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Seattle Restaurant Week— Purple Cafe

We tried Purple Cafe— Bellevue once when we first moved here and had a pretty good experience. We got some calamari as an appetizer, and we each got sandwiches with a glass of wine. We also left with a pretty big bill. The food was great, but we didn’t feel our casual meal justified the price.

That’s why when we saw Purple Cafe was participating in Restaurant Week, we thought we could try some of Purple’s more upscale dishes, so we a met a friend and set out to continue our Restaurant Week adventure with good food and a bottle of wine. We really liked that we didn’t have to drive into Seattle to eat a nice meal since the traffic getting into the city always seems to be awful. Instead we were able to stroll there from our apartment, incredibly convenient for a week night.

We arrived in the dimly lit Purple dining room where the ambiance is nice but has a slight industrial feel to it, something that seems to be pretty trendy in the Seattle/Bellevue area. We browsed the prix frixe menu from which we both decided to start with the bruschetta.

The bruschetta was traditional– a crispy bread layered with tomato, Mozzarella, basil, and a drizzle of high-quality, aged balsamic vinegar. It was solid, and seeing as how much we love those flavor combinations, it was perfect for us. But it wasn’t special enough to go back to Purple specifically for that appetizer.

Our entree on the other hand, a seasonal and daily changing risotto with creamy goat cheese, balsamic vinegar, and veggies among other thing, was very unique. We didn’t hear all of what went in the dish because our waitress mumbled and the restaurant was a little loud. What we did hear of it sounded pretty good, so we went with our guts and ordered the risotto. It turns out that we really enjoyed our selection. The risotto was cooked to perfection, and the flavors melded together beautifully.

Although up until this point we ordered the same dishes, for dessert we were divided. I love bread pudding, never passing up a chance for the usually sweet and gooey bread-y delight, so I ordered the seasonal bread pudding. When it came out the flavor of the bread was nice, and there were delicious and tart cherries throughout. The major issue with the bread pudding was that the bread itself was, dry and there was no sweet syrup drenching it, a hallmark of the best bread puddings. Thus I was a little disappointed with my dessert.

Fortunately, Dustin let me snag a little of his chocolate chai truffles. These, on the other hand, were scrumptious. They were delicious dark chocolate morsels filled with a lovely chai spice, rolled in perfectly bitter, unsweetened cocoa powder. Along with the risotto, the truffles were a true highlight of the meal.

Overall, Purple Cafe was a mixed bag with our foods ranging from slightly disappointing to unique and richly flavorful, but the good definitely outweighed the bad. I’d order the risotto and those chocolate chai truffles again in a heartbeat.

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