So maybe heading for one of the more popular restaurants in Seattle’s Belltown on Christmas Eve afternoon isn’t the brightest idea, but it worked out. We walked in and grabbed the only open table. Le Pichet is just up the street from Pike Place Market, and we had ridden the ferry over from Bremerton just to walk the market and be a part of the holiday scene in downtown Seattle. The place is small, and was full of folks enjoying the neighborhood and wrapping up last minute shopping. If you airlifted this restaurant across the world into any neighborhood in Paris, it would be indistinguishable from any other cafe or bistro there. The dim lighting, old tile, the rolled zinc bartop, the slate tables; everything but the smoky atmosphere is right. Run by owners Jim Drohman and Joanne Herron (he cooks, she works the front of the house), the place is a Francophile’s dream. A friend had stopped in one lazy fall afternoon, rated it highly, and it has been on my list ever since. Yes, I actually carry a list of places I want to eat when I travel. It rarely works out that I get to cross anything off of said list, but I have one.
The menus are small, but there are three: Le Casse Croûte, Le Déjeuner, and Le Diner. The choices are few and the dishes simple, but it would be hard to not find something tasty. Only the Le Casse Croûte menu was available to us at 10:30 in the morning (it’s available all day) and we settled on pain et buerre, ouefs plat, jambon et fromage, les tartines.
Sadly we weren’t in town long enough to try the dinner menu, but I’ll be back. Spécialités de la maison include a whole chicken roasted to order, with Walla Walla onions, orange-rosemary butter and eggplant caviar or local mussels sauteed with bacon, leeks, saffron cream, and fried potatoes. Prices range from 5$ to $34, and the highest is for the whole chicken – meant for two. The prices here are unreal, in the best way possible. There are artisanal cheeses available by the ounce or by the plate, with the selection varied daily. Wine is available by the glass,the pitcher (le pichet…), or bottle.
Restaurant Le Pichet
1933 1st Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98101
Telephone: (206) 256-1499
8 am to 12 am Sunday through Thursday
8 am to 2 am Friday and Saturday