Bastille Cafe & Bar
5307 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
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05/17/2010Provided by Citysearch -
Bastille gets an ""OK, but not great"" in my book.
I should start by saying that both the bartender and our server were stellar. Great, spot-on helpful but not in-your-face, we were very happy with the service at Bastille. The atmosphere reminded us a little of Balthazar in NYC - we really enjoyed the overall feel of the place.
We were taking advantage of the great weather that Seattle was having (until today when it started drizzling again..) and sat outside for our weekly Friday dinner. We had a reservation but since outdoor seating is rather limited, we ended up at the bar first. I tried La Muse (Vodka, Grapefruit & Cassis with a splash of Crémant, served on the rocks) and it was SO GOOD. This coming from someone who isn't generally wowed by drinks. Seriously, I could have had many more of those, it was yummy.
Once seated, we started with roasted beets and arugula (pistachios, chevre croûte & red wine vinaigrette). Very nice dish, as expected but nothing about it stood out. Next, we split the grilled lamb burger (Lavash sesame bun, harissa aïoli, arugula, pickled shallot, & frites) and the poisson du jour (seared tuna). Both were good but the lamb burger was the star of the show, and of the evening. The harissa aioli paired perfectly with the lamb and the buttery-good bun. The tuna was also good, but again nothing about it stood out.
I am guessing that perhaps it was my high expectations, but I was sorely underwhelmed with our peanut butter ice cream dessert. The peanut butter taste was very faint, and the crunchy bits honestly tasted like something out of a 50's PTA cookbook (""combine the oleo with the artificial-flavor peanut butter chips and then stir in the 2 cups corn flakes cereal, spread on a cookie sheet until cool, then break into pieces and enjoy""...). The crunchy bits left a greasy coating on the tongue and added to the overall ""this is a Sandra Lee special shortcut dessert"" feel.
I don't know if I'd be back for another dinner at Bastille, but you'll probably find me there for drinks in the bar after work. Next I'd like to try the duck confit salad!
04/05/2010Provided by Citysearch -
Cafe Veloce isn't in the easiest to find location (in the Totem Lake area of Kirkland near Evergreen Hospital), but it's certainly worth pulling on the MapQuest directions to find it.
Veloce offers traditional Italian favorites, some with a twist. Try their take on bruschetta that includes green olives and red pepper flakes for an added kick. Our favorite entree is the Chicken Scampi (aka ""The Sleeping Pill"" because it's so yummy that you want to cozy up and take a nap). It's so delicious that you'll want to mop up the sauce just to make sure you get the last drop. Another delicious option is the Dungeoness Scallopini.
And you can wash it all back with a pretty impressive wine selection. What's not to like!?! Portions are generous, so you might consider sharing plates.
Added bonus: the restaurant's size and layout make it a perfect spot for date night or familes with kids. Couples can enjoy a cozy spot by the fireplace while parents may chose to sit with their children in the back area.
03/27/2010Provided by Citysearch -
I've never been served an entire meal nor been seated in Bastille's main dining room but I am becoming a big fan of their Back Bar. Enter via the front door, walk past the bar, down the long hallway toward the restrooms. At the end of the hall on your left you'll find the very sexy Back Bar. Dimly lit and evoking a 1920's speakeasy, Bastille's Back Bar is the best place in Ballard to extend a great date or grab a classy cocktail after a show at nearby venues like the Majestic Bay, Tractor Tavern or Egan's Jam House. Classic cocktails like the French 75 or the Sidecar are tasty and strong. The rosemary lemonade is a refreshing choice - perfect for patio dining in warmer weather. Order frites or the olives and almonds (my favorite) to curb the late night appetite - food is served here until 1am. Service can be a bit spotty, though our server last night, Nora, was sweet and attentive. Their estimates on wait times for tables are usually VERY conservative - so take heart if you've been told there's an hour and a half wait. If you're in the mood to indulge, try the peanut butter ice cream - decadent!
03/10/2010Provided by Citysearch -
One step inside the door and you will instantly be transported to a Parisian locale that echoes an Edith Piaf song. The striking décor is all about the drama, from the black and white color scheme, to the oversized metro clock in the entry, everywhere you look is a feast for the eyes. The French cuisine Bastille offers is a great addition to the ever-growing, eclectic, Ballard restaurant scene.
With such spectacular ambience, it is disappointing that the fare and standoffish service is in opposition to the surroundings. Some are good, while most dishes are merely adequate. Recommended is the crispy pork belly, wonderfully salty with a tender center and crisp top. Try also the tasty duck leg confit and mop up the sauce with the baguette served with Plugra butter & sea salt. Much debate has been waged over whether one should have to pay for bread in a restaurant, but trust me this is worth it! On the avoid list, the Croque Monsieur is tolerable, and the pasta gratin dry. If you are going to visit Bastille, brunch is the real winner with a mouth-watering lavender French toast. An ever popular neighborhood spot, reservations are recommended unless you want to chance a long wait.
03/09/2010Provided by Citysearch -
Bastille changed the restaurant scene in Ballard, bringing a new level of the dining experience. Without a doubt the stunning dining room and back bar are the highlight of the restaurant. During summer and spring months, the outside patio is quite possibly one of the best places to eat outside in Seattle.
Bastille’s food however lacks the magnitude of the space. Salad greens and herbs from their French style rooftop are extremely flavorful, crisp and fresh, be sure to try the salade verte. Main courses are inconsistent. Rotisserie chicken made using the ultimate imported oven from France didn’t live up to the hype, flavor lacking and a bit dry. Fries vary from a light golden brown to short and under-salted. The grilled lamb burger with harissa aioli, arugula and feta is one of the best bets especially during happy hour. Another star is the moules frites, mussels in a rich wine butter sauce with leeks and thyme easily soaked up with bread from Grand Central Baking Co (extra charge, served with Pulgria butter). Drinks tend to be well crafted, especially the classic French 75. Or try their take on a dirty martini, the Sale Parisian, using cornichons. My favorite way to enjoy one of these refreshing drinks is on the patio on a hot summer day. Bastille is frequently packed so reservations are recommended.
03/08/2010Provided by Citysearch -
I really did want to like Bastille. I knew there was so much hype that it couldn't possibly live up the billing, but even still it sounded like a can't-miss proposition: affordable French food in a sprawling, exquisitely decorated space in one of Seattle's hottest neighborhoods.
Maybe it's a victim of its own success? Each time I've gone it's been so crowded as to be deafening and near-impossible to snag a table or flag down a waiter. I've had to wait 20 minutes just to order, and I've been told by the hostess there was no food service at the bar only to have the bartender hand me a menu. The service just seems chaotic.
The selection on the menu is definitely appealing, but mostly it just made me yearn for the always-precise dishes at Cafe Presse. French fries were too pale, mussels were nothing special and roast chicken was blah. One bright spot was the lamb burger, which was moist and spiced with harissa aioli.
I would like to give Bastille another try, especially because I've heard their brunch is excellent. But given my past experiences it's hard to find the energy to battle the crowds for a table.
03/07/2010Provided by Citysearch -
Subway tiles, fabulous lighting, and cozy wood tables, Bastille is bustling every night of the week with Ballard's finest. The menu is diverse and a nice addition to Ballard Ave's restaurant choices. I am hooked on the steak sandwich with frites and gruyere dipping sauce but the cassoulet and onion soup are wonderful too. The cocktails are great here and they have a good selection of French wines to choose from. Start the night with their vodka lemon rosemary cocktail; delightfully refreshing. The service has been slow on occasion but hasn't detracted too much from the overall experience. It's made it to my top-five list for Ballard.
*Be prepared to wait for a table. I recommend sidling up to the bar for a cocktail to pass the time.
12/31/2009Provided by Citysearch -
Each time same thing - terrible service with an attitude. So we, my wife and I tried again, and again the same thing - waitress treated us like we were invisible. We brought our neighbors, another couple, and they agreed with the terrible wait and poor service. We brought our two son's and their girlfriend just before Christmas, and again, the waitress just couldn't be bothered. But patrons just can't enought of the place. So have fun waiting for poor service and mediocre/small portioned food.