The Happiest Hour
Description: Hot-shit celebrity chef and restaurateur Michael Mina brings us RN74, a new downtown joint whose decor imparts an expensive, faraway quality, with tufted leather couches and giant tilted mirrors and sleek light fixtures dangling in clumps. Crowds and rushes and tiers of old-timey crossing lights suggest a train station, and one wall has a flip board, tracking the wine specials.
Namesake happenings: It references Route Nationale 74, the major highway running through Burgundy, the esteemed wine region of eastern France. (If you end up going, why not also seek out the trickily located "A Place in France," the attributes of which are detailed in the famous and winding song? It sounds delightful.)
What else: It's a white-collar scene, and even those seated at the bar seem unexcitable—though sometimes grittier folks or batches of tourists drift in from the street. When the Occupy Seattle protesters were camped out half a block away, they were always stopping by, too. "They drink a lot of whiskey," the bartender says.
Happy hours, Mon–Fri 4–6 pm: $5 select wine, $5 rotating classic cocktail (Moscow mule, sidecar).
Happy hours, daily 10 pm–close: $2 Fernet and $2 Rainier cans, the latter delivered in a koozie. From the food menu, which is designed to complement the wine selection and not the other way around: three rotating $5 small plates, elegantly prepared from locally sourced ingredients (e.g., black truffle popcorn with chives; ahi tuna served with sushi rice cakes, sriracha, and scallions).