Restaurant Intervention: epulo, Edmonds, WA.

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By L. M. Archer, FWS

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‚ÄúHe who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise.‚ÄĚ ~ 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, ‚ÄčChervil, Chives, Garlic & Pinot Gris, plus a side of toasted bread to sop up the sauce. Oh,¬†and a side order of saut√©ed 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‚Äč 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 Р 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

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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: Proven√ßal Paradise


Mistral French Bistro¬†in Vancouver, B.C. emulates its namesake, the Proven√ßal¬†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 Proven√ßal¬†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 Рthis may change in time for deck weather. Bon appétit!

Five Restaurant | Bistro on Urbanspoon