A laid-back beer/winery in Ballard

Though sadly not the coziest of all the rooms John Hammond grows dinosaurs in, The Amber Den is still cozy, and what it lacks in raptors and other things that don't like Newman from Seinfeld, it makes up for in mostly local beer and wine served up in a laid-back, accessible manner. Embrace decidedly non-Jurassic perks like:

The Space: Wine-colored walls add warmth to the bar-height-table-strewn dining room and lounge (which'll likely become a retail area down the road), or opt to take your business upstairs thanks to a mezzanine fenced off with iron rails, also what Denis Thatcher told his buddies after his first dalliance with Margaret.

Small Plates: Repeat edgy jokes about the former British Prime Minister and her husband doing it while sampling pairing-appropriate eats like shredded, braised short ribs in Pinot sauce on a fried polenta round, garlic shrimp w/ chorizo, and honey harissa-glazed beef/lamb meatballs.

Beer & Wine on Tap: In addition to standard by-the-bottle stuff, they do local drafts (the Belgian-style Snoqualmie Spring Fever, Chuckanut's ALT), and wines, like Row to Hoe's Pinot Noir, and a Walla Walla Bordeaux blend from Proletariat, whose lack of access to quality education makes it harder for them to produce many Clever Girls.