Seattle is such an amazing city. It’s the perfect combination of natural beauty and tons of stuff to do in an urban atmosphere. My husband and I were lucky enough to stay at the W Hotel in Downtown Seattle. From there, we could walk to a Mariners game, Pike Street Market, and tons of great restaurants. Right down the street from the W, was Purple Cafe and Wine Bar. Highly recommended by our friend, L, Purple ended up being the best dining experience of our trip. We actually went after five innings of watching the Mariners get killed by the Orioles. So, it was a bit late when we arrived, and we had already had an obligatory hot dog at the game. Still, it ended up being perfect, because we were able to order a wine flight and some additional items from the tasting bar, to round out our night.
The atmosphere at Purple can be described as nothing short of swanky. Dim lighting, an upstairs lounge, and two stories of open wine storage really made the place feel hip. We chose to sit upstairs in a nice cushy booth. Even though it was late, there would have been an hour wait for a regular table, so this worked out perfectly. Up there, we were able to relax and take our time as we decided what we want to eat. We were also able to take in what we felt was a true representation of a Seattle eatery. What I noticed right away was that you could really dress how you want. A place like this in LA demands designer jeans and shoes that require a mortgage to afford. In Seattle, you are welcome to dress like that, or you can come in sneakers and a t-shirt. The focus is on the food, not the dress code. Also, while the place was packed, the staff was friendly and helpful, explaining the menu and helping us choose our wines and cheeses.
I instantly fell in love with the idea of ordering a wine flight - something I haven’t seen yet at a restaurant. Purple has a variety to choose from, and I decided to go with a red flight called “Ciao Bellissimo”, which included four 2.5 oz glasses of different Italian reds, numbered in the order you are supposed to drink them in. They were Paggio Pino Nero, Icardi Tabaren, Fattoria Montellori, and Trullari. The last was my favorite. It was fruity and full bodied, yet still light enough to drink with just about anything.
To ensure we got enough vegetables, we decided to start by sharing a half Caesar salad:
It was crisp and refreshing. The dressing itself was very light and tangy.
Next up were the items from the tasting menu. We went with the artichoke Parmesan dip and three cheeses. Here is the dip:
It was nice that it came with pita, which made it more filling. I enjoyed that it was very tangy, but it was a bit dry for my taste. I was expecting a bit more of a creamy style of dip. Maybe next time I will go with another salad and skip this.
The cheeses, however, did not disappoint:
From left to right: Roncal (a hard, sheep’s milk cheese, similar to Pecorino), the most amazing fig spread ever, Ibores Paprika (a semi-hard goats’ milk cheese, the rind is red from the paprika, which added a nice, smoky-sweet flavor), L’Edel Cleron (a soft, cow’s milk cheese, with a very creamy texture, very similar to Bree), and thinly sliced apples. Everything on this plate was fantastic. The cheeses, at 1 oz each, were the perfect size portions. Anymore would have been too much. And, it all went so well with the wine. And, that fig spread! Seriously, it made a believer out of me. I will be adding this to my grocery list from now on! I think I could eat it by the spoonful.
Not only was this an amazing late, light dinner, but it didn’t cost an arm and a leg, like Enoteca San Marco did. All together, it was only $42, including tax.
So, if you are ever in the downtown Seattle area, check out Purple. They also have an beautiful looking dinner menu, if you are not one for a wine and cheese meal.
Purple Cafe and Wine Bar is located in Downtown Seattle at 1225 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101