Jazz & Blues
May 11, 2018
This Italian bar and restaurant on Pike Street has been around for over 30 years now and is in many ways a Seattle institution, home to one of the city’s most loved bartenders, Murray Stenson, who’s now doing stints back behind the bar for a few nights a week. The man has his fanbase so bagging a seat might be tricky but his mix of warm unforced hospitality and easy conversation makes it clear why he’s known and loved both in the business and beyond. Il Bistro also has a new bar manager and a revision of the cocktail menu is promised for the new year. Italian drinks, unsurprisingly, feature prominently, the bar stocks a huge range of classic aperitifs and grappas as well as a solid wine list and Il Bistro still boasts one of the best happy hour food menus in town. The space itself is unflashy but convivial, the décor simple but charming and warm, the atmosphere considerable and the food traditional but well-executed, with a menu featuring lots of tasty Tuscan pasta dishes and quality pizzas. Its central location under Pike Place Market makes it popular with tourists but locals also love this place, with good reason.