The Tin Table's bar food and its take on classic cocktails is worth a climb up the stairs.

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Happy hour |

The Tin Table is sort of hidden, but not in a trying-to-be-hush-hush, speak-easy kinda way. It’s upstairs, and from the 10th Avenue entrance, it takes two turns to get to. Not a bar and restaurant you just stumble upon.

It’s also one of the coolest-looking joints on Capitol Hill. There’s a hardwood floor, exposed high beams and exposed brick wall. It looks rustic and masculine.

If only the bar made better cocktails, I thought on several occasions last year.

Well, what do you know? On one recent visit after another, the cocktails were vastly improved.

They do classic cocktails, but what they do better is tweaking the classics: The Aviation, topped with an egg foam with hints of orange, vanilla and violet-flower liqueur. The Old Fashioned got a Caribbean twist with buttery rum. And a floral margarita doused with elderflower liqueur is a taste of summer. A much-improved bar program.

For bar grub, there are shoestring fries with truffle salt — golden, crispy and addictive. Also here, one of the better bar burgers on Capitol Hill, loaded with sharp cheddar, slabs of bacon and caramelized onions. It’s juicy, cheesy and salty. That burger, though, goes better with a beer.

The Tin Table, 915 E. Pine St., (second floor), offers happy hour 4-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays. On Fridays-Sundays, 3-6 p.m. And again from 11 p.m.-1 a.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays and Sundays. Happy-hour food is $3-$9; wine by the glass, $5; also, $16 specials by the bottle, $3.50 well drinks and $2 off on craft cocktails and $1 off on beer.

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or tvinh@seattletimes.com