One night in Seattle: Black Bottle, Palace Kitchen, Purple Cafe Wine Bar, or ?
Hi everyone...my wife and I always enjoy eating out in Seattle in our visits down from Vancouver. We will be there next week and are looking to try somewhere we haven't been. We're looking for a not too quiet atmosphere but good food and wines by the glass. In my searches, I have come across Black Bottle, Palace Kitchen, and the Purple Cafe Wine Bar. Any thoughts on these anyone? Of course, I also saw the three course menu for Cascadia as well, but it doesn't seem a favourite on this board?
Thanks in advance for your advice everyone!
Black Bottle has gone severely off the rails. The food has deteriorated markedly, and the service is absolutely atrocious - I don't think I've experienced worse 'tude from a server in Seattle than I have the last 2 times I've been to BB. I'll put up with crap service to a certain degree if the food is really extraordinary, but BB doesn't meet that bar.
I'd been coming to this place since the month it opened, but they clearly don't need my business any more. It seems there's no shortage of Belltownies willing to be abused.
If you haven't been to Palace Kitchen before, go.
I second the recommendation for Union.
I seem to remember their selections by the glass or 375ml were quite extensive and well-priced. The food is fantastic - stylistically, it's more like the cuisine you'd find in San Francisco or New York, but made with fresh, local ingredients. We had a pork belly course that was out of this world. The atmosphere also strikes that nice balance between casual-fun and elegant that makes it a great evening out for people who are serious about food & wine, but eschew the formality that typically comes at a "fine dining" restaurant.
CC, I second the recommendation on the Palace Kitchen. For your second evening, Matt's is too small to linger after your meal. (They need to turn those tables to stay in business.) If you want to linger, sip some wine and nosh, the Pink Door is well suited. You might also consider the upstairs bar at Maximillien's At The Market. The mussels are incredible and the atmosphere is laid back.
I still like Black Bottle quite a lot, although I don't go as frequently as when it first opened. My last visit was last week and they have a few new menu items that I enjoyed (in particular, an excellent mahi mahi ceviche). That said, I avoid going if it's a weekend -- it's a great place to go Sunday - Tuesday, otherwise it's mobbed. I also think you get very good value on wines by the bottle and by the glass.
In the interests of full disclosure, my boyfriend is a saute chef there, but I often don't tell him I'm there until after I've ordered or eaten b/c I don't want to disturb him when the restaurant is busy, so I don't always get "special treatment." (And I'm enough of a food freak that I don't think I'm biased in the restaurant's favor simply because he works there.) I also haven't had problems with the service, and there's enough turnover that most of the servers don't know me.
I do like the patio at Pink Door but I'm not crazy about the food, and I find it overpriced.
Re Purple -- I've heard they have a half-price wine night (Sunday I think) and that they do nice Napa-style wood-fired pizzas and apps, but that otherwise the food isn't particularly memorable.
You may do well at Harvest Vine, if you haven't already tried it. A nice wine list, excellent Basque tapas (try the blood sausage), and not too quiet.
My last attempt at going to BB was on a Tuesday night. There was no line and I counted at least 2 empty 2-tops. We walked in and even though the front-of-house was full of staff it took 5 minutes before anyone even acknowledged our presence. Finally we were asked "have you been helped?" No, not yet. "OK" <server walks off without another word, never to return>.
My wife and I were dumbstruck, but waited quietly for another few minutes just in case this waitron was fetching someone to seat us - but no such luck. We turned on our heels and left at that, and pretty much vowed never to return without a damn good reason.