Monday, September 7, 2009

Je mange a la Boat Street Cafe...

From N.

For the official Frenchified honeymoon send-off for newlyweds P. and M. before their trip to the south of France and Paris, I joined the happy couple and a few friends at Boat Street Cafe. The French sendoff was fun and there were a few people at the table who actually know the language. I was once one of them. But no longer. I have forgotten all my high school French and there will be almost zero cutesy French phrases in this post. I know you are tres desolee.

A few French restaurant ideas were tossed around before they decided where to eat, including Cafe Campagne and Maximilien in Pike Place Market, but I was super excited when they chose Boat Street. I've heard from many people that it is superb.

I immediately adored the tiny space, tucked downstairs in a building on Western Avenue, with its white walls and French country air made luminous with hanging lanterns. We had the kitchen table, and gathered around bowls of blue and white M&M's from the bride. The menu is packed with elegant, straightforward French options like the seriously divine Boat Street pate ($12), steamed mussels with chorizo ($15) and whole roasted poussin ($24), which I must inform you is chicken in case you think it's fish. Yes, my French is THAT BAD.

Boat Street does simple things perfectly, like bread. Mini Columbia City baguettes came hot with butter, nicoise olives and olive oil. We devoured it. I could only find happiness in the pate appetizer of perfectly creamy mild mousse served with crisp toasts. And for my entree, I had housemade sausage ($18), which came with a few beautiful potatoes and lots of caramelized onions. It was simple, almost peasant style food, but the pork sausage was balanced between fat and flavor, and the potatoes cut the richness. The caramelized onions added acidity and depth.

I also loved P's shrimp. I don't remember the preparation but I remember lots of butter and garlic and deliciousness. I am not often wowed by shrimp, but really thought hers were wonderful.

Other dishes like a spring onion and tomato flan ($18) and crab cakes also looked amazing. The dishes were often simple, not overwrought, and I appreciated the care the restaurant took to edit the dishes to keep them interesting yet straightforward.

I don't eat French much beyond Capitol Hill's Cafe Presse, but I adored Boat Street and given any reason, like the whole grilled sardines ($18) I spotted on the online menu, would be back in a heartbeat. Actually, I could take a whole plate of those sardines right now. I'm not kidding. Tout. De. Suite.

Bon Voyage P. and M.!

Boat Street Cafe
3131 Western Ave. #301
Seattle, WA
(206) 632-4602

Boat Street Cafe & Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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