This Capitol Hill deal might be the best dinner-for-two special in Seattle: a giant beef rib with sides and a bottle of wine for $30.
I love that the server at Lark delivered my medieval “dino bone”-size rib while the dramatic theme from “Game of Thrones” was blaring overhead.
The unintended pageantry was so King’s Landing-like, with the lovely lady trotting up the stairs and plopping an iron skillet in front of me, right next to a steak knife that could fend off a mountain lion.
Even better, this rib dinner, enough to feed two, came with a bottle of wine, all for $30.
You can eat well and cheap in Seattle at some of our most established and fine-dining restaurants. No need to wait for Restaurant Week. No need to high-tail out of work early to make happy hour.
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You do, however, have to clear your calendar on a Sunday, Monday or Tuesday evening.
Those three slow nights in the restaurant industry amount to a bargain-basement sale when it comes to dining out. Lark is just the latest.
Every Sunday and Monday, Artusi offers two fresh pasta entrees and a bottle of wine for $35. That same price gets you more than a pound of ribs, smoked brisket and pulled pork, along with two cocktails or two glasses of wine, at Central Smoke every Sunday and Tuesday. On Tuesdays, $35 gets you dinner for two at Poppy on East Broadway.
For you bargain hunters, we’ll start featuring those dining deals in our food coverage.
Our latest find: This $3o dinner special from Lark’s James Beard-award-winning chef John Sundstrom.
The deal: The $30 beef-rib special, every Sunday and Monday, is a remarkable deal when you consider that Lark, one of the most expensive restaurants on Capitol Hill, charges $34-$44 for most entrees. The rib deal, with potato and broccolini and a bottle of red wine, can feed two. (If you have a hearty appetite, just fortify the meal with a starter, salad or an additional side. The dinner bill will still work out to be around $50 for two.)
The salt-cured rib, about 12 to 14 ounces, gets braised like a pot roast (simmered in chicken and beef broths and wine, along with carrots, celery, onions and garlic.)
It’s a substantial cut, and so tender you won’t need that steak knife. I just pulled shards of beef apart with a fork and mopped up the wine-beef jus. The juicy rib had a crispy edge, not quite coated like a crust, but certainly caramelized and smoky in flavor.
The meat, especially the side that comes off the bone, is so fatty, you won’t detect the specks of horseradish that are supposed to cut into the rich dish. The rib, though, pairs nicely with the licorice, plum Côtes du Rhône.
The creamy fingerling potatoes with crispy skin and the broccolini that was grilled till the florets were singed both acted as mere sponges for the jus. The sides get soggy if you don’t eat fast.
The details: Lark’s $30 rib dinner runs only on Sundays and Mondays, from 5 p.m.-11 p.m. at the upstairs bar and dining area. You should make reservations since only a limited number of beef ribs are prepared each night. The rib deal will likely be featured for another six weeks. By spring, Lark may swap in roasted chicken or rabbit instead. Check website for updates. The wine that’s served changes weekly, though you can expect it to be a full-bodied red, most likely a French or Italian table wine.
Tip: Lark does happy hour weekdays from 5-6 p.m. If you come early on Monday for the rib dinner, you can also order from the happy-hour menu — $5 Americano and other aperitifs, or $3 canned beer along with noshes that are $2 or less (oysters, pretzel sliders and truffle salted potato chips).
Lark, 952 E. Seneca St., (Capitol Hill) Seattle; the $30 rib dinner runs on Sundays and Mondays, 5 p.m.-11 p.m., at the upstairs bar and dining area; reservations recommended; 206-323-5275, larkseattle.com