Having decided to RESET my life back to prioritize personal happiness, Ben and I jumped into the car again this past week to find good times in Seattle. Ben’s cousin Alex was going to be in Portland and when we saw her in NYC last July, we promised that if she made it out to the west, we’d make a trip south for a night out.

When we received confirmation that Alex was indeed coming out west, it could have been very easy for us to not make the effort, but in my newly invigorated state of happiness, Ben and I found ourselves on a road trip to Seattle for a night during one of our busiest work weeks of the year. We kept saying how important it was to make the effort to build connections with family. It’s not just talk, we believe in it.

After a day’s worth of work crammed into a few hours in the morning, Ben and I found ourselves on an impromptu roadie. Road trip you say? Well it’s not a road trip without road trip food!

Roman-style pizza from Trilussa on Main. Cut into tiny squares and easy to handle, it's great road trip food.
Roman-style pizza from Trilussa on Main. Cut into tiny squares and easy to handle, it’s great road trip food.

Given my constant “busy” state, road trips are a great opportunity for Ben and I to catch up. It felt like with my busy schedule and unhappy life for the past few months, I hadn’t been the most engaging partner, but it was nice to have a few hours without any distractions. We talked, crossed the border easily, talked and talked some more and before we knew it we had made it to Seattle in no time flat. We dropped our bags in our room and we were off to meet Alex for happy hour.


I’m fond of happy hours and Seattle does some of the best. Alex chose the Brave Horse Tavern on recommendation from some locals she’d met the night before. I had Tom Douglas’ pub on my radar, so I thought it was a great suggestion. While we had a great time for drinks, their happy hour specials left a bit to be desired. So while I’d put it on the list of places I’d return to for a drink in a fun atmosphere, it’s not somewhere I’d run for HH specials again.

A quick nap and we were out again. I had constructed a walkable plan for the evening which consisted of heading up to the Melrose Market for a pre-drink at Bar Ferd’nand, dinner at Sitka and Spruce and cocktails afterwards. I wasn’t able to get reservations for us when I called earlier in the week but was encouraged to just come by as they held tables for walk-ins. Unfortunately, when we arrived a bit before 8pm, we were told (in a not so pleasant way) that they were booked up for the night.  I was a bit disappointed, but lucky for us, there are so many food options in Capitol Hill.

As we walked outside to devise a plan, Taylor Shellfish caught our eye. My visit to Taylor Shellfish farm on Chuckanut Drive was such a highlight moment a few years ago, so I happily wandered in so we could slurp down some oysters and drink cava.

A fantastic selection of Taylor's oysters.
A fantastic selection of Taylor’s oysters.


Of all the places in the neighbourhood to go for dinner, we chose the “easiest”. I’m a big fan of Chef Ethan Stowell and Anchovies and Olives has turned into a go-to in Seattle. Funny enough, I’ve probably eaten at Anchovies and Olives for dinner more  in the past 2 years than I have any one restaurant in Vancouver.

Smoked fish crostini
Smoked fish crostini
"Anchovies Olives scallop"
Scallop crudo with preserved lemon, marjoram and citron oil
Fried Chickpeas with smoked paprika & lemon
Fried Chickpeas with smoked paprika & lemon
"Anchovies Olives crab"
Summer Bean Salad with Dungeness crab, frisee, mustard vinaigrette and grapefruit
"Anchovies Olives linguine"
Linguine with Manila clams, uni butter, chili, bottarga, pangrattato
Fettuccine with Dungeness crab, corn, pepper and tarragon
Fettuccine with Dungeness crab, corn, pepper and tarragon

As we sat and talked, and laughed and laughed, I don’t think I noticed how much I ate (and drank). It’s wonderful when food accentuates the mood of the evening and it’s great to have evenings where thoughts of stress don’t enter into your mind. I’ve been “too tired” to do anything fun the past few months, but it’s days like this that make me realize that I need to keep connected, even when I don’t feel like it, because it’s good for me.

Reset, reconnected and ready to eat my way through new and fabulous adventures!

Brave Horse Tavern – 310 Terry Ave N, Seattle

Taylor Shellfish Farm @ Melrose Market – 1521 Melrose Ave, Seattle

Anchovies and Olives – 1550 15th Ave, Seattle

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