Archive for the French Category

Prima Bistro – Langley

Posted in Fine Dining, French with tags , , , , , , , on November 11, 2011 by belltowngirl

Once in awhile it is nice to get away from Seattle for the weekend to enjoy great food and scenery.  One of my favorite restaurants on South Whidbey Island is Prima Bistro.  It is on a prime spot in the seaside village of Langley with amazing views of the Cascades and the Saratoga Passage.  The restaurant serves French inspired food with local ingredients.  The dinner menu list looks amazing so I have to be sure to try just couple different dishes.   I learned a big lesson when I had twelve dishes in one day when I was in Napa this summer.

Prima Bistro has a good wine selection and suprisingly they have more of a selection of reds from Oregon than locally.  If you are a fan of Pinot Noir like me than definitely try their wines from Willamette Valley.  All their small plate and appetizer dishes looks amazing…. oooh dear.  I decided to try their fritters with mozzarella, blue cheese, and burrata drizzled with garlic peppercorn vinaigrette.  Great textures, rich buttery flavor of the burrata, and the vinaigrette enhanced the flavor quite well.   

blue cheese and burrata filled Fritter - Prima Bistro

blue cheese and burrata filled Fritter - Prima Bistro

Next, the pan fried veal sweetbreads with apricot and thyme gastrique was amazing.  I am a big fan of sweetbreads and I must say that this was the most innovative. Sweetbreads are very rich in itself and has a distinct mineral flavor.  The apricot gastrique was out of this world…it literally tasted like candy.  Gastrique is a sticky thick sauce that consists of reduction of sugar, vinegar, and fruit where in this case the apricot has been caramelized over heat. 

Pan fried veal sweetbreads with apricot gastrique   - Prima Bistro

Pan fried veal sweetbreads with apricot gastrique - Prima Bistro

Lastly, I tried the confit of duck leg on a salad of puy lentils and frisee with a warm bacon vinaigrette….crispy skin, very moist meat, and richness in every bite. 

Confit of Duck Leg - Prima Bistro

Confit of Duck Leg - Prima Bistro

Overall, I immensely enjoyed Prima Bistro for its excellent French fare and knowledgable waitresses who know gourmet food.  The quickest way to get to Langley is to take the Mukilteo/Clinton ferry.  If you like to take the scenic route I highly recommend going 1-5 N and take exit 230 to check out the Deception Pass bridge  among other amazing nature destinations.  Enjoy everyone!

Prima Bistro website:  http://www.primabistro.com/

Address:  201 1/2 First Street Langley, WA 98260

Hours:  Daily 11:30am-9:30pm, Saturdays till 11pm

Contact:  360 221-4060

RN74

Posted in French, Wine bar with tags , , , , , , on June 20, 2011 by belltowngirl

A new restaurant just opened its doors right in the middle of downtown Seattle on 4th Ave and Pike.  RN74 is the brainchild of Michael Mina who is a James Beard award winning chef.  He has many many different well received restaurants from San Francisco to Las Vegas.  Suprisingly, he was raised in Ellensburg, WA and now resides in SF.  RN74 is primarily a wine bar focused on Grand Cru wines from the Burgundy region in France.  Their menu is of contemporary french fare with a focus on local ingredients.

I couldn’t help but notice they have sweetbreads and foie gras on their first and second course.  If you have been reading my blog for awhile you probably know  I am a major foie gras fan :)  The Crispy sweetbreads “a la chasseur” with spring onion confit, chanterelle mushrooms, and english peas was delicious.  Very lightly crispt sweetbreads on the outside immersed in a rich onion confit. 

Crispy Sweetbreads "a La Chasseur"

Crispy Sweetbreads "a La Chasseur"

The second plates menu the Liberty Farms duck breast and Hudson Valley foie gras caught my eye.  Very tender duck breast served with a bowl of Bluebird Grain Farms farro, bing cherries, rainbow swiss chard mixed with foie gras.  You take a spoonful and layer it onto the duck – Sublime!  The bing cherries is a great compliment as fruit goes well and balances the richness of foie gras. 

Liberty Farms duck breast & Hudson Valley foie gras
Liberty Farms duck breast & Hudson Valley foie
RN74 Seattle
RN74 Seattle

I love anything to do with wine reduction sauce and the Alaskan halibut with sugar snap peas sounds absolutely delicious.  The dish will definitely be next on my list.  An excellent wine bar in the downtown Seattle area.  The interior I would best describe as old world and contemporary with dark red leather seats and sleek blue lighting at the wine bar.  For a more intimate evening with your special date, I highly recommend reserving a booth.  Hopefully, I will have time to visit the main wine bar when I pass through to Napa Valley in the next couple weekends.  On a side note, stay tuned for my review on the new Iron Chef Morimoto restaurant in Napa :)  Overall, RN74 has excellent customer service and great modern french fare.  Enjoy!

RN74 website (Downtown Seattle):  http://www.michaelmina.net/

RN74 website (SF):  http://www.michaelmina.net/restaurant.php?restaurant_id=3&action=menus

Address:  1433 Fourth Avenue  Seattle, WA  98101 (cross st is Pike)

Hours:  Lunch 11am-2:30pm, Dinner Sun- Thurs 5:30-10pm Fri-Sat 5:30-10:30pm

Contact: 206 456-7474

Cafe Campagne

Posted in brunch, French with tags , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2009 by belltowngirl

The first time I went to Campagne was during senior prom while the rest of my friends were either at Palisades or Ponti.  I wanted to be in more intimate and chef-inspired restaurant and it was definitely what I had in mind.  Then, not even realizing it they had a bistro-like restaurant right below called Cafe Campagne.  Located in the Pike Place neighborhood, it serves Southern French comfort food with seasonal Northwest ingredients.  I went there for brunch and all their Oeufs and speciality dishes looked great.  I had their Oeufs en Meurette($15) which in French means eggs in red wine sauce.  This spectacular dish had two poached eggs served on garlic croutons with bacon, pearl onions, and champignons(mushrooms) in a red wine and foie gras sauce served with pommes frites.  The big garlic croutons dipped in red wine sauce was juicy and with a perfect crunch on the ends.  This is my favorite dish and it’s indescribably that good.  When I was in Paris years ago every dish I tried whether it be at a restaurant or shopping at a gourmet grocery store, words can’t describe how good it is… you just have to try it.  If you like dipping your frites or french fries in a sauce, I definitely recommend the garlic aioli.  It’s rich and creamy and the garlic is not too overpowering.  They serve this dish during brunch on weekends, but they also serve during lunch on weekdays as well.

Oeufs en Meurette - Cafe Campagne

Oeufs en Meurette with pommes frites - Cafe Campagne

Definitely I would love to veer away from my favorite brunch dish and sooner or later try the house-salmon gravlax, salmon rillettes, and demie baguette with a fennel, red onion, and citrus salad($14)…I am a major fan of good salmon and tangy salads!  The Butter Lettuce and Beet salad($12) sounds tasty too… it has butter lettuce with hazelnut vinaigrette, Roquefort cheese, marinated beets, and toasted hazelnuts..Yum!  Cafe Campagne has a great selections of salads with interesting vinagrettes and baguette sandwiches.   They have a good selection of white wines…Gewurztraminer and Reisling’s from the Alsace region of France.  I highly recommend this place for its unique and great tasting Southern French comfort food at its best!

Cafe Campagne website: http://www.campagnerestaurant.com/cafe_home.html

Address: 1600 Post Alley Seattle, WA 98101

Hours: Brunch Saturday-Sunday 8am-4pm, Lunch Monday-Friday 11am-5pm, Dinner Sunday-Thursday5pm-10pm

Contact: 206 728-2233