Happy Hour: La Spiga offers quality bites for free
Quality bites in moderation, the true spirit of aperitivo, is the practice at La Spiga on Capitol Hill.
Seattle Times staff reporter
To get folks in the door, bars and restaurants resort to all sorts of gimmicks. But nothing beats free. Or the perception it's free. So more establishments seem to go that route in this cutthroat environment.
They serve a version of the Italian tradition, aperitivo, offering free snacks with beer or wine purchase. Many bars, though, just load you up on free carbs or snacks you can find in the frozen-food section of Safeway.
Quality bites in moderation, the true spirit of aperitivo, is the practice at La Spiga on Capitol Hill. A $3 beer or $4 glass of wine comes with four complimentary small plates: some olives, some roasted cashews — rosemary-flavored — and two other offerings. Pâté and prosciutto on one night. Italian cheese on another.
But you'll always get La Spiga's signature fried flatbread in the deal. What a deal — buttery and so crispy you can hear it crackle in your mouth.
All small bites, though. Something more substantial requires diving into the bar menu (most around $5-$8) — like for the textbook-perfect, chewy potato gnocchi.
Forgettable was the glob that is the melted cheese stuffed into grape leaves.
Some patrons treat happy hour like a cheap dinner, which is why most happy hours now slip in one entree. It's usually the most expensive offering, posted last on bar menus.
For La Spiga, that hearty item is its $10 meat lasagna. Inconsistent, though. A salty, soggy mess one day, delightfully rich and meaty on another.
La Spiga, 1429 12th Ave., Suite A, Seattle, offers happy hour 5-6:30 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and also 11-midnight Fridays and Saturdays, with complimentary bar snacks. Well drinks and wine by the glass ($4), Peroni draft ($3) and cocktails $6-$10 (206-323-8881 or www.laspiga.com).
Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or email@example.com
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.