Sunday, December 5, 2010

Eatin' Out 'N' About at Purple Cafe and Wine Bar ~ Seattle, WA

Purple Cafe And Wine Bar 
Couple of locations but we went to: 
1225 4th Ave Seattle 98101

A few months back, fellow Hungry Housewife Dawn and I purchased tickets to see A Christmas Story- The Musical at the 5th Ave Theater.  OF COURSE if we are hitting Seattle, we want to go out to eat, too, so we checked out the recommended places from the theater which offers discounts.  

Last time we went to see a show, we ate at Rock Bottom right across the street.  Though it was good (bathroom was weird), we wanted to try something new so we walked over to Purple (get 10% off of total bill with ticket stub).  Luckily we got out of the theater quickly because they said they had a bunch of reservations coming in so we had our choice of bar seating.  

Purple's 2nd floor is more of a loft with a bar downstairs in the middle of everything or a more quieter bar upstairs where we sat.  It looked like they had a more private are in the back, the bar in the center and then these super comfy chairs that overlook the balcony.
Sorry Blurry!  Didn't want to use flash.
It was great because we got to watch a lot of prep-work they do up there but the small downside was we sat near the end which ended up being a little bit of an employee hangout.  Wasn't too bad though.
Having NO idea what to get, the menu is slightly intimidating but the waitress will explain it all to you.  There is regular dinner items or you can do Tastings (NOTE:  prices are for the FOOD- wine is additional $5 for each pairing).  
I'm just now "discovering" wine so I'm not sure what I like but I KNOW I don't like it too sweet or too dry.  The server recommended one of the Staff's favorite wines from a NW Winery: McKinley Springs 2008 Chenin Blanc Horse Heaven Hills.  It was sooooo good that after the first tasting, we ended up ordering a glass for $8.50 each (BTW- the cost per bottle was $32 so would have been cheaper overall but is only $12 from the winery itself).  It's described as being "Pale yellow wine with aromas of basil, honeydew melon, and the scent of fresh rain.  It has candied pineapple, nut and tropical fruit flavors.  Finishing with ripe fruit, good acidity and bracing minerality."  The only problem I had was that they gave us our tasting right away but nobody came back for another tasting or a refill when we got our food so we had to flag down somebody.
For pairings, you can get what you want but they recommend you choose 5 items which includes cheeses and prices starting at $3.00.  We ordered Feta Walnut Spread and Candied Walnuts, and Artichoke Hazelnut Spread With Toasted Hazelnuts (both $3 each- shown below left) which comes with pita-like strips.  The FW one was more of a mellow taste with these SUPER yummy candied walnuts on top.  It tasted best with a bite of the spread and the walnuts so I wish the pieces were smaller.  Then the AH was the better one (I love artichoke)- the hazelnuts didn't add anything to it though.
On the far right, is our Brandy Marinated Apricots and Onion, Herbed Goat Cheese Spread, Crostini ($4.00 item) which was topped with basil I believe, and White Prawn Ceviche, Cucumber, Avocado, Cilantro, and Red Peppers ($6.00).  The Apricot was SO. SO. good (which is should be at $2 a piece- it took longer to say the name than to eat it!).  I want to replicate this at home!  I also loved the Prawns which was really tangy but balanced perfect with the wine.
Next we ordered a Baked Brie.  The description for this was "apricot preserves, caramelized onions, candied walnuts, grapes and housemade crackers."  What it DIDN'T say is that it's baked into a phyllo bundle which was reallllllllllly good though it didn't leave you with a lot of cheese inside so was harder to eat with the crackers which were also yummy- reminded me of flattened cornbread.  The Brie is another I'd like to try to make at home.
We rounded out our meal by getting dessert.  The coffee- OH, STOP THE PRESSES (LOL) was THE best straight up coffee I've had at a restaurant.  The price was the best, too- $3.50 for a pretty pot full that says it's good for 2 cups (we squeezed out four).  Normally I would never order the Red Velvet Cake, Lavender Cream Cheese Icing but I'm glad I did- the icing was the best part!  We thought the dessert was a good price too but they're even smallller than the photo suggests (the Sticky Toffee Pudding Creme Brulee, Date Caramel was literally two bites) but for $3.50 each, it left you not feeling over-stuffed. 
We really liked it here- in fact, a week later, I woke up to a text from my friend saying, ""I have been thinking of the Purple Cafe for days!!  Especially their coffee!".  So who knows?  Maybe we'll come back for my birthday this month (cause I would LOVE to spend a day in Seattle!).

Last photo!  Had to share the 5th Ave Theater that we passed on our way back to the parking garage.  Oh, I love Seattle during Christmas!

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