What the hell am I doing in Bluehour? It doesn’t matter, I’m here, and sometimes you need to mix it up, right? I mean, I don’t mind that it’s in the Pearl, there are some great places in the Pearl, nor am I averse to table cloths or managers in ill-fitted suits. But some places just have a demographic and an atmosphere that is, well, a bit naff. I mean the music, the non-stop seemingly never-ending dance tune where only the instrument playing the jazz riff changes, from trumpet to accordion to piano to something else. And the people, the guy who keeps his sunglasses on even as he can’t find his way to the restroom; some other dude who thinks the middle of the restaurant is the best place to have a phone call; women who looked dressed up as though for some terrifyingly expensive nightclub.

But hold up. I get to the drinks, cocktails, and these are some truly great cocktails. The Peter Rabbit made with rum, lemon and agave plus muddled radish and oregano has so many levels of lush flavor it feels like alchemy at work in the mouth, and it’s suddenly the best cocktail I can remember having. The food is also up to scratch—gnocchi with English peas, spring onion, pecorino and herbs hit home and was suitably light and fresh for a hot summer’s day, while a lamb slider came with first-rate bread and the accompanying fries were perfectly crisp. Service was friendly and sharp. It’s not cheap, it’s not going to be in this part of town next to Wieden and Kennedy, but there’s a well-priced happy hour till 6:30 pm. So the moral of this story? There isn’t one. But I’ll definitely be going back for cocktails and a snack. Bluehour Restaurant, 250 NW 13th Avenue

One of the sublime cocktails
  • One of the sublime cocktails