This months post is brought to you by LUPEC lady Jackie Moffett. Jackie writes a great blog of her own that you should check out called DrinkGal. You can also follow her on Twitter. Thanks so much Jackie! ~WM
You only need to whisper “cocktail” to get the ladies of LUPEC rallied and ready to drink. Yet sometimes our fearless leader Wendy Miller is able to not only swing us a place to imbibe, but also a new spot to nosh and preview before the rest of Seattle is granted a peek. This was the case with Chino’s, a new eatery nestled in the gastronomic playground of Capitol Hill, in the former residence of the Oasis Café. With a street-food-truck-turned-stationary concept and a cocktail menu put together by Veronika Goth (formerly of Poppy), it wasn’t hard to get the ladies out on the town, despite the cold December temperatures.
Touting an intriguing mix of Taiwanese and Mexican, the menu wasn’t what we were expecting. We were served rounds of Gua Bao (pork belly buns) and Spicy Chicken Wings, and I’m fairly certain that we all ate our weight in the delicious Furikake Kettle Corn while fighting over the last of the Pickles of the Day (made fresh in house, of course). The idea behind Chino’s isn’t a high-concept fusion of the two cultures, but bits of both, served as easy comfort food one can snack on while enjoying one of their delicious cocktails.
Which is what lured us there in the first place! The gents behind the bar had kindly put together a LUPEC Mai Tai to start us off with, a tasty take on the classic with Rhum Agricole, Demerara Rum, ginger and a brilliant little 5 spice sugar cube. Made of fennel, star anise, clove, cinnamon and Szechwan peppercorn, our hosts weren’t shy to tell us what was in the delicious little cube, but the quantities? Mum’s the word.
Our delectable cocktail, as it turned out, was just the tip of the iceberg. Just like the food, the cocktail menu is divided in two: classics any seasoned drinker will know and love, and tiki drinks, the new favorite of cocktail enthusiasts. From a Ramos Gin Fizz to a Widow’s Kiss, the classics covered any liquor you might be craving. And if you are tempted by tiki there’s a plethora to choose from. Perhaps a Zombie if you are feeling too sober… or a Suffering Bastard if you’ve had too much. And our Mai Tai? One of 3 Mai Tai’s that Chino’s pours: you can sip Don the Beachcomber’s, Trader Vic’s or the seasonal concoction, whatever your rum-swilling heart desires.
A huge thanks to the owners of Chino’s Walter Lee and Mari Tiscareño Lee for our delicious preview, for bringing a little spicy SoCal to the chilly Northwest, and of course letting the LUPEC ladies invade for an evening of tiki and street food done right. Cheers!