Friday night bites: Scratch, Evviva | Arts & Appetite

By Maria Montalvo | Jan 12, 2018
Courtesy of: Maria Montalvo A sampling of the goods at Scratch Distillery in Edmonds.

On a typical Friday night, a long week of work is enough to make me want to put on my jammies and binge-watch Netflix. But it is also the beginning of the weekend, so I chastise myself that we cannot just do nothing.

Lucky for me, Edmonds offers a perfect way to balance the urge to get out into our exciting food and drink scene and get some downtime: Scratch Distillery and Evviva Woodfired Pizza.

Kim and Bryan Karrick opened Scratch, a beautiful distillery/tasting room/homage to gin and all things spirits, just over two and a half years ago. They share a love for creating spirits and cocktails with finesse and care from fresh, local ingredients. Scratch lives by its tagline: “Gin equals love.”

When you walk into Scratch, located at Salish Crossing by the ferry, you enter the tasting room, a bright and welcoming space, to sample the wide range of spirits made right here in Edmonds and a retail area for anything you will need for the perfect Scratch cocktail.

Beyond the floor-to-ceiling glass walls, visitors can marvel at the stunning Kothe distilling machinery, imported from Germany.

Scratch patrons can also sit at the bar and choose from a selection of unique cocktails and a “tasting” menu of their spirits. Spirits, and gin especially, are developed from intricate combinations of botanicals added to a base spirit, and Scratch has perfected the classics, as well as versions with unique blends of herbs, fruits and spices.

Can you imagine a fresh pepper vodka with Serrano and red Fresno chiles, green jalapeño and pink black pepper corns (or as they are known in the biz, teli-cherries)? The Scratch Pepper Vodka is delightfully smooth and highlights the flavor and heat of the chiles, while the Barrel-Finished Pepper Vodka (aged in new oak barrels for five weeks) transforms the spice to smoke.

Kim recommended using either of these to create cocktails with pear juice or ginger to highlight the heat, or for an exceptional dirty martini or Bloody Mary. The expert Scratch team created a remarkable cocktail with the barrel-finished version with a splash of lemon tonic and a simple syrup reduction made from grapefruit sculpin (that’s beer for the uninitiated like me).

Try it to understand how lovely it is, since I cannot adequately describe it.

Soon after we began our tasting, we made a quick call to Evviva pizza, just around the corner, and placed a to-go order for two pizzas. Kim sent us on our way with a recommendation for a bottle of the wheat vodka to complement the pizza.

Russ, who we had chatted with at the beautiful bar in the tasting room, said it best: “I just texted my wife that I am headed home with Scratch.”

Evviva has been on my favorites list since it opened in Edmonds (they have a location here and one in Queen Anne) because of its traditional Neapolitan pizza. They use ingredients that are organic or all natural, and mostly imported in order to not “compromise the authenticity” of their outstanding pies.

In their wood-fired oven, pizzas are cooked with apple wood from Eastern Washington, and the crusts are always the right combination of crusty and chewy.

As an East Coaster, I have always preferred my pizza the same way – with cheese and pizza sauce, as it should be – and Evviva’s cheese pizza with San Marzano tomato sauce and mozzarella is exceptional. But it was another Evviva pizza, the Potato/Pancetta, which brought about enlightenment.

The crispy pancetta with the thin slices of Yukon gold potato combine marvelously with fior de latte mozzarella, olive oil and caramelized onions. It is a work of art.

Although you can eat in at Evviva and choose from a selection of microbrews or a variety of wines, this Friday we were taking it home to enjoy with our Scratch vodka. We ended up watching a movie we had heard much about: “Get Out,” a sort of intellectual horror flick, pretty darn good, and an episode of “Top Chef.”

Our Friday night could not have been more relaxing or tastier.

Scratch Distillery is at 190 Sunset Ave. S and is open daily. Thursday through Sunday afternoons and evenings, check for tasting and distilling calendars and schedule for their enlightening and entertaining giniology classes).

Evviva Pizza, at 178 Sunset Ave. S, is open 4-9 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.08 p.m. Sunday.

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