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Jun 30, 2008 11:19 AM

Springhill review, West Seattle

Tried Springhill (Spring Hill?) on Saturday night. It's a new spot in West Seattle (which definitely needs more restaurants, in my opinion, but that's another post...)

The nutshell: probably won't be back. They are charging too much for what they're offering.

The experience:
Arrived for a late-ish dinner (after 8pm). It had been a warm day in Seattle and the restaurant was very hot. We were in back and the heat was a bit uncomfortable, especially since there is an open kitchen running down one side of the space.
My companion ordered the cold cioppino to start, and the tagliatelle (which we'd heard rave reviews about). I ordered two oysters to start, then asked to have the butter salad and mussels as my main course (both are smaller plates).
The cioppino arrived, along with my salad. Hmm. I explained that I had requested the oysters as a starter (I had ordered a glass of champagne for this very reason. :) ). Salad was removed, oysters brought. They were delicious. The cioppino was a bit bland but still refreshing.
Next up: my salad came back. No mussels. Okay, I just went with it. Very nice, simple salad. Mussels and pasta arrived. Both tasty. Good amount of mussels for only $10 -- but the overpricing of all other items negated this "win."
No dessert. Four drinks in all (one cocktail, one glass rose, two glasses champagne). Total bill was $100 (not including tip). So that was for drinks, two oysters, a starter soup, starter salad, mussels, pasta. The pasta was the least expensive entree at $19; everything else was $22-34 (if I remember correctly).
Overall, I felt that the prices were too high. No wines by the glass for under $10. Most entrees mid-twenties. They charge $3 a pop for bread and butter. Friday night I went to Matt's in the Market and two of us had four drinks, a huge salad, steak, scallops, bread and butter (no charge of course), and that bill (without tip) came to $120. That meal was head and shoulders above Springhill. If Springhill was a bit less expensive, I think it would be more of a go-to spot in West Seattle. The bar looks like a great place to sit down and have a drink; but based on my experience, I'd probably just cross the street and have a $7 glass of great Italian red at Shadowland.

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  1. caraely, perhaps you should cut them some slack. It takes months, for restaurants to begin to hit their stride. My guess is if there isn't support for the pricing they have going now they'll adjust for the neighborhood. It's hard off the bat to get everything (sometimes anything) right at opening ...professional restaurant reviewers typically give a bit of grace time (though less so now) and hopefully go at least 3 times prior to verdict. give them a few months go back & see what you think.

    1 Reply
    1. re: oliveoyl

      Good point, oliveoyl. I think they've only been open since May. I will try again in a few months!

    2. what is cold cioppino like?

      1. Anyone else been to Springhill in the last couple of months? We're headed there tonight and would love any advice!

        2 Replies
        1. re: zoogrrrl

          Went last night and had the following:

          Bread & Butter - bread was too fluffy, butter was tasteless

          Roasted beets - standard beet salad, good

          Duck egg raviolo - Very good, would be excellent if the yolk were runny (it was still soft though)

          Crispy sweetbreads - Very very good.

          Roasted mussels - Excellent, best dish of the night. I'd eat it as an entree.

          Alder smoked oysters - I felt there was too much smoke (and I love smokey food). Decent though.

          Sauteed halibut - Overcooked, and far too expensive for what it is.

          Carlton Farm pork - Pretty good. The combination of tenderloin and shoulder gave the dish depth.

          Burger - I much prefer the Quinn's burger. I was looking forward to beef fat fries but they did not impress me. Maybe my expectations were too high for this burger, based on the hype.

          Trio of ice cream - Excellent. We got the cinnamon toast (the best!), Parmesan, and salted peanut ice creams.

          Despite some of the lackluster dishes we had, I would go back and I would encourage everybody to give it a try.

          1. re: phong

            Just got home from Spring Hill and will weigh in our dinner.

            Cocktails: Very interesting. Two of us had the Smith, which I enjoyed: green apple water, apple sorbet, sparkling wine. The gold n' brown and doug fir, the other two choices at the table, were potent and interesting cocktails. Both left a little in the glass after moving on to wine.

            Appetizers: sweetbreads, clams, razor clam sausage. All fabulous. We particularly loved the sweetbread dipping sauces and the clams.

            Entrees: sauteed halibut, handmade tagliatelle, hamburger, and duck. All fabulous. Fish was perfectly cooked, in contrast to other reviews. LOVED the pasta! The duck was likely the best dish at the table.

            Dessert: ice cream (vanilla, caramel w/salt), a cheese from Montelliet Fromagerie, a dessert wine. Perfect apart from apart from the salty ice cream

            All in all it was a fabulous dinner and we highly recommend the place to other CHers!

        2. I dined here on Friday night. Arriving without reservations, my friend and I dined at the bar which serves the full dinner menu. At the bar, you can watch the cooks do their thing in the open kitchen. Our meal started with complimentary warm hazelnuts with smoked salt - very tasty! Not sure if this is only offered at the bar or if the dining room receives them as well.

          Sweetbreads: Served with 3 sauces. The sweetbreads were perfectly cooked, but we were disappointed by the sauces, which were very ordinary: honey mustard, ranch and chipolte ketchup. I know they're all house made, but we were looking for more unique flavors.

          DUCK BREAST: Served with quinoa cake and cabbage sausage. If you like duck breast, you won't be disapponted by this dish. The duck is perfectly cooked. But the quinoia cake (which was interestingly shaped in a waffle iron) was really good, and the cabbage sausage (cabbage and I what I believe to be pork in a small link) was the standout item on my plate. It was so unique and so delicious that I wish they offered an entree where the sausage could be the star of the show.

          ATMOSPHERE: Minimalist urban chic. It has lots of hard surfaces, so it tends to get loud as it fills up, but I liked the warmth of the dining room.

          SERVICE: Excellent. They really take care of you here.

          Spring Hill Restaurant & Bar
          4437 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116