Packard (31) Kirkland, Washington | November 12, 2009
82 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 10/10 SELECTION 10/15 FOOD 10/10 VALUE N/A OVERALL 17/20
There are four upscale Purple Cafeís in the area; I havenít been to the Seattle one yet, but we have a track record in Woodinville, Kirkland, and Bellevue. My wife doesnít drink beer for medical (so she says) reasons, so we have a constant issue of finding good wine for her and good beer for me. Our current favorite compromise on the Eastside is Cafe Veloce, but if the monthly commission check is generous, then itís off to Purple Cafe. This is a yuppie place, especially in Bellevue and Kirkland, with the Woodinville location serving a more refined and genteel group of baby boomers (like us). Obviously a great selection of wines at better (sometimes bargain) prices than many of the other wine bars in the area. They have some outstanding Washington wines that may be first (Efeste Final-Final $50) or second label wineries (Amavi cab from Walla Walla - $50). Let the servers guide you. But what about the beer? When they first opened their Woodinville store, we hounded them regularly to get some decent beer. They responded and now have a small selection that represents some of the best of breed. No drafts. Twelve bottled beers, but some good stuff: Speakeasy Untouchable, Houblon Chouffe, Snoqualmie Copperhead. No stouts, though. The outstanding thing about this place is that they will have perfect food to pair wtih the beers, and the bartender (and some of the servers) have been educated about what goes with what. Tonight at the Bellevue location, the wife had a risotto with chanterelle and marscarpone, and I had the duck special. A bit pricy (good luck getting out of there for less than $120 for two), but itís nice to have some decent beer choices along with a great wine selection.Go to Costco and buy a gifit card for Purple Cafe for 25% off. And on Fri or Sat nights, have dinner at Purple Cafe, then walk over to Redhook for music and DoubleBlack stout.