There are a handful of restaurants on our list that keep getting bumped for no reason other than that they’re a bit off our usual routes. It’s not that they’re all that far out of the away. It’s just that they happen to be in lovely places we don’t otherwise often find ourselves. Luc is one of those places. It first landed on our list at least a year ago and was rescheduled no fewer than 6 times. Sometimes, we reschedule a visit over and again only to find we should probably have just taken it off the calendar entirely. The rest of the time, we end up kicking ourselves for waiting so long to visit. Our visit to Luc fell into the latter category.
We arrived as early as we always do to a rather still space with the distinct feeling of an evening that had yet to begin. In regular Seattle weather, we almost always choose bar seats over anything else, but when we arrived at Luc, we stood there for a minute, trying to sort out the best option. There were plenty of tables, an inviting bar, and sunshine on the patio. We’re having an unusually long dry streak in Seattle, so one would expect that the patio would win hands down, but we opted instead for the bar where the only other early birds were also seated.
B and I are sort of a toss up when it comes to happy hour dining. Sometimes we’ll sit at the bar and make a meal (too large a meal) from bits and bobs of small plates. Other times, we’ll select a more traditional entrée option from our bar stools. While there were plenty of items on the happy hour menu at Luc to keep us intrigued and well-fed, after a small plate of braised pork skewers (with harissa jam and tartar sauce), we selected full entrées for dinner of Bouillabaisse (Northwest seafood bouillabaisse, clams, mussels, prawn, seasonal fish, crostini rouille) for me and Steak Frites (grilled beef onglet steak, infused peppercorn sauce, fries) for B.
Don’t think I’m just glossing over those skewers. I felt a little guilty about the wastefulness of the wood skewer because there was no way they stood a chance of supporting that meat. They’re purely decorative. The dense, tender pork practically melted at the slightest pressure from the skewer. Meat this tender needs to be popped into ones’ mouth quickly.
As for the rest of the meal, the Bouillabaisse (which for me is always a little hit or miss as far as reliable standards go) that seemed too large when it arrived at the table was gone before I knew it. There wasn’t too much salmon. For some, that may pose a problem. For a girl from a land locked state where salmon was the weird, dry, pink stuff that hailed from Costco rather than the Copper River, that was ok by me. Six years in Seattle and I can finally stomach the stuff, but I won’t choose salmon over, say, clams, prawns, mussels… or pretty much most fish and seafood.
B had nothing but nice things to say about his steak frites. Steak frites are one of his compass foods. He doesn’t fancy himself an expert on a lot of food, but he can tell you what makes for a great steak.
Of course, the food is only part of the experience. While B and I sat chatting on the corner of the bar, a woman with loads of papers and other… well, junk, sat herself on the stool next to me… right next to me. I’m not what you might call a crowd person. I tend to appreciate a bit of personal space. She proceeded to spread out her mess across a good portion of the bar, take up a pen, and scribble with concentrated fervor. She also managed to order pretty much the entire happy hour menu, insult the house Rosé, drop her papers on the floor, and jam her backside into my thigh in the process of retrieving them. Eventually, she started to gather her papers as if she was thinking about taking her paper circus on the road. Three people in search of bar seats asked if she was leaving. She finally decided we’d all had enough and declared “I think everyone will be happy when I leave.” Dead right, you are.
Thankfully, those who replaced her in the seats (in time for the last portion of our meal) turned out to be lovely people from Northern California who we spent the last 30 minutes of our visit chatting to about everything from wine to technology. We stayed a little too long, but it was a lovely evening. Someone remind me of that next time I procrastinate venturing outside our usual neighborhoods.