Over the past four and a half years, Anu Apte has elevated Rob Roy (2332 Second Ave, 956-8423) from a casual neighborhood bar with free goldfish crackers to an outstanding craft cocktail bar with free goldfish crackers (happy hour only). Sporting cozy leather armchairs clustered around coffee tables and a DJ that spins records every Tuesday night, RR graces Belltown with libations from a best-selling old-fashioned (with your pick of base spirit) to Rainier tallboys and everything in between. Apte indulges in her hard-earned downtime at Tavolàta (2323 Second Ave, 838-8008), the Ethan Stowell pasta joint that boasts an unbeatable proximity to her home base (it's directly across the street) and, most importantly, some peace and quiet.
"Tavolàta has a great wine list and great happy hour food. Whenever Armin is working, he knows exactly what white wine to pour me—half the time, I don't even know what I'm drinking. He knows I go there to turn off my brain." Another draw is the comforting familiarity of the bar service, as "for a long time, they've had the same staff. Armin has been there for at least four years." Apte admits she's majorly burned out on the signature snack of her own bar, so she escapes to bowls of Italian carbs for real sustenance: "I'm totally addicted to the rigatoni—it's so bad for me to eat giant plates of pasta all the time, but it's so good."