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01/12/14 - Boat Street Cafe

We made a lightning trip into Seattle, got rained on terribly and tried out a new restaurant in Seattle. The rain was unexpected with great torrents of it pouring from the skies and turning the street channels along the curb into rivers. The Boat Street Cafe was unexpected in that we had expected a good meal, but not to find a new favorite restaurant.

The dining room
The cafe is in an uncharming part of Seattle, in the U of one of those biotech buildings cut off from the waterfront by the rail lines, so the interior was a charming contrast, peaceful, spacious and beautiful. The food was charming as well. We started with deep shell oysters with grated horseradish and tender grilled octopus with a smoked paprika sauce, picked onions and pickled celery. Boat Street Cafe, it turns out, is famous for its pickled fruits and vegetables, and we enjoyed them from the start.

We also had the most amazing Dover sole, lightly floured and seared and served on a bed of creme fraiche, but the real treat was the vegetables we had ordered on the side. We had a plate of roasted brussels sprouts and a plate of roasted baby carrots with a parsley chive pesto, covered with frizzled carrot greens dripping black butter. Baby carrots were a serious thing back in the 1980s, so it's good to see they are coming back in such style.

We also had a wonderful plate of pickles, with a host of pickled vegetables including rutabaga, turnips, carrots and bright purple onions. The Boat Street Cave comes by its pickling reputation honestly. Since we were having pickles, we also had some cheeses. There was a great selection, with a rich triple creme, a camembert, a light farm house blue and something much like a Spanish manchego.

What can we say? We were surprised too. We liked the Boat Street Cafe much more than we had expected.

Boat Street Cafe

3131 Western Ave
Seattle, WA
(206) 632-4602

Keywords: restaurants, seattle