Tour de France 2016

The 2016 edition of the Tour de France kicks off from Mont Saint-Michel on Saturday July 2nd and finishes on the Champs Elysée on Sunday July 24th.

Café Presse will be showing every stage on the big screen over the bar beginning at 7am when we open.  Check our out Weekly Event Calendar for full schedule.

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France v Ireland this Sunday!

Café Presse invites you to get up early for the EURO 2016 Round of 16 Match


Sunday June 26, 2016 6AM

*Morning Drink Specials
*Special Casse-Croute de Champion
(cheese, sausage, country bread)

No cover charge  No reservations  Everyone welcome

1117 12th AVE  206.709.7674

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Tonight’s Special at Cafe Presse

Soup June 2016

Today’s special at Café Presse combines lovage from our own garden with morel mushrooms:  Creamy potato-leek-lovage soup garnished with morel mushroom and Comté beignets

For those not familiar with lovage, it is an herb that has a flavor similar to wild celery, more pungent and earthy than its domesticated cousin. The lovage for this soup came from the garden of Cafe Presse’s dining room manager, so it doesn’t get any more local than that.

It has been a banner year for morels, so if you haven’t had the chance to try some this season, try some while they are here.

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Bastille Day Fête at Le Pichet

Bastille Day 2016 at Le Pichet

Join us at Le Pichet as we celebrate the 227th year of the Révolution!

Everyone is welcome! No reservations and no cover charge.

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Green walnut wine

Walnut Wine June 2016 1

Crushing green walnuts with a heavy pan.

In the southwest of France, vin de noix is a fortified wine aperitif that is often associated with Christmas.  That’s because 1) it’s delicious, dense and warming like a good glass of porto, and is therefore, welcome during the cold winter months and 2) because it is made with green walnuts, which are available in June.  The recipe calls for  6 months to finish a batch, so that adds up to getting a first taste around Christmas time.

Many of the recipes for this old peasant specialty that I have seen specify that the green walnuts be picked on Saint Jean’s Day, June 24 (though to be fair I also have seen recipes specifying green walnuts picked on July 14th for a more patriotic version.  In reality, it depends on the climate of your region and the weather pattern of the year).

Anyway, having come into a bag of green walnuts and walnut leaves (gathered not on St. Jean’s day or even Bastille Day, it must be admitted), I decided to try my hand at making some vin de noix

Walnut Wine June 2016 3

Preparing bottles for filling with vin de noix.

The basic outline of the process is as follows:  the walnuts are crushed (I accomplished this with the help of a heavy copper pan), the leaves separated from their stems and washed.  Then the walnuts and leaves all go together in a big crock along with a lot of red wine, to macerate for 40 days.

At the end of 40 days, the wine is strained, then fortified with vodka into which has been dissolved sugar.  It has been years since the last time I made vin de noix, and, being unable to find any notes I may have made, I am winging it a little bit on this point.  So far, the walnuts and leaves are snoozing comfortably together with red wine, a bit of dried orange peel and a couple cinnamon sticks, in a cool cellar.  In late July, I will move to the next step.  I will pass along more recipe specifics ten

And around Christmas, I will be sharing a few bottles with friends (including my pals at Green Plate Special, who volunteered the fruits of their ancient walnut tree).

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Let us do the cooking!


Whole natural Washington chicken for 2, roasted to your order at Cafe Presse or to take home.

Too hot to turn on the oven at home?  Let us cook a chicken for you, to enjoy either here at Café Presse or to take  “chez vous”.  You can choose a cold half-chicken served with mayonnaise and salad  or a whole chicken roasted to order for you, with or without pommes frites.

Check out our menus for full details.

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We have Air Conditioning

Forecast says its going to be a hot one tomorrow! But both Cafe Presse and Le Pichet have air conditioning  so there is 100% chance of cool and comfortable at both.

Join us for something cool to drink and some cool breezes.

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We’re open on Memorial Day

Both Café Presse and Le Pichet will be open regular hour on Memorial Day, Monday May 30, 2016.

Stop by and see us!

Le Pichet        Open from 8am to midnight
Café Presse   Open from 7am to 2am

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Spring Dinner 2016 photos

Spring Dinner 2016 asparagus

Grilled Yakima asparagus with house-smoked trout, hazelnuts and tarragon-fennel pollen vinaigrette.

Our Spring Dinner at Café Presse on May 24th was a big success, our thanks to everyone who attended.  The dinner, which featured lamb, asparagus and rosé wine, was the second of our 2016 seasonal dinners, following the Jura Wine Dinner in February that featured the cuisine and wines of this lesser known alpine region of France (including Poulet aux Vin Jaune...check out my recipe).

These seasonal dinners are a ton of fun for us in the kitchen.  They allow us to use what I call “micro-seasonal” ingredients, things that won’t be in season long enough to find a place on the regular menu.  They also let us work with products that might be a little to pricey for the regular menu.

Anyway, we thought everything turned out great and hope that our guests agreed.  If you would like to attend one of our Seasonal Dinners, watch our website or sign up for our newsletter to get the latest info.  The next dinner will be in late August.

In the meantime, here are some pics of last Tuesday’s dinner. Continue reading

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Radish Sprouts


Radish Sprouts

Radish sprouts in the east-facing window of my apartment.  These radishes are  the second crop this year from this pot:  the first was a crop of collard greens that just about made a side dish for two. Obviously my garden is more symbolic than practical.

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