Ever make dinner reservations with no clue as to what to expect? Enter La Bete (pronounced "bet" and I do not have the technical skills to add the ^ above the first "e") located in the trendy neighborhood of Capitol Hill in Seattle on Bellevue Avenue.
Seattle Met Magazine regarded this restaurant as one of the top 25 in Seattle 2011.
Street parking is not available (I really hate trying to park on Capitol Hill) so allow time to find space. If you've ever been to the side streets of Capitol Hill, you'll find yourself on a residential street with a business establishment oddly placed. La Bete isn't quite so recluse, but boarders the thought.
When you walk in you are immediately in the restaurant. They wasted no space in this old world, meets new world meets eclectic. A dark space with dark furniture and unrefined flooring, yet so refined with a beautiful ceiling above the kitchen and counter top at the bar. A large wall of art that would entertain an acid-trip, decor of raw bones and fall gourds and food served on china perhaps taken from the Queen's afternoon tea party serves for an interesting first impression.
Their always changing menu is humble, and is meant to be served family style. The menu, top to bottom begins with small bites and ends with hearty entrees. The lower on the menu you order, the more food you're going to get. In today's economy bread service is not free, a meager $2 for five slices of french baguette and olive oil. Ouch!
On a lovely spring evening, we enjoyed the following:
Spring Salad: Delicious and was more of a vegetable pot pourri than a salad.
Calamari: My son was quick to order this (assuming fried crispy goodness) but I cautioned him of their Mediterranean interpretation - grilled, presented in a bowl shared with a lemon/tomato sauce, muscles, chorizo sausage, potatoes and lots of other goodness. This was fantastic.
Painted Hills Burger - A toasted sesame topped brioche bun and perfectly prepared beef patty that was delicious (my kid gobbled it up). The accompanying fries were "heavily seasoned".
Mad Hatcher Chicken - I haven't had chicken prepared this well in a long time. The peas, mushrooms, shallots, kohlrabi were an excellent addition to this dish. The sauce was worthy of some nice crusty bread.
Coconut Doughnuts - made to order and I was excited! Then not. I felt the dough was gummy - but the vanilla sauce that accompanied with was fantastic. My kid finished up the dish.
Salted Caramel Tart - This would be good to share with many people, as it included many items that left my culinary mind overstimulated. There was too much on the dish and we left the table, most of it still in tact.
Final verdict: Yes! Delicious! Fabulous Meal! Skip the sweets.
Tip: This restaurant (as of the blog post) does not take American Express (it happens to be the only card in my wallet).