Saturday, April 20, 2013

A new place to Frolik in downtown Seattle

Thursday night, I was able to go to a pre-opening event for Frolik: Kitchen + Cocktails at the Red Lion Hotel on Fifth Avenue.  I'm not one to hang out in hotel restaurants in my hometown, but I could easily envision a future happy hour here - great eats, excellent cocktails and some fun things to while hanging out.

For this event, the restaurant had more of a party atmosphere with passed appetizers and a DJ and lots of blue light.  But it was great, because we were able to sample so much from their menu.

There are plenty of small plates to just pop in your mouth.  The bacon wrapped dates with their savory, sweet taste and grape, goat cheese and pistachio bon-bons and little dishes of warmed, marinated olives all made for great snacks.
Executive Chef Shailu Salian came up with many other delicious dishes, for all aspects of your palate.  Roast rainbow carrots with braised greens with a honey yogurt sauce and roasted brussels sprouts with almonds were superb vegetable dishes that appealed to my paleo-ish lifestyle, but there was a lot of cheating going on this night.

The tiramisu was wonderful, with a subtle coffee taste and the lady fingers were so light and airy I almost thought that they were accidentally omitted at first.  Bacon makes everything better and then when you add to that bourbon and popcorn, you get a grown up caramel popcorn, but not one that is cloyingly sweet.

I'm not a fan of lamb chops, but the lamb with peach chipotle jam was excellently prepared.  It had just the right amount of red in the middle, still moist and tender. But I still don't like lamb, its just me.

There were still some kinks. The smoked salmon deviled eggs didn't quite deliver. I'm a sucker for anything with smoked salmon, but these ones seemed like the salmon was forgotten.  The spicy melon popsicle was flavorful, but there was no spicy.  I'm sure those will be found in the kitchen and added to their rightful places. The kitchen seemed calm and collected for a first night and I'm sure that will carry over.

He gives a nod to the locals and have charcuterie from Salumi and oysters from Taylor Shellfish Farms.  It was great to try different oysters and really savor the nuances of their flavors. I've had oysters before, but never realized the variations.  The guys shucking oysters were quite knowledgeable and made it quite an experience.  The crab mac n cheese was a gooey treat, crunchy with bread crumbs on top, sweet with crab and buttery with Beecher's Cheese, with a hint of spice in the afterbite.

The cocktail menu has twists on the classic cocktails. I'm sure they can make a fruity drink, but chartreuse and maraschino are well represented in their drinks.  I'd never had a cocktail made with scotch, but the Scotch and Tell is a winner.  The smokiness of the scotch just gives it a wonderful taste that I've never had before.

On a warm sunny Seattle afternoon, the huge patio would be a great place to sit or play.  There is shuffle board, ping pong tables and a hug fire place. The heat lamps look like giant lamps and will take the edge off of the damp Seattle air, if its not so sunny.

Anybody can find something to eat, drink or enjoy at Frolik.  Happy Hour runs daily 4 - 10pm and starting in the summer, they'll be showing movies on the patio. I'll try to catch one this summer, with a Scotch and Tell in hand and popping bourbon bacon popcorn in my mouth!

The restaurant officially opened April 19th, so go check them out!
Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails
5th floor Red Lion Hotel
1415 Fifth Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98101
(206) 971-8000

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