It’s 6pm on a Wednesday, and you need to pry yourself out of the office before hysteria sets in. You know that you should probably eat something, because you only had three cashews and some black cold brew for lunch while BSing that analytics report. But you still have more to do - and you’re starting to suspect that the 40-hour workweek only ever existed in fairy tales.
Here’s the good news: provided you work in the general area where Belltown and Downtown meet, 2120 is your spot. For a work dinner of any kind, this upscale American restaurant is ideal. The food, for the most part, is very good, so whether you’re treating yourself and your laptop to dinner at the bar (don’t take this too far and pour wine into the keyboard), hosting a client meeting, or having out-of-the-office drinks with the rest of your team, this is a good place to do it. If you can get the huge bowl of sangria punch with floating edible flowers and pay for it with your corporate card, so much the better.
2120’s menu ranges from small plates like tostadas and manchego mac and cheese to larger ones like pasta or seared fish. Most of the dishes here are going to make you pretty happy, as long as you don’t mind parting with a not-insignificant amount of money for them. We especially like the pappardelle with tomato, chives, clams, guanciale, and a kick of spice, and the braised lamb shank with polenta, chimichurri, and a delicious pan sauce we’d happily eat with a spoon. Not everything is a hit - the burger, for example, has lackluster toppings and soggy fries, and the pork belly starter is forgettable. But if you avoid those things, you can expect to have a good meal.
The fact that this place is on the ground floor of the Day 1 Amazon building makes it especially convenient if you work there or the general vicinity (it’s a five-minute walk from most of downtown, so there’s a solid chance that you do). It’s a little dark inside, but there are large windows to help you remember the outside world exists. Plus, there’s lots of room both at the U-shaped bar and in the main dining room, so you won’t have to worry about being able to get in. Perfect for an easy but nice weeknight meal.
No matter why you’re having a work dinner, 2120 is a fitting place for it. So whether you’re totally alone, with just those deadline-reminder calendar pings to keep you company - or with your office building’s entire 14th floor celebrating Tamara’s promotion that you’re definitely not seethingly jealous of - try to focus on having a good time, eating some good food, and coming up with an excuse to get back here for another punch bowl ASAP.
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Seasonal Punch Bowl
Pretty and delicious. Get this.
An upstanding but mostly forgettable starter. Tender pork belly, a white sweet potato puree, cranberry, and bacon-y collard greens. There’s some kind of Thanksgiving thing going on here, but we don’t fully buy it. The sweet potatoes are underwhelming and the flavors on the belly are a little muted. The collard greens, though, we could eat all day.
This dish takes all the best things you can do to brussels sprouts - frying them, adding bacon, and coating them in a deliciously tangy dressing - and combines them into one appetizer. It’s a little oily, but hey, you’re eating something green.
Roasted cauliflower in a bowl with yogurt, mint, golden raisins, almonds, pickled shallot, parsley, and honey. You definitely want this.
Mac And Cheese
Manchego gives the well-cooked cavatappi pasta some sharpness, and the duck fat croutons on top taste great (even though there aren’t enough of them). If you’re a mac and cheese person, this is a good version to add to your repertoire. It just needs a tiny bit of salt.
We love burgers. We do not love this one, and we’re sad about it. The meat itself is high-quality and has an awesome grilled flavor, but topping it with bland manchego, pickled pepper relish, limp arugula, and a bit of aioli isn’t doing the patty justice (nor is the untoasted brioche bun). The fries also range from kind of soggy to very soggy. It hurts to say this, but skip the burger.
photo credit: Justin Carney
Pappardelle With Clams
This plate of carbs is a game-changer. Al dente sheets of pasta in a light tomato sauce, with guanciale and the tiniest kick of spice. Plus clams. It really works.
You might be looking to go the Nice Piece Of Fish route. In that case, the salmon is for you. We’ve seen it with fregola sarda and salsa verde, and we’ve also seen it with French lentils, but it’s always an excellent choice.
If a traditional braised short rib is the cool kid on the block, this lamb shank with grana padano polenta, chimichurri, and broccolini is the new dude that strolls into town like a badass, pulls the lone cigarette out of braised short rib’s mouth, and flicks it away as embers scatter everywhere. And then starts a street fight. And wins. And then gets the girl. That’s all you need to know. Order it now.