Boat Street Café feels like a ray of sunshine on a gray Seattle evening. Whimsically and cheerfully decorated, there are vases of big, brightly colored tissue paper flowers around the edges of the restaurant, upside down Chinese paper umbrellas hanging from the ceiling, and cutout paper animals taped to the windows. Ever ready for spring, there was a picnic table and chalk board outside, and a small jar of daffodils by the door when we walked in. With big loft windows, high ceilings, and the warm glow of candles, Boat Street Café feels like somewhere you want to wile away an evening with friends, over a bottle of good wine and delicious food.
There was already a small clay bowl of fleur de sel sitting on our rough-hewn slate tabletop when we sat down – definitely a good sign. We started with the warm bread and butter, which was drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with anise seeds and was completely delicious. Next came the mousse style pate – it was light and easy to eat, especially combined with the jam on the side, but it was missing the depth of flavor and density of texture that I was hoping for. We also tried Chef Renee Erickson’s famous pickles to start – a plate of fruits and vegetables that were each pickled with a fascinating mix of flavors, including spicy celery and pears with cloves, cinnamon and vinegar. The pickles were inventive and unique but not my personal favorite.
For my entrée I ordered the seared Alaskan scallops with roasted cauliflower and lightly pickled celery – it was absolutely fantastic. The dish was rich and light all at once – the scallops were perfectly golden brown, the cauliflower was rich and deeply flavorful, and the celery was crisp and salty sweet – it was a masterful preparation.
Dessert was not to be missed. We ordered the dark chocolate pot de crème, which was served in a ribbed porcelain tea cup with the thick whipped cream perfectly swirled on top. It was like drinking smooth, extra rich chocolate – each bite left me wanting another. The dish was served with a melt-in-your mouth flaky chocolate cookie topped with fleur de sel – a perfect way to bring the meal back to where we started.Boat Street Café http://www.boatstreetcafe.com/home.aspx 3131 Western Ave # 301 Seattle, WA 98121 206.632.4602