Local Restaurants: Hilltop Kitchen brings Latin-inspired craft cocktails to Tacoma

Chris Keil attracted a loyal following during his time at 1022 South, and his latest venture, created in collaboration with business partner Matthew Schweitzer, will not disappoint fans of a quality craft cocktail.

Hilltop Kitchen is located at 913 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, in the space formerly operated by The Tempest, and features a full menu of Latin-inspired cuisine and beverages with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients.

Keil and Schweitzer transformed the space into a sleek, sophisticated lounge with tables and finishes made of reclaimed materials. Now open for lunch, it’s a great place to enjoy a quick bite or check out a unique seasonal cocktail.

Many cocktails on the menu feature mescal, a distilled agave-based spirit with a spicy, smoky flavor. Cocktails, priced at $10 apiece, feature high-quality ingredients right down to the hand carved ice cubes. “We treat ice like any other ingredient,” Keil said.

Schweitzer, who brings extensive experience in the kitchen to the table, says they both take a culinary approach to the menu, from the small plates and entrees to the cocktails. “We were excited to go into business together because our values are similarly aligned,” Schweitzer said. “We both work hard not to jeopardize quality and we take a lot of pride in our local sourcing.”

Expect a new seasonal menu to be released within the next week or so, featuring fall flavors, local ingredients and heartier menu offerings. “It’s important to us to try and keep as much money in the community as we can,” Keil added.

Check the Hilltop Kitchen Facebook page for information about upcoming events and promotions.

Happy hour takes place every day from 3-7 p.m. featuring $6 cocktails such as the Old Fashioned (bourbon, saffron/cardamom bitters, orange oil, served on the rocks), Lavender (vodka, lemon, coconut, lavender, served up), Liza Island (vodka, vanilla/lime cordial, orange juice, ginger beer served over ice), and more. Happy hour also includes house wine for $4, select draft beer and well drinks for $3.

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