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Jan 15, 2007 05:22 PM

Campagne - Impressions

Took my hubby for a birthday dinner at Campagne. We just moved here from San Fran, so we were excited to try a new place, and add it to our list of fav's in Seattle. Also, they are having a $20, 2-course duck special this month, so we thought it was a good deal.
We got there at around 8pm, place was half full. The hostess seemed like she was having a bad day, and was in a bad mood. They knew it was a birthday dinner, so I thought it was strange that she didn't give us the one table with the view, and seated us against the wall. It was nice that we had the privacy, but it would have been nicer had they offered us a better table. It's that extra touch that makes me feel special, but I tried not to let it get to me. When we were about to leave, I actually asked the hostess why she didn't seat us at the table with the view, considering she knew it was a birthday dinner, she claimed that the table was already taken, so that next time, I should call in advance to reserve it. When I told her no one had been sitting there all night, she accused me, that I was in fact mistaken. Wow. I don't think I have ever had a nastier hostess, or at least one that was just so rude and defensive to a customer. After our nice dinner, that was just such a sour ending.
Anyway, the entrees were good, but not spectacular. The first course with the duck egg on top of a bed of spinach and mushrooms seemed bland, but the presentation made up for it. The duck consomee was good, but I didn't love it. The main course, the shredded duck was really nice, and I would actually go back for that. The dessert was good, but again, nothing spectacular. I don't know how this place got rated best in Seattle for 2005, as I'm sure there are better places. I'm happy I tried it, as it was a really good birthday dinner, and more importantly, my husband enjoyed it. Oh, and as for the service, it was wonderful, and our waiter was excellent.

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    1. re: dagrassroots

      It was rated as top 40 by Zagat. Sorry - should have been more clear about that. Just surprised it got a top rating for romantic.

      1. re: dagrassroots

        for some reason, i like cafe campagne a little more than campagne. it just seems more intimate/romantic to me. and i think the prices are better as well. :o)

        1. re: soypower

          Oh yes.
          I/we have never been to Campagne, but had a delightful experience of Cafe Campagne last summer, for brunch one Sunday. The Frenchness was subdued (but still very French) and the Pike Marketness was undiluted, and we were attended, attentively, by a delightful waiter, who offered when asked, and kindly, but not when not. Intimacy was intrinsic, and the quiet bustle of the barmaid, and the bar, oddly, made it even more so. There is no formula for romance, but Cafe Campagne makes a great first ingredient.

          Across the street is Maximilien which provides (upstairs) a good view of Puget sound, a great bowl of mussels, and other Frenchy goodies (though you can keep the escargot, which are too close to slugs for this native).

          The peak of romantic experience in my (our) own life has been Cafe Besalu, where we pushed that ball down the hill toward the happy union we share this day.
          We sat, leisurely, in a sunny morning, enjoying James' fabulous pastries, and chanced to spend a half-hour or so in company of a passing friend, Then we spent another half-hour or so in the morning sun, over Cafe Vita and more pastry. I have never told James that the enjoyment of his pastry was the matrix in which our love became cemented, but I now plan to take care of this important detal asap.

          Thanks for the question.

          Oh yes.

      2. Not surprised, but oh so sorry that your experience was not spectacular there. There is another posting that echos the averageness of Campagne and its sister Cafe C. Have faith, there are some great restaurants in Seattle. I speak as a NW native who lives in SF and has enjoyed the best of both.