Seattle Restaurant Week at Spur Gastropub - Fantastic! @McCrackenTough

Happened to be in town this week for Seattle Restaurant Week. And my Mom scolded me for not blogging about all the places I get to go - so - back on the blog bus y'all.

10 days. Over 150 Restaurants. 3 courses for $28.

Dine out and celebrate the spring run of Seattle Restaurant Week, April 8-19 (excluding Friday, Saturday, and Sunday breakfast/brunch for some restaurants). More than 150 local restaurants are serving up three-course dinners for just $28* - and many of them are offering three-course lunch for $15*.

*Price is per person and does not include drinks, tax or tips.

Landed with my colleagues at Spur Gastropub and it was out of sight.

On the Heddanewman Tablesmacker Scale of 1-5 (5 being the best) - we gave it a high 5 smacks.

What we had and highly recommend...  These items are also on the regular menu (not just restaurant week)

Empress (David Nelson, Spur 2008.)   $12 jamaican rum. grapefruit. st. germain.  (everyone at the table ordered this and loved it, repeatedly)

Tagliatelle   $14 duck egg. oyster mushroom. pine nut. (and a parmesan foam which was unbelievable, the waft of parm coming in as the plate goes down makes your mouth water).

Ice Cream   $7 playful accompaniments.  (most of us had the Bananas Foster ice cream, down to the last drop in the bowl)

The servers were great, the ambiance is terrific (stunning black and white artsy photos change every so often to give the small-ish restaurant some depth.)  Along with beautiful mirrors, exposed edison-like fixtures and bulbs, I'd go back here again and again.

The bartender let us stay till fairly late on a week night and again were fun and didn't take years to make specialty mixologist cocktails which is a huge plus in my book.  Mixology is fun, waiting hours for someone to snottily chip ice is not.  Spur brings it with super tasty, layered flavorful food, seriously yummy cocktails and a high-end feel with a laid back attitude.

5 smacks, ya'll.  check out Spur's blog, Twitter - @McCrackenTough and Facebook

Here is the dish on the place from the Seattle Times:

At this artsy, urban-industrial haunt, Brian McCracken and Dana Tough dabble in the shape-shifting world of molecular gastronomy, finding new ways to manipulate flavor and texture. But they do so judiciously, not just for effect. Try such dishes as the tagliatelle with parmesan foam or carpaccio with fried béarnaise. The art of alchemy also extends to the bar, where house-made tinctures and bitters flavor classic and contemporary cocktails.

113 Blanchard St. Seattle, WA 98121

Phone: 206-728-6706

Hours: Dinner: Daily, 5p.m. - Close

Reservations: Recommended

Average price of a dinner entrée: Under $10 $10 - $15 $15 - $25 $25 and over

Note: Price reflects average breakfast or lunch entrée if that is restaurant's primary meal.

Meals available: Dinner

Alcohol: Wine, Beer, Liquor

Payment forms: All major credit cards

Parking: Paid parking

Disabled access: Yes

Features: 21 and over

Viral Events - What is a @SharePint Event?

With high-tech event season upon us I keep getting asked about this so I thought I'd repost a comment I made on Christian Buckley's blog awhile back.  Being an event producer - I love these events and their viral nature.  SharePint events have no barrier to entry and a strict no vendor policy which keeps things pure and agenda-less.  I have made a few venue calls for a number of these in conjunction with events officially and unofficially shall we say and I agree with many of the "musts" that are being formulated into lists.

-No vendor support.

-No marketing agendas.

-No one owns SharePint. Anyone can start their own SharePint event and recruit others to join.

-No members-only jackets required.

-You may only drink Guinness per Mike Ferrara - great post here

-Use the #sharepint Twitter hashtag and send the info a few times and be super clear about where and when.

-Share the information with speakers or other community members directly for retweets.

Venue Pitfalls:

Because conferences and trade shows are so jam-packed, there is usually only time for one SharePint event and the attendee number will be more than 100 people.  Most bars/venues love their places full of paying customers.  However without either someone local who knows the scene or someone to do a bit of groundwork - you can end up with a venue that isn't big enough,  has bad flow,  not enough standing room, doesn't have enough bar/wait staff or decides to pull out karaoke or trivia in the middle and then no one can talk.

-- is a great resource - you can do a quick search to see if they have a private room or seating for large parties.  Many times these are free you just have to ask.

Finding a Venue & What to Ask Them:

-- What is going on in the bar the night you picked?  If its trivia night or karaoke, and its a one room bar avoid it, no one will be able to talk.

-- Avoid venues that require a contract for a private room, you don't need a private room.

--Alert them of the onslaught of people coming in - they will thank you, may put up a sign and may bring on extra staff.

--Venues that typically have bigger space:  sports bars, any of the Lucky Strike Bowling Venues, Irish or English pubs, venues close to sporting arenas.

--Most people are starving after working an event all day, having a place with the grill open is awesome!

--To register or not to register, this goes back to this being loose and easy, no reg and no fees.

--If guests are cool, tip well, pay their tabs, etc... the venue will remember.  They always do.  The opposite is true though as well.  They remember...

No Pay to Play:  In my opinion, one way SharePint events could get ruined is if an event producer decides to add this to their list of "Sponsored Items" ala they start to sell "SharePint" like they do a breakfast or attendee party as a sponsorship.   Better if someone in the community hosts or sponsors. The only way to combat that would be for the community and vendors to not buy the sponsorship.  Hopefully that doesn't happen, and it stays organic, of the community and for the community.

History:  March 5, 2008 -  "SharePoint By Day, SharePint by Night" - 2nd SharePint happened during the SharePoint Conference 2008 in Seattle.  It was hosted by Bob Fox and Andrew Connell and was held at Kells Irish Pub.  It was a great night and this concept took off from there.  From then notifications about SharePint events were from AC's and other SharePoint MVP blogs.  With the dawn of Twitter and Facebook, the #sharepint hashtag took off and there are now SharePint events being held in and around hundreds of  high-tech conferences and trade shows all over the world.  Joel Oleson recaps that second SharePint event.

 Twitter - Search on #sharepint in and around an high-tech event near you….

Hope this helps those of you who are planning a SharePint!



Head Maven,


Kogi Where Tweetin Meets Eatin - Tablesmackin via @whereLA


Video maven, Allison and I were walking up to the Golden Gopher (my favorite downtown LA faux-dive) one night to check it out for a potential after party place about two years ago and we were not thrilled that there seemed to be a line out the door on a weeknight.  We soon discovered it wasn’t for the bar, but for the Kogi BBQ truck parked outside. At this point Kogi was still a brand new concept and was funny to see Louboutins and Manolos in line for it that night. Kogi is still all the rage and the way you find out where they are is to follow them on Twitter.  @kogibbq or their website -  Kinda reminds me of my favorite street meat in NYC (Halal on 52/53rd and 6th Ave), I've stood in the rain and snow for that myself. Props to @WhereLA Magazine Editor Katie McCarthy who coined "Tweeting meets eating" - for this month's Where Magazine (my bible when I come to any city) the article is all about food trucks and curbside eating and is great.

Kogi is damn awful good and definitely part of the zeitgeist of LA, along with tons of other fun, quirky purveyors, I'll let you know where we end up this week and who we try....

What are your favorite street vendors or trucks... in any city - love to know!

Happy Late Night Curbside Eating y'all!

Mavens on the Town in NOLA
Mavens on the Town in NOLA

About Heather Newman, Owner & Head Maven, Creative Maven Inc.

@creativemavens, @heddanewman

Favorite New York Dives Closing Doors - Stoned Crow

ultraclay dot com - breaks the news of the closing of one of my favorite New York Dive Bars, The Stoned Crow.  I was first taken here by dear friends Joe & Darlene about six years ago.  Ever since, I've taken many clients, friends and even New Yorkers here for the great burgers and colorful clientele.  I had a long talk with Betty, the owner last time I was in town -  per usual she was holding court with her fire engine red hair in a little cubby closet before you went into the dining room.  I make it a point to stop in every time I go to NYC.  I didn't make my Winter trip this year, so I'll have to say goodbye from afar.  Best Dive in NYC

ultraclay dot com gives a lovely tribute... check it out

gothamist gets to the nitty gritty - should have known it was a rent hike... boohiss!