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Art

Thanks for the tip! This place is almost right down the street from me, and I didn't know it. I assume you're familir with Bis on Main, which is one of the better restaurants on the Eastside and is in the same neighborhood of Old Bellevue. Capri, alas, if not closed, has been declining into oblivion for the past couple of years. I found some vintage-1990 wine on their shelf a while back that I would have purchased if it hadn't been standing there upright for the last ten summers. I'm sure there will be a new condo or office building on that spot in the near future.

ms.proust

I've heard great things about Bis, especially from some great customers who were hosting a recent Spanish tasting there with their wine group. Hope to get over there sometime for dinner myself.
Glad to have pointed out something new of interest on the eastside, & boy do I wish I was within walking distance. I think things should only get better as the cook staff gets used to the kitchen & the front end learns more about their wares. Until then, they've got helpful cheat sheets to help you get more info!
Cheers...they're open seven days a week.

Art

I stopped in today for a late lunch (I'm actually on the north side of 520 so had to drive), and, oh my God, were you right about the asparagus-parsnip soup! I can't imagine anything better than that soupwise at anywhere near the price, and I've had some damned fine soups in my day. The pork sandwich was very tasty, too. I learned that the chef/owner is involved with Bada in Seattle . . . ? He didn't smile much, maybe because he's now in Bellevue. Can't say I blame him. I also overheard the management bemoaning the fact that so many eastsiders prefer going to Bellevue Square -- for what, I'm not sure. Could it be . . . MALL FOOD??!! Sometimes I hate it over here. If you didn't check out the wine department, I have to say that it's not exactly inspired. They've called in some consultant, though, who's revamping it with a Northwest focus. I'm not sure that's such a good idea, but I guess they favor the "produced locally" theme.

ms.proust

Oh, I'm so glad someone else was blissed out on that divine soup. Sadly, it probably won't be on the menu for too long since it relies on such incredibly seasonal ingredients. How on earth are they putting that amount of morels in a soup that price.

I decided it best not to knock their wine selection, but you're right, nothing sold me especially with the mark-up. Because I want to see these guys succeed, I won't go into too much detail. I think I inadvertantly scared off some wine perusers by blurting, "$14.99 for that? $17.99 for that?" Whoops. It's dangerous when you've got a metric for wholesale prices in your brain.

Northwest, sigh. Local is good, but since the products that they carry are so European, what about an international artisanally-produced wine selection? My guess is that they wouldn't need a consultant, but an actual steward which I didn't see anywhere in the grocery section. The prices on the food items seemed fair but still they need an educated staff & clientele to sell such high end wares.

Who on god's green earth prefers mall food to what these folks have to offer people's bellies??? This is why I never go to Bellevue, but Porcella & Zizo's is why I'd go back. Spread the word!

Art

Who prefers mall food? Have you checked out the number of restaurants in the new Bellevue/Lincoln Square complex? Not only is there a plethora, they're packed! Part of it is because the people have kids, they can also park, and they like one-stop shopping. The rest is that most don't know any better. The only thing worse than putting malls in the middle of cities is putting sports domes there.

Good idea for the Porcella wine department. I'll mention it to them if I get the chance.

Kelly Gaddis

I am happy to have pleased most of you. I had a disagreement with the wine buyer and we parted ways amiably. I want the focus to be on recognizeable local wines. I envision our customer being able to come in after work and pick up dinner for 2 and wine to go for under forty dollars. I strongly feel that keeping the "Meals" in this price range will keep people coming in the doors while allowing me to stock the "larder" with more exotic and rare ingredients thatus foodie love but don't really move so often.

Thanks for the thread and I am always open to comments and gentle criticism.

Kelly Gaddis

p.s. Mall food sucks.

ms.proust

Hey, thanks for slogging blogs to find mine Kelly! I hope you felt that my review was as enthusiastic as it was honest because I was genuinely inspired as I left the table, & I hope others are as well. Bellevue is lucky to have you--wish you had a second outpost in Columbia City! This booming "new Ballard" needs gourmet to-go...

As for the wine selection, I hope you keep some diversity on your shelves but understand the need to work with the locals. Ultimately, it's about pleasing your clientele be it giving them comfortable choices or introducing wine lovers to new finds that please their palate. At my outpost, I get off on the latter, but I'm all for whatever keeps you afloat!

Art

I second that emotion! I definitely welcome Porcella to the eastside and will do my best to spread the word. For what it's worth, my prediction is that in time some of the grocery section will give way to sit-down dining. With a kitchen that good and what I believe is more of an inclination on the gourmet side to eat out (or cook at home) than take out, plus the need for good lunch spots in Bellevue, it could make sense. Pomegranate in Redmond, with a similar atmosphere in a much different area, seems to have recognized that, although the food isn't nearly as good. Need I mention the plethora of "recognizable local wines" virtually everywhere? I'm still for the artisinals.

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