Renowned chef Renee Erickson’s new bar, Deep Dive, is Seattle’s most dramatic. Located at the base of the Amazon Spheres in Denny Triangle, the Graham Baba Architects-designed bar has a moody atmosphere in stark contrast to the bright, naturally lit greenhouses above, and to the rest of Erickson’s airy portfolio (including heavy-hitters Bateau and the Walrus and the Carpenter).
With its primary illumination dedicated to intriguing oddities displayed on built-in shelves, Deep Dive feels like a deep-sea cave of wonders. Nooks and crannies are filled with carved lotus leaves and a crown made of matches, eclectic curiosities selected by collector and artist Curtis Steiner. It adds up to a stunning effect.
Sea Creatures restaurant group’s latest project houses its drink menu in a leather book with four pages of cocktails, put together by Jermaine Whitehead. Most cocktails are classics, such as a pisco sour, but there’s also a full page of Whitehead originals. Highlights include Passion Pit — a heady mix of aquavit, golden beets, citrus, elderflower, and Batavia Arrack — and Made in the Shade, featuring raspberry shrub, citrus, and dry-hopped bitters and gin. For those abstaining, there are also six nonalcoholic libations, like a “martini” or “Negroni,” based mostly around Seedlip 94, an alcohol-free spirit flavored with allspice, cardamom, oak, lemon, grapefruit, and cascarilla.
While cocktails are the main focus at Deep Dive, this is still a Renee Erickson production, which means there’s also a serious snack menu. Items range from the bite-sized pink salmon caviar toast to the hearty crab tartine or Parisian gnocchi.
The most attention-grabbing item on the menu is Erickson’s extravagant take on the inexplicable cream cheese- and sauteed onion-topped Seattle dog. Deep Dive’s version is a grass-fed and hazelnut-smoked beef hot dog topped with pickled jalapenos, red onions, whipped cream cheese, and, rocketing the price to $18, a dollop of pink salmon caviar. It’s a ballpark snack fit for Amazon owner Jeff Bezos.
Unlike Erickson’s other eateries inside the Amazon Spheres, Deep Dive is open to the public, though with only 30 seats and no reservations it’s still pretty exclusive. The bar opens daily at 4 p.m. via its very subtle entrance on the side of the Spheres on Lenora St.