Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Bowling Good Time.

It's official! For all those hipsters, bowlers and nightlife enthusiasts, Garage has expanded its unique brand of entertainment.

The expansion replaces the former, adjacent parking lot, and includes two large, artfully designed lounges, the Star Lounge and Echo Room; six bowling lanes, two pool tables and two bars totaling 20,000 more square feet.

Head in any time. The additional lanes and bars should mean decreased wait times.

Oh, and some inside scoop... One of the owners, Jill, designed the brand spanking new lounges. And her artwork hangs throughout. Go forth and bowl.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bacon in my Bourbon?

Now that Tini Bigs has welcomed nationally renowned mixologist Jamie Boudreau it is time to expand my cocktail palate. I have never been shy about trying new and cutting edge flavors, but with a new menu boasting cocktails with bacon infused bourbon and red wine vinegar, I admit- I was skeptical. But wow, did it blow me out of the water. This man, mixologist, mad scientist has created a catalogue of innovative AND delicious prohibition era cocktails that will literally delight everyone. Check out Tini Bigs website at to hear about new and hip happenings at the swanky lounge.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

An Evening at Troiani Ristorante Italiano

If there is one thing I have learned while being at Randall PR, it's how many fantastic restaurants there are in the Seattle area. As noted in my last entry, I simply adore eating out and discovering new restaurants. After a long day at the office one Monday, Krista Koster and I decided to treat ourselves to a happy hour at Troiani Ristorante Italiano.

We had heard fantastic things about Troiani's happy hour and the restaurant is a mere three blocks from our office in downtown Seattle, so this seemed like a natural choice. After each ordering a glass of pinot noir and sorting through our dinner choices, we settled on splitting Beef Tenderloin Tips, the Grilled Chicken Burger and of course, French Fried Potatoes sprinkled with truffle oil. To sum it up, the experience was quite heavenly. And since we decided to indulge during happy hour, our pocketbooks were pleased as well.

Since our happy hour excursion was a great success, we have set our sights on icon Grill for our next night out. Because let's be honest, their Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese has been ingrained in our mind since their 10th Birthday Party in August!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

First Week at Randall PR

As the newest addition to the Randall PR team, I must say my first week started out with a bang! Day one on the job included our quarterly planning meeting. Sounds boring, right? Here’s the catch; Lori kicks off every quarterly meeting with wine education. I was a little unsure about putting a blindfold on, but hey, everyone else was doing it. With minimal wine education, I am please to say I identified the corked wine as, “super-tart, little like eating Skittles while drinking lemonade. EWW!”

By the second day, I found myself at icon Grill’s 10 year anniversary celebration. When I walked in, I was greeted by chef Nick Musser. Maybe I’ve watched too many episodes of Iron Chef, but I always thought of chefs as the strong silent type. Not Nick, he was very friendly and made me feel right at home. It was great to see so many people there to support icon Grill’s decade of success and of course, chef Nick.

You're invited to join in the fun! Just sign up for the party list and you’ll be looped-in on all sorts of exciting special events!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

rian men's Spring/Summer 2009 Line Debut

Congratulations Rian and Julie Berry for the fantastic launch party at Corio in New York City. Click here to see a short clip with all the excitement.

10 Years & Favorite Martinis.

icon Grill celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year... actually, this month they celebrated their 10th year!

Chef Nick Musser's "aroused Americana" has kept Seattle-ites hungry for more... not a small feat considering the ever-changing food scene. But there is something different about icon that keeps us coming back. Chef Nick's genuine, charismatic charm... Those fried macaroni and cheese bites... All that glass art... Likely, its something different for everyone.

Stop by right now to make your contribution to their legacy... throughout the month of September, amateur mixologists have the opportunity to enter in icon Grill's martini contest. One customer submitted martini from icon Grill (and sister-restaurant, Zephyr Grill & Bar in Kent) will be added to the menu. Winners will also be treated to a martini dinner later this fall.

Stop by and enter. Your favorite drink might soon become truly iconic.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Seattle Wine Awards

Congratulations Tsillan Cellars, Olsen Estates and Northwest Cellars for their multiple wins at the Seattle Wine Awards! The awards tasting event was at the Ranier Club this year and featured some of the state's top wineries pouring incredible wines. It was a beautiful sunny day and was a delicious way to spend a Sunday afternoon. For more information about the Seattle Wine Awards, visit

Friday, June 20, 2008

That's what I call educational.

With so many wines on the market, many young wine lovers can be easily confused. How is a newly enchanted oenophile to know if a wine has a subtle nose, or if it suffers from an awkward structure?

Substance is the result of a collaboration between hip, young wine entrepreneurs Jason Huntley, Jamie Brown and Greg Harrington, MS. They came together to create an educational label that would be distinctively Washington State and varietally correct.

The accompanying website is insanely addictive--mirroring the periodic table of elements (just as the wines' labels do).

I recommend a highly disciplined approach to this particular field of study. If only college chem had been this much fun.

Friday, May 16, 2008

So many wine events, so little time . . .

Next week, the Culinary & Wine Showcase returns to Bellevue to unite local restaurants with wine- and food-lovers. Now in its second year, the calendar of events has really expanded, with something happening every day from Monday, May 26 through Sunday, June 1.

Highlights include a wine tasting featuring the 2008 Seattle Magazine Washington Wine Award winners paired with bites from Bellevue Collection restaurants, with Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein in attendance.

And, during the week local restaurants such as 0/8 Seafood Grill and Maggiano's Little Italy will be hosting wine dinners featuring Washington wineries.

New this year is the 'Bite & Flight Passport' - an amazing deal, it costs just $25 and lets the passport holder try bites of food paired with tastes of wine at seven local Bellevue restaurants!

Between these events and the Washington Wine Highway, I think I'll have had my fill of wine (if that's possible) by Memorial Day!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Yakima Valley Wine Country Visit

My first trip to Yakima Valley wine country was amazing. Not only did I get the opportunity to sample several incredible wines, I also was able to see first hand all the beautiful acres of vineyards of Olsen Estates Winery. It was such an educational trip. I learned about the vines, the terroir and the whole winemaking and bottling process.

For more information about Olsen Estates winery click here.

Monday, April 28, 2008


One of my favorite parts of this job is learning about wine. At our quarterly staff meeting last week, we did a blind tasting. The challenge? To identify the varietal. (As a bonus, one of the wines was flawed and two were different vintages from the same winery. But I am not that good - yet!)

It was an incredibly interesting tasting for several reasons. The varietal was Gewurtzaminer, a type of wine that I haven't had a lot of before. Every time we do this, I am surprised by how much range of flavor a single varietal can produce. In this case, we had everything from acidic fruits to melons to honey to caramel.

We also learned about bottle shock. Unbelievable to think that two bottles of the same wine could taste so different just because one had just been traumatized by the bottling process! It had no flavor and tasted almost like water.

Very educational and also fun. If you don't get to drink at work like I do, I would definitely recommend trying this with friends at a party!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Something that drew me to Randall PR was my love for fine foods and dining out. So after only being on the job one week, I was excited to be able to attend Taste Washington on April 6, 2008. Being very new to Randall PR and the wine community, I was thrilled to have an opportunity to sample wines from all over Washington state. It was also great to meet so many of clients I had been hearing so much about.

But Taste Washington wasn't just about the wine. Some of my favorite encounters included admiring the skillful and intricate artwork of Fresh Northwest Design and indulging in the Raw Sashimi Scallops from 0/8 Seafood Grill. Needless to say, it was not a bad first week on the job.

-Callie, PR Coordinator

Taste Washington 2008

When Olsen Estates asked me to help pour wine at this years Taste Washington, I jumped at the chance. It was my very first Taste Washington, and it didn't disappoint. The event was a great opportunity to sample some of our states best food and wine.

Olsen Estates poured its acclaimed 2006 Olsen Estates Chardonnay and its very first vintage of red wine, the Olsen Estates Rouge des Coteaux.

For more information about Olsen Estates wines click here.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Zephyr Grill & Bar, sister restaurant to Seattle's iconic icon Grill located in Kent Station, received some well-deserved recognition in the latest issue of South Sound Magazine.

To read about Chef Musser, his "Aroused Americana" cuisine and his newest restaurant, click here.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

rian handbags

We would like to welcome rian handbags to RPR. This is especially exciting for us because it represents our desire to offer a more comprehensive cross-section in our specialty niche of “lifestyle” clients. Not to mention we are beyond thrilled about their product.

The quality and thought behind their bag designs is stellar. The men’s messenger bag may be the coolest computer friendly bag we’ve ever seen. Local Bellevue store MARQSMEN and Portland's Michael Allen carry them.

The women’s line is due out later this year! We’ll send out a sneak peak as soon as we can!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Legendary Swirl at El Gaucho

On Tuesday night, El Gaucho Seattle held its third annual wine tasting to celebrate Washington Wine Month. Eighteen wineries offered tastings in the Pampas Room, the live jazz club downstairs from the restaurant. It being the Gaucho, of course, they had the best of the best wineries there, including John Abbott from Abeja; Jay Soloff from DeLille; Trey Busch from Sleight of Hand; Ben Smith from Cadence; and Jarrod Boyle from Alexandria Nicole. We were especially excited to see Jarrod there because we have been working together on Mackay's new proprietary wines. The first one, Mackay Duck Press Red, was blended by the 14 American Court certified sommeliers at Waterfront ( We learned on Tuesday that El Gaucho's staff is studying for certification as well, and are scheduled to take the exam in July.

As it does every year, the event completely sold out! But don't worry if you didn't make it; El Gaucho is a magnum sponsor at this year's Taste Washington, so you can have another chance to taste great Washington wines and sample food from El Gaucho and a whole host of other great restaurants at the Grand Tasting next Sunday!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

2008 Tini Bigs Media Martini Tasting

As always, Tini Bigs really knocked our socks off at this year's media martini tasting. All six of the brand new martini recipes were fantastic- cutting edge, innovative and with unexpected and sometimes unusual ingredients (quinine powder anyone?). It was difficult to pick out my favorite, but I am really liking the Best Damn Gin and Tonic Tini- cool, refreshing and delicious!

Click to see some great pictures from the event and click to visit Tini Bigs website.



Thursday, February 28, 2008

Blind Wine Tasting in Leavenworth

I never knew research could be so much fun until I start working at Randall PR.

During our annual retreat to Leavenworth, WA, Lori decided that it would be a perfect time for us all to freshen-up on our wine tastings skills. While my palette is never out of practice of experiencing wine, it had been at least a year since I had taken the time to really taste wine, to describe its elements and to decipher what type of varietal it might be. And I had never before done a blind tasting, and looking at my co-workers as competition, I was not expecting to win the grand prize.

Each of us brought a bottle of Washington wine under $20, each a different varietal. We sat down with 5 glasses and 6 bottles of wines in front of us, all wrapped in brown paper and numbered 1-6. Before we began, Lori gave us a brief description of each varietal, and I furiously took notes. Next, Lori drew a picture of a tongue and divided it into sections. Each section of your tongue will tell you if a wine has a specific attribute or not, for example, residual sugar is tasted at the very tip and acid on both outer sides. Once we knew we what were looking for, we began tasting.

Two hours and six bottles later, we each revealed what varietal we thought each number was. We also revealed which number was our favorite to sip (this is where I wished I would have stopped talking). We each got a couple right and a couple wrong, but Lori tromped us all, guessing 100% correctly. While I was feeling pretty good about my wine savviness, guessing over 50% correctly, that pride was soon gone when we unveiled my FAVORITE bottle, the wine I said I could drink every single day….let’s just say that a case of this wine would be about the price of one of the other bottles.

An easy way to do some self-instruction about tasting the elements of wine is to open two different bottles and drink them simultaneously. Most people think that they won’t drink both, but by only sipping one at a time, there is no comparison to make. And as the gals of Randal PR learned in Leavenworth, you will always, always drink both bottles!

-Tory Duffy, PR Coordinator