Eat, drink and be much merrier after the first two are gone. With internationally-inspired cuisine prepared by chef Brian Durbin, exotic flavors are carefully designed from local ingredients bringing flavors and bright looks in a modern approach at Bar Vacilando.
Located in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, the Spanish-inspired Bar Vacilando is the fourth restaurant brought to food lovers by the crew who started up Black Bottle Gastrotavern and The Innkeeper.
Modern colors of whites, blacks and shades of different wood grains make this gastropub’s appearance match the items you’ll see on the menu. Stretched doors leading to the outside seating area invite you to the covered, secluded space where in the winter, heating units suspended above will radiate heat downward. Floral designs of the bench seat’s backrest, as well as the live, potted greenery, also reflect each item on the menu.
With that respect, the menu finds itself emerged in different cultures which make each dish not only stand out from each other, but encapsulates the essence of where the dish was inspired as well. With so many attracting and different options, mentioning all would be a small book.
Start off with the six-minute deviled egg spin-off with a flying fish roe dollop atop. This evenly textured flesh with a soft yolk walks the line between being a deviled egg and sushi, having a refreshing ocean salt flavor with each bite from the roe.
Move on to some tastes of the Caribbean with the Jamaican jerk drums and papaya chutney. It’s difficult to find an authentic tasting jerk, especially from establishments not focusing on Caribbean food alone, but they have it mastered. The chutney is a must. It takes the spice of the jerk and balances it out with a tropical sweetness.
Although the papaya chutney brings salivation, a drink to pair with the eatery options is always a must. Try the Swan, a gin, lime, vermouth, absinthe and angostura cocktail, or the Airmail, made with rum, cava, lime and honey.
If cocktails aren’t your taste, many wines rest in back, waiting to be selected off the menu, with plenty of beer on tap and cider options to boot.
The surf is also prepared at Olympic level. Portuguese-style local purple clams lie in a marinated bath of cilantro making each royal-colored mollusk coat the palate with a light, lingering creamy-fresh finish.
Finish it all off by making room for a tropical dessert to die for. The coconut-crusted white chocolate passion fruit cheesecake not only looks beautiful in color composition, with black seeds held in a yellow gelatin against a brilliant white background, but tastes as gorgeous as it looks too. The soft roasted coconut flavor joins the passion fruit’s island-vibe as it teams up with the vanilla cheesecake making one memorable sweet.