(click on menu to enlarge)
Oven and Shaker took over the friendly (and usually empty) Italian place at 1134 NW Everett in the Pearl. O&S kept the oven, but about everything else is different.
The dark, narrow, slice of what probably was an old warehouse building has the bar on one side, shared bistro tables with barstools, in the middle, and an edge of tables with regular chairs on the other side. Because older folks value comfortable chairs, the barstools probably helps keep O&S patrons the younger side of the population age curve. Taking a page out of the old movie “Cocktail,” O&S stocks its bar with tall, fit, handsome men. They keep the ladies returning, which attract the men, so the theory goes.
“Shaker” refers to cocktail shakers, and the Oven turns out pizzas. The food menu also offers salads, small plates and dessert. We started with the Kale salad, livened up with grapefruit, poppy seed fricco, and a nice vinaigrette. (Kale, of course. What else is growing these days in the Pacific Northwest?) The small plates are small, but mostly inexpensive. We tried the minestrone and bread fritter, which is not soup, but tasty soft triangles with the texture somewhere between bread and mashed potatoes. The lamb meatballs, also, tickled the tastebuds.
Next, we filled up on a pizza featuring roasted squash escarole and spiced walnuts. Other creative pizzas on the menu included Wild Fennel Sausage; White Truffle, Brussels Sprouts. No pepperoni or Hawai’ian pizza, here.
We skipped the cocktails and, instead, enjoyed glasses of the house red and house white wines. Both were quite good. (I’ve had some really bad house wines at some restaurants.)
Oven and Shaker deserves a thumbs-up. Although we feel bad for the nice people who used to occupy the space, the pros who run O&S are in a different league. They have transformed the location into a hip, Pearl hotspot with creative, good-tasting food that is priced reasonably.