Cafe Presse

I went out in between the massive snow storms here in Seattle to try Cafe Presse. While I could imagine the wait for a cozy table at this popular restaurant, we had no trouble getting a table. Everything on the menu looked delicious and I smiled at the fact that the menu was in French with smaller English descriptions. We settled on a butternut squash soup, red potato and cabbage salad and pork loin over cauliflower potato gratin. The soup was thick, rich, smooth but not heavy. The salad was complex, with perfectly cooked potato, red cabbage, walnuts and just a slight sprinkle of cheese and a delicious grain mustard vinaigrette. The vegetables were not overpowered by the additional ingredients. The pork loin over gratin could have easily been an overpowering,heavy dish. However, the spice brine on the pork loin (which was cooked to perfection) made it taste very light and fresh and even the gratin was not overly heavy or cheese laden. They stuck to the French roots on this gratin and didn't americanize it by cheese-ing it to death. There is an extensive bar and the atmosphere is one that lends itself to lingering. The waiters are patient, helpful and don't rush you out. Having spent time in France and liking the experience of cafe's there. This is the closest I have come in the states to mimicking that. While I am sure I could go on with much more profound and in depth commentary on Cafe Presse, I think that it can be simply summed up this way: this is my new go-to restaurant.

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