Part of me wishes we tried this restaurant after my Paris trip so I could say without hesitation that this little gem of a French cafe resembles those in Paris. As it is, I will just have to say that this cafe meshes with my idea of what a French cafe would be like in Paris. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera at home, so no pictures of what we polished off today.
Le Pichet is located just a few steps away from Pikes Market in Seattle's Belltown. It is a tiny place, with about 14 tables inside and just another handful out in front. There is also a small bar area.
We went there for lunch and called ahead--no reservations taken they said; just come before 12:30 p.m. and you should be fine. We arrived just after 12 p.m. and seated ourselves at the last open table inside. I ordered the grilled quail watercress salad with avocado and creamy almond vinaigrette, some air-dried country sausage marinated with garlic and chiles, and a Lyon-style onion soup to share. My DH wanted to order the quiche, but was informed that it was sold out; the couple dining next to us had just ordered the last two remaining portions. As an alternative, my husband ordered the two eggs broiled with ham and gruyere (pictured), but I caught him enviously eyeing our neighboring diners' quiches more than once. The server did say that the broiled eggs were among the most popular items on the menu. The quail was perfectly grilled and seasoned; it's too bad the birds are so tiny that half a quail really equals the meat on one chicken wing. The watercress, avocado, and almond dressing served as a wonderful complement to the seasoned quail. The onion soup was well-flavored, not too salty, and quite hearty; really, a meal in and of itself. The sausage was not something I would order again given the amount of food we had ordered; it is really something meant to be enjoyed with a nice baguette and a selection of cheeses.
We capped off our meal with crepes with fromages blanc and caramelized creme tarte. The former was dusted off with powdered sugar and rhubarb compote. The latter was rich--a bit like pecan pie filling without the cloying sweetness, and after a bite of which, prompted DH to say, "they must use gallons of butter here." Indeed the food is rich and not for those dieting, but the portions are small enough for one to hope that Mireille Guiliano's statement that "French Women Don't Get Fat" rings true, and the calories would be justified after a long day of strolling around downtown Seattle on a rare sunny day.
Open Sunday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to midnight
Friday and Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.
First Photo: Le Pichet
Second Photo: Suzie