Note: First Looks give previews of new drinks and menus we're curious about. Since they are arranged photo shoots, we do not make critical evaluations or recommendations.
Westward is the newest venue from Huxley Wallace Collective—the group behind Skillet in Seattle. The kitchen's headed up by chef Zoi Antonitsas (you might recognize her from Top Chef Season 4), most recently at Madison Park Conservatory, where she worked with Huxley Wallace's bar consultant, Maggie Savarino, author of The Seasonal Cocktail Companion.
With the bar perched right on the north shore of Lake Union, Savarino says she and Westward bar manager Lea Fronterhouse (previously at Palace Kitchen) tailored the cocktails to be what someone wants to drink while they're on the water. "Clean, fresh flavors, nothing with six ingredients, no need to reinvent the wheel," she says. The team is crafting a house-made aquavit in house, though, and flavoring drinks with both pie cherries and ras al hanout.
The focus is on updated classics: Savarino swaps in a housemade lime cordial and fresh juice for the standard Rose's in a gimlet, for example. "It's a little like hacking drinks," she says. "Similar to when you are mixing cocktails at home and you think, "how can we make this better?"
About the author: Naomi Bishop is a Seattle based food and travel writer. Find her wandering through words and worlds on her blog, TheGastroGnome, where she claims that being a GastroGnome is not about sitting idly on the front lawn of culinary cottages. Follow her explorations of cooking and culture around the world at @GastroGnome. Get restaurant suggestions and locate local eats in the Northwest from her app, Unique Eats of the Northwest.