Purple Cafe & Wine Bar

Written by on October 5, 2010 in I Eat Seattle, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(thepurplecafe.com) – Downtown
How I heard of this place: Purple has been a greater-Seattle wine bar and cafe for years and when this one opened up downtown it was always full! When it appeared on the 5th Avenue Theater’s list of dining establishments in which one could use dining vouchers, we tried it. We tried it a second time and a third. And again tonight.
Type of cuisine: The establishments prides itself as being “a multifaceted food and wine concept that merges casual sophistication with an upbeat metropolitan style. We feature a global wine selection coupled with a menu that blends classic American styles with seasonal northwest ingredients”.
Ambiance: “The atmosphere is often described as an urban retreat with rustic elements”.
What I ordered: When the second half of our group of six arrived, we were pleased to see an order of the baked brie ($13) already awaiting us. The baked brie was served in a phyllo pastry with warmed apricot preserves, caramelized onions and candied walnuts. Alongside the housemade crackers, thinly sliced, chilled grapes were served with a drizzle of olive oil. Two side salads (that resembled the apple, walnut and Stilton) were ordered as starters, along with bread and butter (which we had to request). For dinner, having consumed so much at lunch, I stuck with a half order of the Purple chopped salad ($9), which was presented in a small bowl, slaw-like: romaine hearts, bacon, avocado, garbanzos, roasted red bell pepper, blue cheese, and red onion, tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette. The dining companion to my left ordered the same. Sitting across from her, we had one order of the special pizza of the day: thin crust pizza with candied walnuts, caramelized onions, pears and Gorgonzola cheese. To her left, we had an order of the veal Bolognese ($18): bucatini noodles, basil and shaved parmigiano-reggiano. And to his left, our vegetarian ordered the goat cheese and braised mushroom pizza ($13): arugula, laura chenel chèvre, mozzarella, parmigiano-reggiano and garlic olive oil. Coming full circle, the dining companion to my right also selected the pizza special, which was served with her appetizer of choice, the dungeness crab cakes ($13). Two crab cakes sat atop a spicy remoulade and served alongside a fennel slaw. For dessert, we had one order of the special of the day: bittersweet chocolate-espresso truffles (three to a serving), another order of the dark chocolate raspberry truffles ($4 for three). One order of the blackberry cheesecake ($4) sitting in a pool of blackberry coulis and decorated with candied lime as well as one sticky toffee pudding crème brûlée ($3.50) with date caramel were also selected. One cup of French press coffee was also ordered, and served with cream and sugar to keep my dining companion awake for the show!
What I loved: Of all of the items I sampled on this venture, my favorites were the baked brie and the crab cakes. The baked brie was warm and gooey, with the sweetness of apricot preserves and the pungency of caramelized onions – the perfect marriage of flavors. The crab cakes were light, not overly done or overly breaded and paired well with the spicy remoulade.
Why I loved it: The convenience of location, just one block from the theater makes it a great spot for pre-show dinners!
Cost: Low to average ($10-$18 for pasta dinners and personal pizzas)

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