May 21st, 2010

Sarah Goes To The E.N.D (Elemental Next Door).

Finding The E.N.D. is akin to finding the Garagiste warehouse for the first time; chances are you will pass this one a few times before successfully determining its location. The wine bar is tucked away in a corner of a condo complex atop a flight of concrete stairs between Gasworks Park and the south end of Wallingford Ave N.

Glasses of sparkling wine were poured for us to enjoy while we waited for a table to clear. This is a quirky establishment. There is only one menu that is written on a scroll of paper stationed at the entrance to the room. There is no wine list per se. Instead, all of the available bottles line the south wall of the room which features an eclectic mix. Many of the choices are local wines from Eastern Washington and the Western Islands (Whidbey Island Pinot Noir anyone?). This is not a restaurant to try out some new 4’ stilettos, as you are up and down throughout the evening splitting your time between reading the menu and cruising the wine wall. The wines can be ordered by the half bottle ($15) or whole bottle ($30). We sampled an Austrian Gruner and an Argentinean Malbec. Off the menu we tried some bites: Manchego stuffed peppers and a charcuterie plate consisting of country pork pate and Foie Gras mousse. Each of us ordered a main course: Spring Cassoulet, Red Snapper, and Prosciutto wrapped asparagus with Mache salad. Despite some inconsistencies, The END manages to create a convivial atmosphere that encourages conversation. Just don’t forget to map it if you decide to visit.