Until today, Belltown was the last neighborhood in Seattle without a pho parlor. No longer. Black Bottle, that estimable watering hole for the the Under 30 set, is now serving an elegant pho made with beef brisket that's braised to medium-rare, then roasted to order. The lean and fatty bits--and it's a huge amount of meat--meet up in the broth, and pho, of course, is all about the broth: beef bones, star anise, rock sugar, fennel, cinnamon, simmered for five hours. (Work starts at 6 AM, which means that Brian Durbin's kitchen now runs 22-plus hours a day.) Basil, lime, jalapenos, spouts, a dish of plum sauce and sri racha, weighty china and substantial chopsticks, too.
The pho is $7, a bargain anywhere. Also on the lunch menu: tacos, pastrami sandwiches, squid salad, cioppino. In daylight, without the wall-to-wall sweet young things, peace descends and Black Bottle's like another world: heaven.
And a footnote. Yet another gastropub is on its way to these parts, name of Spur. Coming soon to Blanchard, between 1st and 2nd, where Mistral once stood. Not like "Spur-Of-The-Moment," but Spur, what a cowpoke wears on his boots. Don't see many cowpokes in Belltown; more of a Capitol Hill denizen, you'd think.
Posted by Ronald Holden at June 21, 2008 3:49 PM