I have been to Brave Horse Tavern in South Lake Union at least twice. Once, for an office kickball team pre-game drink a few months ago, and once just the other day to catch up with a friend who lives in the area. I like this bar because it feels adult and upscale without being too pricey. It is located up some stairs from the street, on top of another bar that looks out onto a wide staircase and courtyard for an office park. As you’d expect, this location makes them very busy all the time, so if you have a group of more than five, I would call ahead. With the exception of a few tall tables at the far end of the bar, most of the seating consists of long benches and tables, so you could make friends with strangers, though climbing out from between your neighbors can be tricky if there’s a lot of you. Two of the walls are filled with windows, letting in the sun, though if it’s cloudy, there is still ample lighting. I love me a well-lit watering hole. The decor and architecture is slightly old west, but with clean lines and clean glasses.
The servers are quick to help you decide what to order, showing an impressive knowledge of the menu, and they are so friendly and welcoming, I always feel like coming back. I know working at a restaurant isn’t the most fun job in the world (with exceptions, I’m sure) but showing an enthusiasm for the items you’ve tried gets me excited about trying new things too.
One thing I do wish were different is the food options. They like to take typical bar appetizers and make them complicated, which always makes it hard for me to decide what to order. It can’t just be tomato mozzarella toast. It has to be tomato toast with mozzarella, red and yellow bell peppers, and a mix of jalapenos and baby green bell peppers, all of this swimming in a light pesto sauce. Drinks are easier because everything is so fun and tasty that I can just eeny-meeny-miney-moe it. The cocktails can be pretty creative, with interesting names, but they are still good. I haven’t had a drink here that I didn’t love.
So whether you are having a team happy hour or just catching up with a friend, go check out Brave Horse Tavern and try something delicious with some weird ingredient. Surprise yourself!