notch Northwestern fare, focusing on responsibly sourced, local ingredients as much as possible. The sockeye salmon served on a bed of to-die-for risotto, is sublime—rich and creamy risotto with deep enough flavor to stand up to the lushness of the salmon. The coconut prawns, which is too often a freezer-to-fryer dish at lesser restaurants, jump off the plate and into your mouth—jumbo prawns battered in house-made tempura coconut batter, lightly fried and served with sweet chili sauce and tangy, citrusy pineapple salsa.
Yes, the food is amazing and you cannot beat the location, but let’s talk about the libations.
For the beer lover, you’ll find some local favorites on tap, like Reuben’s Brews’ Pilsner, Fremont Brewing’s Dark Start Oatmeal Stout, and at least a couple of IPAs. When I was there, Georgetown Brewing and Bale Breaker Brewing were representing the IPA category. Because this is a beach bar, do not begrudge them for having a couple of less-adventurous draft options for the mainstream beer drinkers, like Rainier and Stella.
The wine list is eye-popping. Names like Hightower, Forgeron, Tamarack, and The Walls adorn the menu. Many of these, and others, are available by the glass as well as the bottle. I enjoyed a glass of Cadaretta SBS (a Sauv Blanc/Semillon blend) with my coconut prawns and it was a seamless pairing.
As for the cocktails, expect no shortage of creativity. Dan Stevens, the bar manager, loves to express himself through booze. His passion is obvious. I fancy myself a whiskey man, so I ordered up a Port of Seattle, which consists of Bourbon, tawny port, Black Walnut Bitters, Angostura Bitters, sugar, cherry, and orange peel. Sort of a new, Seattle version of an Old Fashioned.
I also sampled a few other cocktails, including the Gooseberry Gimlet, which is made with gin, golden gooseberries, lime, and sugar. The mixologist was nice enough to provide a couple of gooseberries on the side, which was nice because I’d never actually tried a gooseberry.
The rotating margarita, intended to showcase whatever is fresh for the season, was made with fresh raspberries. The aroma of fresh berries was amazing, and the flavor was vibrant and super juicy, cleverly and dangerously disguised the tequila.
Other cocktails on the menu that night included Arm Candy (vodka, ginger rhubarb liquor, Aperol, lemon and agave), Lost Paddle (rum, lime, banana liquor, pineapple, and Tiki bitters), and Mezcal Fizz (Mezcal, rose liquor, hibiscus syrup, lemon, and egg white). And there are more.
Whether you’re seeking an inspired cocktail, some vino, a tasty beer, or some seriously killer Northwest-style grub, Pacific Room has you covered. Like the libations served up at the bar, those patio seats out front will be highly coveted all summer, for sure.