Sips and sun on the shores of Lake Union.
Here now are patrons in Adirondack chairs, nursing beers while gazing across the blue water.
Maybe, to paraphrase Langston Hughes, they are dreaming of flinging “their arms wide, in some place of the sun.”
Westward’s patio resembles a 1,500-square-foot patch of Martha’s Vineyard, jutting into the water of North Lake Union, yachts moored nearby.
So its pea gravel isn’t sand. And the only driftwood is in the benches surrounding an artificial fire ring that will never see a clambake. But a boy — or girl — can always dream.
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Westward’s nautical motif is an homage to its Mediterranean cuisine, but it evokes more than that: the good life, an escape from rush hour and the heat wave.
On most days, you may see a boater or three tie up their pleasure crafts and stroll in for a beer and a view of the sunset.
The patio menu is modest — jars of pickles, smoked manila clams, oysters — designed to ease the burden of a kitchen staff prepping for the dinner rush and deal with the limited eating space around the chairs. The grilled Spanish sardine over toast and some salty fried chick peas are your best bet.
Many patio patrons opt only for libations while taking in the view of the skyline.
The cocktail menu is easy drinking, with a sherry cobbler, a vermouth collins and other low-alcohol drinks that are more nuanced than the usual sweet, boozy concoctions served at beach-themed bars.
On weekends, during dinner hour, Westward opens an additional bar to handle the crowd overflow.
It’s better to come around 3 p.m., even on weekends, when the pace feels less manic. The air smells of sunscreen and servers are on standby, delivering Palomas and bubbles as if you’re on the Lido Deck bound for Mykonos.
Westward, 2501 N. Northlake Way, offers half off oysters from 9-10 p.m. daily and a snack menu on the outdoor patio ($5-$23). Draft beers cost $6-$8, cocktails $9-$14 and wines $7-$20. Note the full dinner menu is not available in the Adirondack area (206-552-8215 or westwardseattle.com).