Thursday, August 20, 2009

TWIST/Seattle -- Reviewed by HypFoods Host, Chantelle Maccarone

Recently, in search of somewhere Hyp to eat, I ventured into Belltown along with my dinner companions. A nifty little app on the iPhone pointed us to Twist and we decided to give it a go.

The first big joy at this Hyp little spot is that their Happy Hour on Sunday through Thursday goes from 4pm to 11pm. That means that for all you hard working folks out there, you can get off work, navigate the traffic and still have plenty of time to enjoy the wide range of wallet-friendly fare including cocktails at Twist.

Intrigued by this recession-busting invitation, we grabbed a table in the hall of this club-like restaurant and ordered a round of Belvedere cocktails that were each $6 or under. Those of you out there who know your vodka and even those who don’t should be as impressed as I was that a premium liquor could cost so little and it is not the only one on the menu.

As we perused past the “Bar fare” part of the menu and onto the “Light fare” section, we quickly discovered a large array of items ranging in price from $2.50 to $10 and including everything from a simple Chips and Salsa to a New York Strip. We decided to start off with some Hummus ($2.50), Seared Diver Scallops ($6), Chips and Salsa ($2.50), Crab Mac and Cheese – declared by Chef Turner as possibly the best ever ($5), and Chipotle Prawns ($10). You should know that there were 3 of us in this little party.

The drinks arrived, followed by the food shortly after and I have to say that I was more than impressed with what we got for the money. I am always looking for a good deal and now I know I have found it. Everything we ate was delicious to say the least and I was impressed with the size of the order in association with the cost.

The salsa that accompanied the chips was a little spicy but had a wonderful flavor to it. The Hummus was smooth with a hint of peanut which was a nice addition to the usual chickpea. The Scallops were a little overdone the first time, but were speedily replaced by a perfect batch and had a delicious sauce on top that really made the dish. The prawns we accompanied by a very tasty corn pancake. To quote another member of the party, the Crab Mac and Cheese was to die for and would definitely be added to his “Last Meal” list.

At this point, we were “all in” for this amazing food! We finished our dining experience with an order of Chipotle Beef tacos ($3.50) and Crispy Skin Salmon ($10). The Tacos came out amazingly fast and had a tantalizing salsa on top that really made them complete. The salmon may have been one of the best things we had all night, although it is hard to say so when everything was so temptingly memorable. The skin was crisp and the Salmon was moist. It was accompanied by a corn salsa that was sweet and buttery. This dish was every bit as heavenly as the Crab Mac and Cheese, yet totally unique and gluten free.

Concerning Twist’s attitude toward food allergies in our party, the very helpful server simply disappeared into the kitchen with a smile and returned with a paper copy of the menu which had been reviewed by the Chef. Anything that wasn’t safe for us to eat was simply marked off the menu and we were left with plenty of Hyp choices.

When the bill finally came, I was impressed that it totaled under $60! Wow! Three patrons, three premium cocktails, plus all the food we wanted with the added bonus that the whole affair was cost effective, too! That is totally Hyp!

If you are looking to hold a quiet business dinner, then Twist may not be for you as the atmosphere is lively and loud. However; if you are looking to go out and have a good time, a few drinks and some great food on a budget, then this is definitely the place for you. Twist also has a large dining room overlooking Elliott Bay that can be rented out for parties or gatherings and would be a fun and fairly cost effective place to have that yearly office party or surprise birthday for a friend.

It is not often that I like to eat at the same place more then once in a week but I could be very happy if I went to Twist again tomorrow.

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