TOO MANY MARTINIS In the beginning, there was the martini: gin, dry vermouth, two olives, shaken. Sometime in the '50s, gin's more feminine sibling, vodka,


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TOO MANY MARTINIS In the beginning, there was the martini: gin, dry vermouth, two olives, shaken. Sometime in the '50s, gin's more feminine sibling, vodka, started nudging its way onto the dance floor. The total devolution of the "classic martini" followed, leading in short order to drinks like the Mexican martini (tequila, lime juice, Cointreau, and olives) and the bloody martini (a punched-up version of the original morning-after drink). That drops us right at the front door of Tini Bigs, the posh lower Queen Anne bar with a menu of two dozen "martinis," only five of which contain any gin at all. At a recent tasting of new candidates for the lineup, some were so high-concept they required interpretation, like the "save our planet" martini (vodka, "covered with a lush pour of Midori, Blue Curacao for the sky, with a maraschino cherry as the planet." (Which planet? Mars?) Others were more down to Earth. Favorites: the Banshee (vodka, 160-proof Strohs rum, and Rumplemintz) and the praline (vodka, praline liqueur, and sweet cream). If your tastes are more straitlaced, they have the classic version, too; all are served in a 10-ounce glass, which helps justify the $8 price tag. CASSIS TO SPAWN? Jeff Fikes, proprietor of the popular north Capitol Hill bistro Cassis, is celebrating his restaurant's fifth birthday in a novel way—by floating a rumor that he's about to open a similar venture in another part of town. While we're waiting for Fikes to drop the other shoe, we invite interested readers to drop us the customary 25-words-or-less explaining why your neighborhood should be the next to be blessed with easy access to the most glorious fish soup and French fries around. TAMALES IN MOTION West Seattle was always a strange venue for the Franco-Hispanic cuisine Steve Rizzo and John Griego favored at their restaurant Les Tamales. Now the pair has pulled up stakes and flown off to a friendlier—and sunnier—clime: Palm Springs, Calif. While introducing what they call "Ay-Ai-Ai meets Ooh-La-La" cuisine to the osteoporosis capital of the Western hemisphere, Griego and Rizzo will continue to operate their spin-off, Deux Tamales, in Columbia City, while ex-Market Street Grill chef and co-owners Eddie Montoya and Ellie and Shing Chin reopen the former Les as Ovio Bistro. All clear? We thought so. TOO GOOD TO IGNORE So it's sponsored by a competitor. We at Seattle Weekly are big enough to recognize a good thing. And $25 prix-fixe dinners, offered by 25 of Seattle's top restaurants, are a good thing, indeed.(They'll serve prix-fixe lunches for $12.50, too.) Prices don't include drinks, but all meals are three courses, served Sunday through Thursday throughout November. Participating restaurants are Andaluca, Assaggio, Barking Frog, Brasa, Canlis, Cascadia, Earth & Ocean, Etta's, Fandango, Flying Fish, Hunt Club, Kaspar's, Market Street, Nell's, Nishino, Ponti Seafood Grill, Ray's Boathouse, Restaurant Zo묠727 Pine, Szmania's, Tulio, Vivanda, Waterfront, Wild Ginger, and Yarrow Bay Grill. Food and/or beverage news? E-mail Hot Dish at

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