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Outlier

Hotel Monaco, 1101 Fourth Ave, 206-624-7755

Outlier is the snazzy new restaurant at Hotel Monaco that replaces Sazerac, an ancient dinosaur of a restaurant that served up reliably good Cajun fare until its last days. I am happy to report that Outlier is a worthy successor. In fact, I'd say the place is more than just worthy—it's downright amazing.

First of all, no single happy hour item costs more than $6, except wine, and for what you get, $6 is a steal. The fact that they also offer a quality manhattan for $6 is also very dangerous. Their chèvre-stuffed, tempura-fried squash blossoms are insanely good. Their duck confit banh mi, served on a plush, pillowy baguette, will keep that three-manhattan day from turning into a very bad night. I was also blown away by a simple walnut pesto dish, which was seasoned to absolute perfection and served with soft sections of flatbread. Their elote is not a dish you should eat while on a date, but I went with my roommate and thus had zero problem with getting their delicious lime-spiked cotija aioli all over my cheeks.

In older cities, hotel restaurants that are also really good restaurants are actually a thing. Seattle hasn't historically had the same good luck, aside from the early days of Lola and, more recently, Miller's Guild. Outlier, however, is an actual outlier. Indeed, it may be one of my favorite new restaurants, hotel or no hotel.

Happy hour is 2 to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, and includes $3 oysters, $5 to $6 appetizers, $6 cocktails, $7 glass pours, and $5 drafts.