tio baby's

Restaurant of the Week: Tio Baby’s

Tio Baby’s is the latest addition to Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood, quickly becoming the new favorite bar and restaurant for both locals and those visiting the area. Chef and owner Will Gordon is no stranger to the Seattle food scene, as a former sous chef and executive chef at some of the area’s elite fine dining establishments. Now, Chef Gordon has taken a few of his favorite foods and created a welcoming bar for people to enjoy craft cocktails and good eats.

This 21-plus bar and restaurant is unlike any other in the area. The intimate space is full of colorful walls, artwork and an striking bald eagle mural, creating the perfect setting for small groups, date night, catching up with friends or late-night social hour. Imbibers can enjoy their beverage and bites at the bartop, large communal tables or in a cozy booth by the window of the newly opened establishment.

Kick things off with the signature Tio Baby’s margarita, shaken with Pueblo Viejo tequila, triple sec and lime. This refreshing and delicious drink pairs wonderfully with the nachos, made up of house tortilla chips, melty cheese, queso, pico, scallion, crema and smoked tomato. As one of the “larger” plates on the menu, this is great for sharing and is gluten free and vegetarian. If you are interested in adding some protein to this cheesy tray of nachos, try out the adobado pork shoulder, al pastor mushrooms or soy chorizo, each available as an add-on for $3, or the chile Colorado braised beef for $5. The eight-piece chicken wings served with ranch and pickles are fried to perfection, then tossed in your choice of buffalo, honey mustard, barbecue or lemon pepper sauce. Pair the wings with Tio Baby’s Old Fashioned, which is one for the books, using Buffalo Trace bourbon, simple syrup, aromatic and Peychaud’s Bitters.

Looking for small bites instead? Tio Baby’s shareables include Castelvetrano olives, soaked in roast garlic, citrus and chile, and tasty green beans, which are mixed with pickled relish, brown mustard, potato chips and a sriracha-hondashi cream cheese. The summer salad is an excellent, fresh pairing to any dish on the menu, tossed with butter lettuce, whipped tahini dressing, stone fruit, radish, nigella seeds and mint.

Along with specialty cocktails, the Seattle destination also offers rotating drafts, wine, seltzers and “zero-proof” cocktails. The non-alcoholic shrub spritz is a favorite, poured with house-made drinking vinegar, citrus, simple and soda. With a variety of flavors available, this mocktail can be made with watermelon-jalapeno, strawberry-mango, strawberry-basil or blueberry-cucumber drinking vinegar.

Tio Baby’s is now open Tuesday through Saturday, 4 p.m. to midnight, and will soon offer happy hour.

For more information on Tio Baby’s, visit www.tiobabys.com.

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