Anyone been to The Book Bindery yet?
Nancy Leson's review of the new restaurant on the south side of the ship canal near the Freemont Bridge certainly sounded intriguing in Thursday's Seattle Times:
Anyone been there yet? I could not get a reservation for this weekend - they were booked.
This is extraordinarily refined food. Everything was prepared to an exceptional standard. The hamachi crudo was the single best plate we had (and made the dish of the same name at Mistral Kitchen - which I thoroughly enjoy - seem amateurish and sloppy by comparison) but everything was top notch. The "flavor curve" steak has a stupid name in my book, but its preparation is pure, masterful technique. The romesco sauce lining the plate of the compressed cucumber dish was the best I've ever had.
Price is well in line with the quality of the food. Service was fine once we were seated though we waited a solid 20 minutes for our table despite reservations - this is not a place to come for a pre-show meal or for those otherwise in a hurry. Gorgeous room as well.
Best restaurant in Seattle? Surely a contender at the moment, and definitely the best opening of 2010 so far.
2020 Westlake Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121
We went last night at 5pm. It was a great experience. I have to agree that the food is very refined and perfectly prepared.
They offered an amuse bouche of a small flute of cauliflower soup with truffle oil. We then ordered the sweetbreads with caramelized cauliflower, golden raisins and brown butter emulsion, and the foie gras terrine with poached quince, candied almonds on a black cardamom financier. We followed those dishes with the "flavor curve" steak with bordelaise sauce with twice baked fingerling potatoes and bone marrow- stuffed cipollini and hand made cavatelli, foraged mushrooms, sylvetta, pickled pearl onions and foie gras emulsion. For desert we had a turkish coffee pot de creme and beignets with pumpkin butter and cream. Amazing.
The wines of Mike Almgren's adjoining winery (there are now at least on the list including a dolcetto, two different grenaches, a mouvedre, a malbec, a syrah and a petit sirah that I recall) were also a good deal at $35 a bottle. That's a $10 markup over the winery price. We had the mouvedre as well as two cocktails.
We did not have any problem with a delay in seating (of course we were the very first table seated). We were seated in the corner right right by the window looking into the barrel room and over the dining room including a view of the ship canal. Very nice. The service was very attentive and professional.
The total for two was about $170 exclusive of tip.
198 Nickerson Street, Seattle, WA 98109
managed to get in this past Friday and had a great meal... probably one of the best meals i’ve had in seattle. the foie gras and hamachi appetizers as well as the flavor curve steak were the highlights of the meal. the steak was among one of the best I’ve ever had – a great cut and cooked to perfection. the duo of pork and beignets were not quite as exceptional, but were still quite good. everything was beautiful, creative, well composed, and most importantly delicious.
i really liked some of the formal elements of the service (e.g. placement of the silverware for dessert) which at the same time did not feel very stuffy. the server seemed a bit nervous or awkward at first, but seemed to get more comfortable later in the evening. also to note – cost is high, cocktails were delicious, and the space is really beautiful in an unexpected way. can’t wait to go back!
It seems to be very popular--I share your experience of having trouble getting in on a weekend.
I went on a weekday about 3 weeks ago. Food was tremendous. Environs were very pleasant--they've got a great spot, and exercised good taste, skilled workmanship, and high-quality materials in building it out.
Service was, well, new. Server was very clearly self-conscious about her inexperience. Tried to comepensate with over-assertiveness, which doesn't often work, and didn't in this case.
I have no qualms about going back, though. I figure my chances of getting her again are only around 20%, and she'll probably relax soon anyway.
re: not the bad Steve
I was there 8 oct, and was shocked to get a 7:30 res on a Friday the same day. They had only been open a week or so, maybe hadn't hit the radar yet. We had a great server who was very informed on menu and wine, and honest where he was less informed. Food was outstanding, creative and presented beautifully, but not too pretentious. Price was reasonable for fine dining, but certainly not a bargain! Wine from the adjacent winery was very good, also reasonable price.