Restaurant Intervention: epulo, Edmonds, WA.

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By L. M. Archer, FWS

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“He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise.” ~ Henry David Thoreau



e-pu-lo:  sumptuous food, banquet or feast.

I finally know what the sin of gluttony feels like. Or, rather – what it tastes like.

It tastes like e-pu-lo bistro’s Manila clams with Parsley, ​Chervil, Chives, Garlic & Pinot Gris, plus a side of toasted bread to sop up the sauce. Oh, and a side order of sautéed green beans with garlic. lemon and chili to add to the flavor-fest. So simple. So delicious. So sumptuous. A true banquet of the senses  – and stomach.

Meat eaters – my  partner-in-crime swears by the Braised Beef Short Rib with Garlic​ Mashed Potato, Arugula & Demi Glace. Not one succulent morsel left on his plate, either.

Wines by the glass or bottle include some reasonably priced Old World selections, as well as familiar top-shelf New world pours with prices to match.

Warm, attentive staff, soft lighting and cozy bistro seating help set the stage for ongoing crime of self-indulgence. And, like any self-respecting bistro, this venue accommodates families, foodies and francophiles alike. Proprietary parking on the side ensures a seamless, hassle-free dining experience. Sinning never tasted so good.


Epulo Bistro on Urbanspoon

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Copyrighted 2012-2014. All images courtesy the author. All Rights Reserved.

Restaurant Intervention: Le Caviste, Seattle

Welcome to binNotes | a wine blog.  

binNotes reprises ‘Restaurant Intervention’ for a cameo appearance by Le Caviste  in downtown Seattle. Luckily, no intervention required…

By L. M. Archer, FWS

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Need an authentic Parisian bistrot-à-vins fix? Alors! Look further than Le Caviste in downtown Seattle.

Le Caviste channels all the best features of that favorite little Parisian bistro you’ve secretly dreamed about revisiting someday – you know the one…tucked away in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower (or, in this case, The Space Needle…) with quaint chalk board menus offering up the daily plats du jour and wines by the glass, charming butcher-papered tables, and that inimitable French bonhomie.

Le Caviste has it all, including a truly Parisian-inspired wine list.

Let’s talk about the wine list. Both white and red lists feature affordable, everyday regional wines by the glass or bottle. Whenever possible, wines sourced reflect organic and sustainable vineyard practices.

Delightful finds include a blanc and rouge from  France’s Savoie, as well as those from the more familiar Loire, Rhone, Bordeaux, and Burgundy regions. In search of something a bit more complex? Look for a hidden gem or two premier crus tucked among the carte des vins, with uncharacteristically modest prestige pricing to match.

Generous plats du jour groan with locally sourced bread, eggs and mushrooms, charcuterie, artisan cheese, imported fish and  olives –  all designed to stave off hunger and mitigate excess wine intake.   On your way out, a sweet little retail section beckons with tasty little take-out bottles at ridiculous retail prices.

But before you exit,  check out owner and oenophile David Butler’s lovingly compiled list of best wine bistros in ParisIt’ll make you want to jump-start your return to the City of Lights someday…with a few stops at Le Caviste for inspiration!


Le Caviste on Urbanspoon

Le Caviste  | 1919 7th Avenue | Seattle, WA 98101 | 206.728.2657

4 to Midnight Tuesday through Saturday

Link here for more  binNotes Urbanspoon Restaurant  Interventions.


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Copyrighted 2012-2014. All images courtesy the author. All Rights Reserved.

Thank you:

David Butler, Owner – Le Caviste | Seattle

Mistral French Bistro: Provençal Paradise


Mistral French Bistro in Vancouver, B.C. emulates its namesake, the Provençal wind  Mistral. Loosely translated, ‘mistral’ means ‘mastery’.  Chef Jean-Yves Benoit and wife Minna masterfully combine staff, food, wine, and ambiance with warmth, skill and joie de vivre, creating an incomparable Provençal dining experience in the heart of Kitsilano.

binNotes favorites: A pour of the Domaine Du Vieux Pressoir Saumur 2007 – dry Loire sparkling at its best, paired with the Saffron Bourride Marseillais – paradis on earth. Bravo!

Mistral French Bistro on Urbanspoon

binNotes NoshNotes: FIVE Bistro


I hate to squeal on a favorite spot – but sometimes secrets are just that hard to keep.

Finally – an American bistro with an authentic Parisian bistrot vibe. In the shadow of the Kingston Ferry commuter route, don’t let the nearby strip mall fool you – Edmond’s FIVE Bistro envelops guests in a warm embrace tout de suite, and the affair continues the duration of the meal. Subdued lighting, French country-chic decor, and VERY French seating arrangements set the stage. Ultra cool wait staff,  creative culinary selections,  and artful preparation et presentation deliver a sold-out performance with not an empty seat – or plate – in the house. Regulars range from ‘Daily Candy‘ites in skull-caps and sweats to broadcloth and chino boomers.

binNotes© can vouch vociferously for the organic red beet, pistachio and goat cheese salad with raspberry vinaigrette, oven-fired bay scallops in lime mornay sauce, and fresh bartlett pear, gorgonzola and pine nut pizza, paired with a simple glass of Delas St. Esprit Cotes du Rhone.

Note: The wine  currently leans a little light in the international department, especially  rosés – this may change in time for deck weather. Bon appétit!

Five Restaurant | Bistro on Urbanspoon