[eat] westward + little gull grocery

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On the rare occasion when my roommate and I both have nothing to do on a Saturday or Sunday and the sun is shining, we have developed a nice little tradition of walking downtown from Capitol Hill to run errands and then having ourselves a nice Seattle day (#daydatewithseattle). Sometimes we ride in bike parades and sometimes we just go get boozy milkshakes at Rachel’s Ginger Beer  – but really we just take the time to appreciate how frickin’ awesome this city is.

A few weeks ago we found ourselves at Westward and Little Gull Grocery, the latest and greatest restaurant creation from the Huxley Wallace Collective  (Skillet Street Food, anyone?). We Car2Go’d our way from downtown to the north shore of Lake Union, lured by the combination of sunshine, a beachfront and outdoor firepit.

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Westward, which is the actual restaurant, is a BEAUTIFUL, maritime-themed space which is tucked underneath a gorgeous building that houses a real estate firm on the street level. You have probably driven past it a million times – unless you own a boat, there’s not much reason for a regular person to stop along the long stretch of docks and shipyards between Gasworks and Ivar’s.

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The restaurant was bustling so we ended up sitting at the oyster and cocktail bar on the Little Gull Grocery side of the room. We had a nice view of all the action on the other side and started out with a couple of cocktails (the Champers cocktail!) and an order of the smoked manila clam dip with housemade potato chips. From there, we moved on to entrees – a frittata and a luscious risotto.

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The food, while delicious and satisfying, is actually not the thing that will keep me coming back. It was the hot chocolate topped with the best marshmallow I’ve ever had and coupled with a shot of amaretto, which I took outside to enjoy on the beach and next to the firepit.

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The firepit itself is made out of smooth white oyster shells and there are giant wooden beach chairs that you can pull up next to it. The restaurant provides giant woolen blankets so that you can cozy up outside even in January.

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Next time you’re looking to impress an out-of-town visitor or a date, this is the spot. It has everything you could possibly want – a prime location, great food and drinks, a firepit, beachfront access, oysters… it has it all!  If you have access to a boat, you can tie up to the dock and pop in for lunch. You could stop in for brunch and then pick up a few upscale (read: expensive) picnic items at Little Gull Grocery and take them with you over to Gasworks Park. Or go for dinner and stay for after-dinner drinks under the stars and alongside the water! The ways to enjoy Westward are endless!

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