If you’re looking for Mexican cuisine, inventive dishes bursting with flavor and cocktails with that wow-factor, look no further than Capitol Hill’s Barrio. The sexy yet energetic atmosphere inside doesn’t happen by accident – the decor is dark yet approachable, with over 300 candles (yes, they light them every night!) filling the space. The circular shape of the booths create a more intimate setting for those looking for such, while the circular bar in the center of the room creates a communal feel.
Care for a cocktail that will be a conversation starter all on it’s own? Sit at the bar and watch the mixologists work their magic. Don’t be shy, talk to your bartender: their staff is warm, inviting and knowledgeable. Those of us who (thankfully) didn’t ruin tequila for ourselves in our college years will especially love their drink menu, though there are many unique non-tequila concoctions to enjoy as well. I personally love a good tequila, and was thrilled to read that Mondays feature 1/2 off all tequilas served neat or by the flight: so go ahead and splurge on that Aha Toro! Rumor has it they are aging their own tequila right now which will be on the menu in around 6 months. I’ll be sure to let you know when that launches! Casey Robison (Barrio’s bar director) suggests cocktail favorites such as Little Bird, Putting the Me in Awesome (love that name!), Santa Catarina and Pizsazerac. My go-to cocktails are the Spicy Jalapeno Margarita and La Paloma (grapefruit soda compliments tequila so well). Those brave enough to handle a little more spice enjoy Death on the Rio Grande (with ghost chile tequila).
But a good restaurant can’t depend on their cocktail menu alone. A truly good Mexican restaurant is nothing without great food – and for me that starts with guac. Their Made to Order Guacamole is fantastic and the house made tortilla chips are incredibly addicting. The Barrio Chopped Salad is divine – I love their twist on this dish which includes pumpkin seeds and perfectly tossed with buttermilk-cilantro dressing. I could eat this dish every day for weeks and not grow tired of it. Favorite side: Cornbread with honey butter. You can taste their devotion to high quality, as they make most of their ingredients in the restaurant, “from our fresh tomato salsas to our handmade tortillas to our slow-smoked pork.” as their website reports.
The star dish of the night was an incredibly unique way of serving sea scallops. Their chipotle seasons scallops (with mushrooms, corn, bacon, fresno, poblano-onion rajas, corn crema and mexican rice) were bursting with flavor – savory and a bit sweet. The creamy rice dish the scallops sat on was a perfect blend with the seafood. Hands down the best scallops dish ever!
Barrio is a great place for a variety of reasons – grab some happy hour after work, enjoy friendly service and the dark, glowing atmosphere for a date night or small group celebration, or pull up at a seat at the bar for what may become your new favorite cocktail in Seattle.
Update – contest is over! Thanks to all who entered & congrats winner Charyn P!
So, got you excited to try out Barrio? Here’s how to enter to win a $50 gift card to this Capitol Hill hot spot (you can enter both ways):
1) Check out the menu – then post a comment below & share with us the drink or food dish you would order first!
I want to win $50 to @heavyrestaurant Barrio from @keridwyn #seattlepockets / contest: http://bit.ly/I1e447
You can tweet once a day. Good luck and happy dining! Contest ends 11:59pm Pacific Time, Friday April 20th.
Disclaimer: Seattle Pockets was provided a gift card to dine at Barrio. All opinions expressed in this post, as always are mine – gifts will never alter the opinions or thoughts shared on this blog. Full disclaimer,here