When Wes Yoo took over as owner of The Gerald last summer, he gave the space and menu a significant overhaul. Updates include a more robust food program, brighter interior decor, and seasonal changes to the extensive cocktail list that’s worth checking out.
Stepping off of busy Ballard Avenue and into The Gerald, there was a sense of playful welcome and an everyone is family here vibe. Yoo was helping out in the kitchen, and bar manager, Katie Frazier greeted us at the door.
We took a seat at the bar to admire the 500+ bottles The Gerald boasts from local distilleries and around the world, along with over 50 bitters, several of them made in house. I love a good cocktail, but when it comes to knowing what I like, I’m lost. I told Frasier that I don’t like scotch or “herbal-y” drinks (whatever that means), and somehow she was able to take what little direction I provided and make me one of the most delicious cocktails I’ve ever had.
While my dining partner and I sipped on the Clarified Trinidad Sour and Elijah’s Whiskers cocktails–both hitting exactly what we were looking for in a drink–we chatted with Yoo about his inspiration behind the updated menu.
Yoo shared that he “wants to do things right, but also have fun”, and this is the best way to describe the menu. Boasting offerings that make you do a double-take, like the Chicken and Funnel Cake with buttermilk fried chicken, rosemary butter, maple funnel cake, crispy bacon bits, and arugula tomato salad, Yoo’s menu takes classics and adds a spin.
Of all the food we tried that night, two dishes rose to the top: the Crispy Cheese Curds and the PJ&B Grilled Cheese. The Crispy Cheese Curds included, beer battered cheese curds, crispy bacon bits, honey sriracha, almond cilantro gremolata, and charred lemon. I haven’t had cheese curds this good since the Minnesota State Fair–and for all my Minnesotans out there, you know that is saying something!
The PJ&B Grilled Cheese was a fun twist on your classic PB&J, including pancetta jam, brie, Swiss cheese, arugula, tomato, caramelized onions, and a balsamic reduction. I honestly did not expect to like the PJ&B, but the combination of flavors and the crispiness of the toast made it a standout.
We rounded out the night with Boozy Milk and Cookies. This playful take on a classic dessert included a Milk Punch with Jamaican rum, bourbon, milk, maple syrup, ancho reyes, and cinnamon, and was served with two Brown Butter Chocolate Chip and Sea Salt Cookies.
The Gerald is is open Monday through Thursday 4:00 pm to midnight, Friday and Saturday from 4:00 pm to 2:00 am, and Sundays 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. Happy hour is offered daily from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and Monday through Thursday 10:00 pm to close.
The Gerald | 5210 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle | (206) 432-9280