One kind of breakfast I don’t have often is French. In fact, I have to wonder if I ever have. French meals at other times are another story.
You can take bacon, sausage, eggs, pancakes and cereal, and all their variations, only so much before they get, well, old. Don’t get me wrong, I love American breakfasts. It’s just that it’s nice to have something different every now and then. Living in Seattle offers many opportunities to do just that.
This morning, we were intending to have a Mexican breakfast at Señor Moose. We even went so far as to add our name to the inevitable waiting list. Normally, that wouldn’t be much of a problem, but it was raining and had been for over a day. Not a hard rain, but steady. Since the waiting area inside is tiny, we’d have to while away our time outside.
After a few minutes, my daughter asked if we wanted to go to Bastille, a French café only a few blocks away. Why not?
Without reservations, there was a wait here too, but we got seated within 10 minutes. It would be more accurate to say we were here for brunch as the menu straddled the line between breakfast and lunch entrées.
The interior has a definite Gallic atmosphere, white tiles against black trim and booths, wooden floor, ceiling fans, the works. Specials of the day are written on all the mirrors that flank the upright posts and are mounted along the walls.
We started off with good cups of coffee, a prerequisite for any self-respecting French restaurant. No Farmer Brothers here.
For starters, we shared a plate of brandade croquettes served with tarragon aioli. These cod-flecked potato fritters were deep-fried in olive oil, crispy, savory, somewhat greasy, and delicious.
The cauliflower soup was quite good, topped with croutons and green onions and hiding a poached egg in the rich, creamy broth.
Eggs en cocotte was another successful dish. Its sexual reference aside, the cocotte was a cast iron vessel filled with a casserole of béchamel sauce, Comté cheese (a higher quality Gruyere), slices of Duroc ham, kale and eggs.
On the specials list today was a beef shank that was braised to fork-tenderness and shredded on top of mashed potatoes with juliénned carrots, and served with two perfectly poached eggs. Poured over the entire entrée was the wonderful braising liquid.
A side of bacon (sniffingly/whimsically listed under Le Porc, which also included sausages) was not bad either, well done (per our instructions) and not smoked a la Américaine.
Bastille is not an inexpensive restaurant, especially for breakfast, but a meal here every once in a while is worth a visit to savor food this well prepared and escape the breakfast rut.
|Bastille Café and Bar
5307 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
- Bastille’s own voted hottest chef in Seattle (myballard.com)