More than half of our “Seattle Bucket List” is a list of restaurants we want to visit before we leave the area. In the last two evenings we have visited two top establishments. Wednesday night (after our Seattle bus adventure) we headed to Café Juanita, which is only 6 miles from our home in Kirkland.
Like many of the best restaurants we have ever visited, Café Juanita doesn’t have a lot of curb appeal. We had an early reservation (5:45) so when we arrived the place was mostly empty. The interior is clean and contemporary with white table clothes. Sitting at the table right next to us was a woman just beginning her meal. She told us she has been eating here every week since the place opened in 2000, and highly recommended we try the lamb.
The wait staff was friendly and helpful. We started with a couple of appetizers; the “local pheasant egg and white sturgeon caviar with crisp pumpernickel” was outstanding! The “grilled octopus with fennel, smoked bone marrow, green sauce and chickpea puree” was also unique and tasty.
I followed our fellow diner’s suggestion and had the lamb while Claire had the “rabbit braised with ameis and chickpea gnocchi, English peas, porcini and house made pancetta.” Every bite was an experience!
The meal was pricey even by Seattle standards, but it was such thoroughly enjoyable decadent experience, we didn’t mind treating ourselves to an expensive indulgence. We would certainly rank this meal in the top five we have experienced during our time here in the Seattle area.
The following night, we rode our old friend, the 255, into Seattle to meet friends for dinner at Lola.
Tom Douglas is the restaurant King of Seattle with more than a dozen restaurants. We have eaten at many, but still hadn’t gotten down to Lola, which is a contemporary Greek place. We arrived early and our friends arrived late, so we spent a little time at the bar enjoying happy hour libations. Claire ordered her traditional mojito, while I had a martini. Claire’s mojito was perfectly prepared, my martini was a bit weird, maybe because of the feta stuffed olive. But, it wasn’t so weird that I didn’t drink it down.
Our friends arrived and we spent a couple of hours enjoying conversation and some very good food. We started with the mezedakia sampler, which included smoked oysters, kopanisti, dolmades, marinated olives, and house made pickles.
For our main course Claire ordered the “whole grilled Idaho trout” and staying with my lamb theme, I had the “mushroom braised lamb shank.” Both were excellent!
With our tummies full, we strolled back to the transit station, and our friend the 255 took us home. Another successful Seattle Sixty day …