Broccoli casserole crusted with Cheetos? “Inauthentic Eurasian” food? The menu at Cook Weaver is eclectic and fun, and the food is tasty, too.
Our barkeeper, a gregarious one, held court in this low-ceilinged lair on Capitol Hill. He’s quick with the wit and good with the banter.
The happy-hour food is “Inauthentic Eurasian,” Nile Klein announced, as we entered through the thick, wooden door, reggae blasting from overhead.
He answered the phone and, in his best Donald-Trump-style sales pitch, replied to a caller, “Yes, cocktails. They are the best cocktails. They have the highest IQ on the menu. They’re huge, the hugest!”
What an eccentric bartender. What an eclectic menu.
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To start, order some nori dumplings, bouncy seaweed cocooned in a tempura-like shell with a kick of kimchi and a smear of tahini sauce, a taste of low tide. Broccoli casserole is quicksand in stinky aged cheese and crusted with Cheetos, with some bread to scoop it up.
The noshes — a mishmash of vending-machine snacks and Asian fusion — are fun, tasty bites that, while quirky, remain faithful to the bar-food template — crunchy, salty and creamy. They’re more nuanced and more thought out than the kitchen lets on.
By Capitol Hill standards, the booze selection is modest, but the cocktails hold up to all the nearby drinking dens along Broadway East — a gingery take on the Sidecar and an aperitif of artichoke liqueur with soda and lemon, stiffened with a float of rye.
Before Cook Weaver opened in December, this spot was Marron, an Asian-inspired bistro, and before that, Olivar, a tapas joint. Oh, if these walls could talk. The Pushkin fairy-tale murals wrap around the dining room — kings and clergymen, surplice and soutane and ladies in waiting. These characters have been around since 1931 when this spot was the Russian Samovar.
The décor says medieval pub.
The music screams summer on the pier.
The food says … actually, I still don’t know what that food is.
806 E. Roy St., Seattle, offers happy hour daily 3-6 p.m. with $1 off on snacks and cocktails and $5 wine and well liquors. A new expanded happy-hour food menu will be offered soon (206-324-0599; cookweaver.com).