The Best Three Hours in Seattle
- by Emily Taibl
5 Reasons You Dare Not Miss Sunset Hour at SkyCity
In 41 seconds…
- Your local speedy sub shop can make 15 sandwiches.
- Usain Bolt can run a mile…(well… maybe 51 seconds).
- …and you can be transported to an oasis where the world feels both miles away and right at your fingertips.
It will take you exactly 41 seconds to get from the base of The Space Needle 500 feet into the air – to SkyCity for Sunset Hour. This limited occasion takes place Mondays through Thursdays from 2:30pm to 5:30pm - now through May 15th - and it is an experience you don’t want to miss.
From the relaxed dining atmosphere, to the stunning views – the exquisite dishes to the ingenious cocktails… SkyCity’s Sunset is three of the most magical hours in Seattle.
Reason #1: The View
Obvious right? But this, in my opinion, is truly the best way to experience the city for tourists and Seattle-ites alike. Staring down from Sky City, as flecks of light glimmer off the Puget Sound, I was struck by the contrast of the unstoppable energy of this great city, and the majestic tranquility that can be had in the same moment. The juxtaposition could be seen in the endless lines of cars zig-zagging the city like ants whose hill has been kicked over, the Pink Elephant spinning endlessly, helicopters rising and landing…. All the while Mount Rainier seems to rest peacefully overseeing the chaos, ferries floating serenely on the water like glass. At sunset, there is nothing more beautiful. And at a table in the rotating SkyCity, visitors get the full 360 degree experience- without leaving their seats.
Reason #2: The Exhale
In Seattle Happy Hours are a dime a dozen. But they can often be a sensory overload with packed rooms and loud music. This is far from the case at Sunset Hour. The atmosphere is relaxed, and deliberate. It’s a destination – so there’s an energy of calm excitement and appreciation for the entire experience. To a bunch of moms (my girlfriends and I) it felt like we had completely stepped away from the buzz of our daily lives- and were able to just be in the moment (and did I mention the view??).
Reason 3: The Creative Cocktails
Enough about the view, let’s talk drinks. The Sunset Menu boasts 8 cocktails ($8 each) along with a selection of sparkling wine and draft beer. I ordered a Bloody Mary and here’s what my server said to me- “Great, would you like traditional, pepper-infused, horseradish or bacon?” Ummm… say what? Bacon. Bloody. Mary.? Yes, please.
My dining companions chose the Lemon Drop and The Elliott Bay Breeze (Malibu rum, pineapple juice, cranberry juice) and both were equally as delightful. Next time I have to try the Needle’s Favorite – an Ancho Margarita (olé!).
Reason #4: The Culinary Genius
…then there’s the food. Executive Chef Jeff Maxfield has created a menu that is perfect for sharing or enjoying on your own. We started with the Shrimp and Avocado Salad- which the kitchen graciously split three ways. Even so, there was plenty to go around- and it was crisp and perfectly chilled served with a Louie dressing- like Spring on a plate. From the tempting list- we chose to share the Meyer Ranch Prime Angus Tenderloin and the Dungeness Crab Cakes- and then last minute I threw in an order of French fries, because, well what evening is complete without fries? The beef was perfectly marinated in a sweet, succulent sonyu-ginger glaze and was so tender it practically melted in your mouth. The crab cakes were a delicious take on the classic- served with fennel-apple relish, madras curry, and a parsnip puree. Then the fries showed up. They were absolute perfection- hand-cut, crispy and perfectly salted- who would have thought The Space Needle would have some of the best fries in Seattle?
It deserves mentioning, we decided to partake in dessert (offered on the regular dinner menu)- and enjoyed a delicious Apple and Cranberry Crisp with ice cream- and then the Chocolate Caramel Torte. The Chocolate Caramel Torte is the stuff that chocolate-filled-dreams are made of. Just writing about it, I think I drooled on my keyboard. This crave-able dish features lavender infused chocolate with a creamy caramel center topping- a perfectly salted semolina cookie crust. I can barely speak.
Reason #5: The Complete Experience
Included in each meal at SkyCity – is access to the Observation Deck. You would think after sitting for two hours staring at the view, it would get old. Not a chance. Stroll the perimeter, enjoy a coffee from the coffee bar- and play with the new interactive screens from Microsoft. You can check out some of the history behind this World’s Fair Wonder, explore the touch screen map illustrating the locations of visitors from all over the world, even get a bird’s eye view of the 50 Shades of Gray condo and the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat.
To sum it all up, this was an unforgettable experience whether the Needle is right in your backyard, or it’s your first glimpse at our great city. With valet parking available, SkyCity is easily accessible and a fabulous location for a night out with friends, a date night, or a special occasion.