Food & Culture

Bar Hop: Il Bistro

A Post Alley hideaway gets a new secret weapon: renowned mixologist David Nelson.

By Jana Moseley June 10, 2011


This article originally appeared in the July 2011 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Il Bistro
An elegant little hideaway in Post Alley, Il Bistro (Pike Place, 93A Pike St.; 206.682.3049; has served traditional Italian fare for 30 years. But recently the bistro acquired a new secret weapon: David Nelson (formerly of Tavern Law and Spur Gastropub) is now behind the bar, bringing his knack for creating cocktails (and a dedicated following) with him.

THE VIBE: Pull up a bar stool to watch Nelson craft your cocktail or grab a cozy table. The candle-lit atmosphere creates a quiet, intimate setting, perfect for dates. The pint-size bar takes advantage of every nook and cranny, so no huge parties here, but it’s inviting enough for a dozen people. Your drinking buddies will vary, though they’ll mainly consist of casually dressed 30somethings.

Delizioso! The happy-hour and late-night menu offers small plates, such as the goat cheese crostini (topped with roasted garlic, basil and cracked pepper; $2.95) and the seared calamari (drenched in spicy tomato sauce, capers, olives and parsley; $4.95). The full menu (available at the bar) offers a broad range of Italian comfort fare, including cool insalatas and hearty pasta dishes.

Strong concoctions like the Hanky Panky (London dry gin, sweet vermouth, Fernet Branca, orange twist; $9) and the Guido Contini (London dry gin, Carpano Antica vermouth, dark crème de cacao, angostora bitters; $9) will knock you off your stool. Also on the menu: Italian and local wines, and a wide selection of liquor and aperitifs.  

THE BATHROOM: Warm and cozy: Tall, dark wood stalls and a simple dresser decked with flowers adds charm.  


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