Ideas for Date Night #3: The Climb Home Will Do You Good

We’re pretty much fair-weather runners, so this evening’s summer drizzle saw the planned run around Green Lake morphing into a much shorter jaunt in the other direction – seven blocks north and seven blocks west of 9 Cranes Inn to a fun little strip of restaurants, bars, and a coffee shop that straddles the Phinney Ridge/Ballard neighborhoods.

Tonight’s destination was The Blue Glass, a restaurant/bar that opened last December – one we’d been meaning to try for a while, but we kept getting distracted by the nearby Ridgeback Café, a great place for crepes and other fun bites.

This time we made it to the corner of NW 7th St. and 65th Avenue NW, where a modern yet approachable space welcomed us in shades of blue. We like to sit at the bar so Mike can swap cocktail recipes with the bartender, so belly on up we did and I ordered one of two featured cocktails off of the large chalkboard on the wall. It was rosé Sangria – light and summery. (On a 62-degree July evening, sometimes you have to force the “summery” thing in Seattle.) Mike’s Vesper martini was spot on, he says – better than he makes at home. The secret, apparently, is all in the garnish – a huge knot of lemon twist. We don’t get much beyond olives at home.

Daniel at the bar and Chelsea handling other serving duties contributed to a friendly and informative visit to a cool, relaxed establishment. The music was eclectic, but skewed toward drum & bass, played at just the right volume.

Once again we ordered too much food, but no sacrifice is too great for 9 Cranes Inn blog readers wanting as much info as possible. Penn Cove mussels, billed as a “small plate,” were plentiful and fabulous. Its sauce of Pernod, cream, shaved fennel, and more capers than I’ve ever seen in one place required us to order even more bread than came with the appetizer so we could scoop up every drop.

But we didn’t stop there. Mike’s arrangement of seared salmon and a small sushi selection was fantastic, as were my grilled prawns with pomegranate, serano chile gastrique, and quinoa salad. The latter was quite complex, but I couldn’t name one ingredient that should’ve been left out. Yum.

Desserts such as chocolate bread pudding and some sort of fig tart were tempting, but we were too full to indulge. Besides, we had enough food to work off and only a short uphill climb in which to do it.

Full disclosure: the rain had pretty much stopped by the time we left the restaurant. Okay, It had stopped before we even went to the restaurant, but so what? We convinced ourselves that the walk home up the hill was nearly as much exercise as a run around the much flatter Green Lake path. It sounded good to us anyway.

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