KIRKLAND, WA: Bottle and Bull

My wife and I popped in for dinner during our recent weekend in Kirkland and were delighted to discover the Bottle and Bull.

Located at 105 Lake Street S. in Kirkland, it was an easy walk of less than a quarter mile from our hotel, The Heathman.

Featuring a “Scratch Kitchen and Craft Cocktails,” the establishment draws its inspiration from author Ernest Hemingway, who spent a fair bit of time in Cuba. The menu presented during our visit reflects his love for that island nation as well as other places he visited, including Paris, Florence and Pamplona, Spain.

Our menu had a number of creative cocktails, something I particularly appreciate having spent time as a bartender, a good selection of appetizers and several main courses which will have to wait for our next visit.

For our beverages, my wife had the Smooth Landing. A riff on a negroni, it is a mix of bourbon, ramazzoti, gran classico bitter and lemon juice. I enjoyed an Old Cuban. Made with white rum, mint, lime, sugar, angostura bitters and sparkling wine, it had hints of a mojito but in a more adult drink.

From the appetizer section of the menu we chose the baby carrot salad with greens, burrata, avocado, cumin and cilantro-lime vinaigrette, as well as an order of mussels in a sauce of tomato chipotle, white wine, garlic, lime juice and cilantro from the list of appetizers. Before we were ready to move on, we had to ask for more bread to soak up the broth from the mussels. Could NOT let that go to waste…

For our main course, we split a B&B Burger, which was topped with bacon, tomato confit, zucchini relish, white cheddar and garlic aioli on the side. Between that and the apps, it was plenty of food, though Ian, our server, wasn’t convinced. He brought us a complimentary panna cotta for dessert. Topped with fresh raspberries, it was just the right touch of sweetness to finish things off.

The Bottle and Bull changes its menu frequently to reflect both the seasons and, with its farm-to-table focus, the availability of certain ingredients. Based on what we experienced, whatever they offer will be inventive and well-prepared.

Even though it was a busy Saturday night, the service was excellent. Virtually every staff member who passed by glanced at our table to see if anything needed to be cleared or refilled. And yet, we didn't feel at all rushed.

Despite the buzz of a busy establishment, we enjoyed such relaxing evening of good company, good food and good drinks that we didn’t want to distract from it by taking pictures. To see what the food and drink look like, you’ll have to go see for yourself. I do not think you will be disappointed.

We will definitely go back.

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