You know how there are bars that make you feel good about yourself, make you feel more rather than less stylish and chic, and then there are bars that make you feel hopelessly uncool?
A few nights ago we went to Suite 410, the hip new bar in Belltown where, it appears, all the 20-something Wall Street wannabes hang out. At Suite 410, the manly dark wood-panelled walls, oversized ESPN screen, sleek black furniture, and shiny stainless detailing make me blink a few times: am I in i-banker heaven? Why are there so many guys dressed like New Englanders, with their layers of popped collars, and ditzy girls fawning over them? It’s clear that this will not be our new Seattle hang-out, but the vibe is young and sophisticated, and somehow romantic.
My husband is dressed in a sporty button-down shirt and green corduroy pants, which represents a side of him more fashionable than either of us might have ever anticipated. I unconsciously reach to my throat, feeling somewhat smug about my decision to wear my new black turtleneck, a grey A-line skirt, and knee-high black boots, when a crinkling beneath my fingers reveals that I have in fact put the turtleneck on backwards. I roll my fingers into a fist, in case anyone with X-ray vision can see the (count them, two) layers of backwards shirts lying beneath my outwardly stylish appearance. I surrender any hope I may have had of feeling cool here.
The bartender approaches; I feign relaxation. We order a round of Hot Mango Love, the drink that brought us here for happy hour in the first place, but alas, they have no Hot Mango Love, so we must wait for another time to experience the jalapeno and mango vodka concoction we’d heard so much about. He gets a Pisco Sour, frothy and viscous with real egg whites, and I get a grapefruit cosmopolitan, which uses white cranberry juice to avoid that cliche cosmo color and deliciously fresh juice for real grapefruit flavor.
We order sushi. They’re also out of the sushi we want. What’s going on? Are we not cool enough to order from the regular menu? We order beef kalbi, skewers of slightly underseasoned Japanese-style beef with a crunchy, sesame-rich seaweed salad that somehow pairs so nicely with my cosmo. We feel better.
When we ask for the bill, the bartender comps our appetizer, and apologizes profusely for being out of everything we ordered.
Maybe we’re sort of cool after all.