Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Il Bistro, Seattle, WA

Il Bistro holds a very special place in my heart.  Having worked and played in downtown Seattle for decades, I've often found myself strolling the streets of Pike's Place Market late night after dinner.  I've more than once stumbled into this hidden gem located on Post Alley.  The ambiance is just perfectly lit by candles, the staff is always warm and friendly, and the food is spectacular.  I had little doubt in my mind when I ate there this Saturday that they'd be able to make a wonderful Spanish Coffee, and I was not disappointed!

As the bartender made the drink, I keenly watched him from my small table in the corner.  Not only was I impressed with his choice of ingredients (I believe he used Tia Maria and Grand Marnier, one of my favorite combinations of coffee and orange liqueurs), but the bartender took considerable time lighting it on fire, caramelizing the rim (maybe a little TOO much, if I'm trying to find a flaw), and even did the "sparkle, sparkle" with some shakes of cinnamon and nutmeg, one of my favorite bar tricks.  The cream was fresh made, and perfect.  Finally, he served it up in a Montrachet (I think) wine glass, the perfect glass for the perfect drink. 

As always, I sent my compliments to the bar, and will definitely be ordering one of these again the next time I go.  Hopefully my buddy Dan will be bartending next time, and I'll be sure to take a video of him doing his best Flaming Spanish Coffee!

Il Bistro
93A Pike Street
Seattle, WA 98101
Google Map

Sunday, November 26, 2017

CinCin Ristorante + Bar, Vancouver, B.C.

CinCin Ristorante + Bar

On my recent visit to Vancouver, B.C. this November, we had dinner at CinCin, a highly recommended Italian restaurant in the popular Robson Street.  In my experience, Italian restaurants know how to make the best Spanish coffees.  I learned how to make when when working as a bar manager for an Italian restaurant in Bellevue, WA, and I learned it from another popular Italian restaurateur in the area.

And CinCin did not disappoint!  In fact, they served our Spanish Coffees in thermal glasses, which was a great spin on the typical coffee glassware I usually see.  Not only did it keep our coffees nice and warm, but allowed them to caramelize the rims without creating a glass that's too hot to hold, which is a common downfall of the flaming rum.

The whip cream was right, the sugared rim was right, and this was definitely one of the finest Spanish Coffees I've ever had.  Great job, CinCin!