While Brian and I love to try new food and drink when we travel, we don’t typically eat out when we’re at home unless we’re with friends and family, or meeting with work colleagues or customers. While this practice allows us to save money and better control the nutritional value of what we eat, it also makes us a poor resource for dining options when people come to town.
As we’ve started to fulfill our commitment to exploring Seattle neighborhoods this year, we’ve also had the opportunity (and excuse!) to try some new restaurants. Of course, for every one restaurant we try, a handful of others are added to my list, but we have to start somewhere!
This past weekend we traveled to Ballard for a day to check out the Sunday Farmer’s Market, Bergen Place, and the Nordic Heritage Museum.
Given the Scandinavian influence in this Seattle neighborhood, as well as the theme of some of the places we were exploring, I was inclined to try Scandinavian Specialties or the Old Ballard Liquor Co. Café.
However, we were looking for a quick lunch near the places we were visiting, so we instead opted for the French-cuisine at Bastille Cafe and Bar.
I don’t remember how I came across Bastille or who recommended it to me, but it’s been on my list for quite a while. The Farmer’s Market is set up just outside its doors so it was perfectly convenient for our trip. We were able to get seats without a reservation at 11 a.m. on a Sunday, just in time for brunch.
The interior reminded me of a French metro station, complete with white tile walls, black riveted arches, interesting lamps and mirrors, and small glowing numbered signs. Our open booth allowed us to float in the middle of the room with the fully stocked bar to one side, the remaining restaurant and patio entrance on the other, and the bustling kitchen at our backs.
I was also enamored by the open fire, high-top tables in the window seats facing the street at the front of the building—they would be perfect to gather around, snack in hand, on a cold, rainy day.
As luck would have it, we had a bright and partially cloudy day, and after walking around the market and holding out for our brunch, I was ready to eat!
We seriously eyed the duck confit with champagne-braised cabbage and the farmer’s lunch of meats and cheeses, but we decided to split the marinated beets with smoked yogurt, nuts and seeds, and the eggs en cocotte—a dish of kale, ham, bechemel and aged comte with a crust of baked eggs in a small steaming crock.
Both were delicious!
The place had the perfect level of noise/energy, our service was good, the food was excellent, and the menu was intriguing. It was a great brunch spot, especially if you’re in the neighborhood shopping or visiting the market on the weekend.
I also took a peek at the dinner menu online, and I’m now trying to orchestrate an excuse to go back so we can try that menu as well.
Check out the Bastille next time you’re in Ballard– bon appetite!