Steak Tartare!!

Special today at Café Presse: Steak Tartare!

Served with a salad of curly and red chicories, red onion, pine nuts and a blood orange vinaigrette. Choose appetizer portions served with grilled baguette slices or main course portion with pommes frites.

Available this weekend while supplies last.

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Special salad at Café Presse this weekend.

Appetizer special at Café Presse this weekend:
House-made farmer’s cheese served with grilled Treviso, pine nuts and sauce ravigote made with soft herbs, lemon, olive oil, capers and anchovies.

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Plat du jour at Cafe Presse

Our main course special today at Café Presse is a long-time guest favorite: Axoa d’Espelette.

Axoa is a stalwart of good Basque country cooking. Our version is made in the style of the village of Espelette, with ground beef and veal simmered with sweet peppers, onions, garlic, tomato, thyme and Piment d’Espelette,served with pommes frites. Miam miam! Available while supply lasts.

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Special today at Café Presse

Café Presse is open (AT LAST!) and here is our first daily special! Available while supplies last.

Grilled pork-smoked duck sausage served with creamy celery root -Basque cider purée and a sauté of white beans, garlic confit, celery, herbs and black currants.

Hope to see all our friends again soon!

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Le Pichet and Café Presse to reopen March 5th!

We are getting ready to reopen! Hope everyone will come by and say “HI”, it has been way too long! Starting Friday March 5, both Le Pichet and Cafe Presse will be open for indoor and outside dining, take-out and delivery.

As we prepare to reopen, please be assured that we are following all recommendations from the Washington State Department of Health to keep our staff and guests safe. This includes requiring all employees and guests to where masks except while seated and eating, implementing routine sanitizing procedures, checking temperatures when our staff comes to work, increasing ventilation and air circulation in enclosed spaces and keeping everyone 6 feet apart.

Le Pichet open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 8pm
www.lepichetseattle.com

Café Presse open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 7pm
www.cafepresseseattle.com

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Café Presse Valentine’s Day Take-Out Dinner!

Our Valentine’s Day Take-out Dinner is a 4-course meal designed for Two featuring our famous WA State natural free-range whole roasted chicken! 

Customize your meal with a bottle of red, white or sparkling wine. 

Available for Take-Out only, to pick up at Café Presse on Sunday 2/14/21
AT THE TIME YOU RESERVE between 4pm and 7:30pm.
Order deadline: 5pm on Tuesday 2/9/21

Menu for Two : $80

Rillettes de poisson fumé
Poached and smoked fish spread, with herbs, capers and lemon mayonnaise, served with red wine pickled onion and bread from Grand Central Bakery

Salade aux deux chicorées et aux oranges sanguine
Curly endive, red Treviso, purple daikon radish, blood orange and grain mustard-citrus vinaigrette

Poulet rôti
Washington State natural free-range roasted chicken roasted with butter and sea salt,
served with a ragout of French green lentils simmered with, red wine, sage, chestnuts, Savoy cabbage and winter squash

Gateau aux chocolate
Classic French chocolate cake served with Cognac caramel sauce and crème fraîche

For this special menu, NO SUBSTITUTIONS PLEASE.

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Confit de canard – preserved duck legs

Preserved duck legs out of their fat

Confit de canard, or preserved duck, is an indispensable dish of southwestern France and a warm, comforting dish on a cold winter evening. Its origin lies in the culture of duck farming that has shaped the entire region, from the Pays Basque in far southwest, north to Gascony and east to the area around Toulouse. On my first visit to the southwest, it struck me as odd that so much of the land was dedicated to growing field corn, since corn figures very little in the local cuisine. Corn, it turns out, is the starting point for the raising of ducks for foie gras, and foie gras production is king here.

Confit developed from the thrifty farm ethos of whole animal eating. In foie gras duck terms, that means making use of the rest the large framed Moulard duck after the sumptuous liver has been removed. The thick, meaty breasts (or magrets) are usually seared on a plancha grill and served like a steak, or marinated with salt and spices then smoked, thinly sliced and enjoyed cold like best quality cured ham. The fat of the carcass is rendered for use in cooking, representing the the third pillar in the French pantheon of cooking fats (Butter in the north, olive oil in the southeast and duck or pork fat in the southwest).

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Knife sharpening with a whetstone

Working an Opinel stainless paring knife with a water whetstone

Keeping myself busy during the coronavirus shutdown, like everyone else…

These days, I have had time to take on some of the projects around the kitchen that often get pushed back or get forgotten. One such project is keeping all the kitchen knives sharp.

For lack of time to do it themselves, many cooks have their knives sharpened by a professional knife sharpener, who typically use a power grindstone for the job. There are even mobile sharpeners who, in normal times, stop by the restaurant every month and offer their services to the crew (for a fee, obviously!). My personal feeling is that sharpening knives with a power grinder is risky, especially expensive or carbon steel knives. Sure, you end up with a very sharp edge and a mirror like finish. On the down side, a power grindstone in the hands of the wrong person can take off too much steel during the sharpening and even change the profile of the cutting edge. I vividly recall a Paris kitchen where the chef had his own power grindstone. Over the years, all the kitchen knives had been systematically whittled down until only a thin ribbon of steel remained. It was like preparing food using a hacksaw blade!

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Sagging Fence Farm goat tomme

Name: Sagging Fence goat tomme
From: Port Orchard, Washington State
Made By:  Sagging Fence Farm
Milk: Raw goat’s milk
Curdling type: rennet
Size/ weigh: Round tomme about 4# in weight
Rind: Natural rind that is washed weekly during aging
Interior: semi firm, very pale ivory color
Aged: 3-5 months (maybe longer due to recent closures!)

This goat’s milk cheese is made by Bob and Juli Fisher on their farm near Port Orchard on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, where they also pasture raise Aracana chickens for eggs. Although they have made cheeses together for years, Sagging Fence Farm (Juli says the name comes from the farm’s wire fences when hungry goats climb on them trying to get better stuff on the other side) came into being in 2014 as a retirement “job”.

Their goat milk tomme is made from the milk of their herd of 24 Nubian goats, although only 6-8 of these are producing milk at any one time. Each 4# wheel takes 4-5 gallons of milk to make, so the total production is only 4-5 cheeses per week. It is a firm, finely textured cheese with a rich, full flavor that reminds me of the cheeses of the French Basque Countries, where sheep milk predominates but goat’s milk versions also exist. Weekly washing of the rind (“to prevent unwanted growth” during aging, says Juli) adds to complexity and full-flavor to the fresh lactic flavor of the interior.

It is a rare treat to be able to sample a raw milk cheese of this quality made by dedicated artisans right in our own back yard. Although Le Pichet and Cafe Presse are both still closed due to the Governor’s mandate, each restaurant has one of these goat tommes quietly aging in our cheese caves. We can’t wait to see how good it will taste when we reopen! In the meantime, you can generally find Sagging Fence cheese at Quality Cheese in the Pike Place Market.

Sagging Fence Farm cheese-maker Bob Fisher and some of his young wards.
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Café Presse Sunday Supper Take-Out on January 24th

Café Presse is once again doing Sunday Supper! This month, the date is Sunday January 24th and we have put together a 3-course meal for two that is full of Café Presse and Le Pichet all-time favorites. Why not add a bottle of wine to your dinner? Our wine director has selected three different bottles, each of which will go great with your Sunday Supper.

Available for Take-Out only, to pick up at Café Presse on Sunday 1/24/21
AT THE TIME YOU RESERVE between 3:30pm and 7pm.
Reserve your dinner and pick-up time by 5pm on Tuesday 1/19/21

Dinner for Two : $60

Salade verte
Bibb lettuce tossed with hazelnuts and hazelnut-mustard vinaigrette

Poulet rôti, pommes frites et mayonnaise
Whole Washington State natural free-range chicken, roasted to your order, with pommes frites and mayonnaise

Gâteau de riz « a la Grand-Mère »
Rich caramelized rice pudding cake served with fresh cream and poached pineapple

For this special menu, NO SUBSTITUTIONS PLEASE.

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