Comfortable high-backed leather chairs, an oversized chalkboard with a rotating list of potent potables, and steampunk-cool swiveling chairs set against the curved metal-topped bar greet the eye as one enters LOT No. 3 – the new kid to step into Downtown Bellevue’s arena of restaurant offerings. What makes this place unique from its urban-chic counterparts is a relaxed, smartly-casual atmosphere reflecting its modern day speakeasy concept. No blaring pop music or television, no slick modern décor; their rough-hewn metal tables are decorated with mismatched mason jars set aglow with candles, inviting people to sit for a spell with a classic cocktail and familiar flavors of home.
LOT No. 3 is split into 2 levels – a high wall of exposed brick is the backdrop for the open dining and bar area, and then an upstairs floor has more booths and clusters of cozy seating near the railing. Their chalkboard displays the night’s drink specials and beers on tap. The cocktail menu includes drinks dating as far back as before the Prohibition Era, and the featured specials are often vintage recipes like The Blinker, a sweet mix of rye, fresh grapefruit juice, and house-made raspberry syrup. They boldly offer a Make Your Own Manhattan menu, with the choice of different ryes and bourbons, along with a selection of bitters, ranging from the traditional Angostura, to the more exotic chocolate bitters from Scrappy’s. Their drinks are poured in vintage glasses collected from secondhand stores, so there’s never a guess over whose drink it is when you’re sitting at the bar, which really is the best seat in the house. Their bartenders are as masterful with pouring drinks as they are with the history of beer and spirits – pull up a barstool and have the bartender pick your poison, as you most assuredly will learn something new.
The menu has a variety of small bites and entrees that encourage sharing. The food compliments their beer and drink menu, with rich, slow-cooked entrees or bready snacks that pair nicely with either the sharp flavor of a Belgian beer or the sweet warmth of a 6-year-old rye. LOT No. 3’s cuisine is pub-fare-gone-gourmet, with familiar choices like sliders or a hot dog with all the fixings, but upgraded with touches like fresh-baked buns or a slider full of rich duck confit. Because their kitchen has a hands-on attitude with their food, simple items like a fresh-made pretzel become elevated with artisan textures and flavors coming out of something that took weeks to develop and perfect. There’s an overall undercurrent of making food look like food again; no formality of meals shaped into geometric cylinders or artful stackings on plates, instead turning the focus back to quality ingredients by making as much under their own roof as possible and sourcing locally – they offer the delicacy of cured meats by Salumi, saving one the time of waiting 2 hours in Seattle for one of the highly-coveted sandwiches. Their menu also has a wry sense of humor, with notable indulgences like their Plate O’ Bacon – literally a dish of thick-cut bacon, but a mix of savory smoky and candied slices, and they also have a PB&J, but instead of the soggy, crushed victim of middle school cafeterias, this one has peanut butter, jelly, and smoky bacon between slices of their fresh, tart sourdough bread.
Plan on Lot No. 3 being a new favorite evening hangout, as it’s open from 4pm – 2am on Tuesdays through Saturdays and open until 12am on Sundays and Mondays. Their happy hour is from 4pm – 6pm and they have one of the few late-night menus, offering food as late as 1am. It’s located next to Purple Café and Wine Bar, with parking available in the Bellevue Towers parking garage (4-hr validation available). After 5pm, the Key Bank parking lot on 4th Street is also available.
LOT No. 3
460 106th Ave NE
For reservations call: 425.440.0025