While The Wandering Goose and Rione XIII have shared the spotlight as the new kids on the block, Capitol Hill’s 20-year-old Coastal Kitchen also sports that “new car smell” after undergoing a four-week remodel. Changes include a new marble-topped oyster bar, mahogany cocktail bar, bamboo flooring, and a sidewalk patio with garage doors off the cocktail bar. Also a new executive chef: Jason Jones, formerly of Urbane and The Herbfarm. Our Hanna Raskin recently gave her review, pointing out some deals on the daytime menu.
I believe Coastal Kitchen is an ideal place for a leisurely lunch. Sandwich selection includes a few po’ boys, a Dungeness melt, and one of tuna salad. But I had my eye on the bottom of the sandwich list: the “L.G.B.T.” As the menu reads: “The BLT finally acclimates to life on Capitol Hill. Lettuce, gruyere cheese, bacon and tomato, garlic mayo. On sourdough or multi-grain bread.”
So what does Coastal Kitchen’s L.G.B.T. teach us about sex?
It’s all about serving–and being served–with pride.
The last line in that L.G.B.T. sandwich description: “Served with fries and pride.” Oh, I like fries. But pride is even better, and it’s timely.
January is inauguration season in the United States, with Barack Obama’s festivities held this week. A slow but steady supporter of gay rights, recall that Newsweek heralded Obama as “the first gay president” last year.
As he begins his second term, Obama will continue working with a rather contentious Congress. The Senate situation would have been tougher, but Republicans lost two expected seats because Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock talked of “legitimate rape” and the like. To prevent similar problems, House Republicans took “sensitivity training” at a retreat last week, with a Republican pollster advising that “Rape is a four letter word — don’t say it.”
Republicans will have to work with a newly inaugurated Congress that is growing in diversity. The Senate now includes its first out lesbian: Tammy Baldwin, from Wisconsin. Meanwhile, the House has six new openly gay and lesbian legislators: incumbents Jared Polis (D-Colorado) and David Cicilline (D-Rhode Island), and newcomers Sean Patrick Maloney (D-New York), Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin), Mark Takano (D-California), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona)–who happens to be the first out bisexual person in Congress. They are all serving with pride.
(The only gay congressional candidate to lose an election this past November was Massachusetts Republican Richard Tisei, who was narrowly defeated by pro-gay Democratic Representative John Tierney.)
With Pew Research showing increasing acceptance among Americans (49% to 40% at the time of the election) for gay men and lesbians to marry legally, and following approval of same-sex marriage ballot measures in Maine, Maryland, and here in Washington (and rejection of a ban on same-sex marriage in Minnesota), it’s clear that Congress’ customers–just like Coastal Kitchen’s–want to be served with pride. And perhaps a side of fries.
First published in Seattle Weekly’s Voracious on January 24, 2013.