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Brix Wine Cafe - Kirkland/Juanita

I had an excellent dinner last night at Brix Wine Cafe in Juanita Village. The chef hails from Barking Frog, and boy does it show! The food is fantastic. The atmosphere is upscale comfortable with hip music played at a comfortable volume. Our friendly, enthusiastic waitress helped with our food and wine selections. The restaurant is a great alternative to Purple, which I always think I'll like until I have to pull my 800 lb chair away from the table. ugh!

About our Brix meal:

- A fresh bread basket was served with a very green, herby dipping oil which we loved. It required the addition of a bit of salt, which our server brought to our table on request.

- I highly recommend the scallops appetizer of three perfectly seasoned and seared scallops served with a smear of buttery mashed potatoes.

- We also ordered the wild mushroom flatbread as an appetizer, which was tasty, but I would skip that next time for a more flavorful flatbread option, of which they have several.

- The skirtsteak entree was surprisingly tender and cooked perfectly to medium doneness. The steak was almost overshadowed by the amazing potato sidedish of paper-thin potato slices seared with the perfect amount of crunch. Awesome! Also on the plate was a tasty sauted swiss chard.

- I ordered the pappardelle with bolognese ragu sauce when I learned they used fresh (not dried) noodles. The sauce was delicious, but could have been more 'saucy' as it started to dry out toward the end of my meal.

Brix has a huge wine selection, and we enjoyed a wonderful bottle of Shiraz.

Has anybody else had a good experience at Brix? I certainly will be returning very soon before it gets discovered and the wait for the tables gets too long!

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  1. How much $$ did all of this set you back?

    Sounds really tasty and much more interesting than the food at Purple...

    1 Reply
    1. re: CriticalEater

      It wasn't cheap - you're definitely paying for the quality. Our meal for two of 2 appy's, 2 entrees, 1 bottle of wine = $150. If I recall correctly, the wine portion of that tab was $70.

    2. Absolutely LOVE this place!! Brix provides a much needed dimension to the Juanita neighborhood with fabulous, modestly priced, delicious food and wine. We've already been a few times since it opened a 3 weeks ago and can't stop raving about their Crab Mac n Cheese to all our friends! Downtempo & casual atmosphere. Their booths are a bit squeezed in, kinda tight, so we perfer to sit at their bar and drool over their huge wine selection. love it though. so glad its here!

      1. I also was super excited that a new independent, hip wine cafe was coming to Juanita. Tried it the other night and they didn't let me down. Great bottle of Zinfandel & Delicious Crab Mac & Cheese. The Waitstaff was friendly and knowledgeable. Highly recommended.

        1. Made the drive from Duvall for a private 40th Birthday party in their private room. Service was exceptional. The menu was seasonal and wine pairings were perfect. My first thought was - WAY better than Purple. The food was really delicious. We had the cheese starter (the drunken goat was amazing) shrimp skewers, beet and arugula salad with goat cheese, salmon with sweet potato mashers and sauteed arugula. We finished off with a birthday cake filled with passionfruit creme. Their menu and pricing is on their site http://www.brixwinecafe.com/home/
          Give it a try - I'll be going back!

          1 Reply
          1. re: tea_girl

            Had dinner at Purple the other night after i got a $100 gift card there. We had 4 different "tastes" and none of them were good. The tuna tartare was tasteless as was the quail. The hummus wasn't any better than stuff you would get at Trader Joe's. The anchovies weren't bad, but not anything special. Got the mac & cheese with lobster (based on the recommendation from the barteder) and lamb burger for dinner. The mac was tasty to start but then as it cooled, it started to congeal into a nasty mess and I felt queasy about the whole experience. The lamb burger was pretty good as were the yam fries it came with.
            We ended with cheeses, all of which were good and the wines throughout the night were tasty.
            The staff all seem to not like the place. Have a bit of an indifferent attitude. All in all, it's not worth going back to.

          2. We made our second visit there last week and we were even more pleased. They've added a happy hour (Su, Tu, W, & Th 4PM - 6PM), and live Jazz on Sundays 5:30 - 8:30.
            For us the absolute must have items are the Caesar Salad, Scallops, and Bread pudding.

            2 Replies
            1. re: kirkj

              I went to Brix few weeks ago, and had the skirt steak - my first experience with skirt steak (being from New Zealand, where it's not so popular) and I can't say I'd try it again. But that's just my taste, and the potato galette and chard that accompanied it were delicious. My husband had the roast chicken breast, which was delicious, and we had the crab cakes and the mushroom flatbread as appetizers - both nice.

              I'd compare Brix to Pomegranate in Redmond, which I actually prefer.

              1. re: northwestkiwi

                I like the atmosphere at Brix better. Brix has a cozy feel, and Pomegranate is nice but its atmosphere is a bit colder.

            2. We went to Brix 1/29. Experienced terrific service, music wasn't too loud, lights weren't too dim; huge improvement for the eastside scene. We too had the scallop appetizer - absolutely superb. We didn't like the mac and cheese as much as most of you - just seemed to need a bit of salt; its consistency was terrific even after it cooled. I had the pulled pork sandwich. The pork itself was good, however, the bun was too large, untoasted, no sauce or condiments, and it came with freshly julienned red peppers. It would have been much better with some sautéed peppers or onions and a side of sauce (however, I’m by no means a pulled-meat aficionado – so perhaps this is the traditional presentation). The server kept trying to steer me towards their burger - I think I should have taken her up on that! Fried potatoes were crispy and very tasty; side of coleslaw had a great kick to it. I also had their cosmo-like pomegranate drink – a bit too sweet. However, their margarita was spot-on, so much so, I had two. And yes, my dining companion did really enjoy the wines by the glass as well the risotto – it was very flavorful, perfect texture. I’m really looking forward to going back! Keep in mind that there is only two hour parking outside their restaurant. My dining companion got a ticket (however, I didn’t) – we spent 2.5 hours there, leaving at 8:30pm.

              2 Replies
              1. re: chrisganet

                Had dinner here two weekends ago and just wasn't as impressed as everyone else seems to be. Ordered the red wine flight that features local Washington wines and wasn't thrilled with any of the 3 (small) pours. Beet Salad appetizer was okay, not great. My Duck with Gnocchi in Mushroom Broth was nothing spectacular - duck was very salty, but the gnocchi were nice and pillowy. Apple Tart dessert was forgettable except for the way crunchy topping that was umm... way too crunchy! It was like eating sand. Service was good though.

                Anyway, my bottom line was that I hoped that I just ordered incorrectly becuase I did not have the same experience as everyone else.

                1. re: maybelle

                  also went and not as impressed as others. Sent back the crabcakes......'old' crab was used..tasted 'funky'....sent back the arugula salad for other reasons......enjoyed the hard-to-mess-up Antipasto platter.
                  I'll probably give it another try sometime as the wait staff was very accomodating.

              2. The Brix Wine Cafe web site and the menu indicate that the Executive Chef is Craig Stout with no mention of Tom Black from Barking Frog. Was Tom Black involved in putting together the menu perhaps? Curious about what the story is there.

                Net/net for us was that we would go back but we wouldn't go out of our way to go back or plan to go back. More here: http://wineandfoodxp.blogspot.com/200...

                1 Reply
                1. re: jimnak

                  Not sure about Tom Black's involvement at Brix, but he is currently the head chef at 35th St Bistro in Fremont.