Café Presse 10th Anniversary Dinner

CP LOGO BWCan you believe that Café Presse is turning 10 years old? That’s right, we opened our doors to the public for the first time on June 20th, 2007.  To celebrate the occasion, our Chef’s Dinner this quarter will feature dishes from our very first menu.

What:   5-course family-style dinner
When:  Tuesday June 20, at 6:30pm sharp
Where: The back room at Café Presse
Cost:    Dinner including beverage* $70
*your choice of paired wines or non-alcoholic beverages

For reservations, please telephone at 206.709.7674

 MENU

Les hors d’œuvres
Croque monsieur bites
Falafels with sauce blanche
Steak tartare on toasted baguette with tomato chutney

Plateau de charcuterie
Artisan and house-made charcuterie including jambon de Bayonne, gâteau de foie de volaille, rillettes de porc, saucisse a l’ail, langue de veau and saucissons sec.

Salade au chèvre chaud
Local arugula and curly endive, mustard vinaigrette, warm goat cheese croutons

Poulet rôti, pommes frites
Free range natural chicken roasted to order, served with pommes frites and grilled Washington State asparagus

Gâteau de riz « grand-mère » et ses frais de notre région
“Grandmother-style” caramelized rice cake served with fresh cream and Washington State strawberries.

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We’re open on Memorial Day

Cafe Presse and Le Pichet will both be open regular hours on Memorial Day, Monday May 29, 2017.

Cafe Presse open from 7am to 2am
Le Pichet open from 8am to midnight

Stop by and see us!

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Les Temps des Vendages, Toulouse France

Temps des Vendanges May 2017 2

If you leave the old center of Toulouse, crossing the Garonne via the pont Saint-Pierre, you will arrive in the left bank quarter of Saint-Cyprian.  Less picturesque and with fewer sites to attract visitors, this side of the river offers instead the charm the of a French town quietly going about its daily routines.

Located on the pocket sized Place de l’Estrapade at the center of the Saint-Cyprian, Les Temps des Vendages is at heart a cave or wine shop.  The walls of the tiny front room are lined with bottles that reflect owner Eric Cuestas’ passion for organic, biodynamic and natural wines, what he calls Vins d’Artisans.  By virtue of a tiny kitchen at the back  and 10 small tables tucked in between the cases of wine, the cave becomes cave a manger at lunch time.  Each day, the kitchen offers a short menu of seasonal dishes that look simple but surprise with their depth of flavor and technical accomplishment.

On a day in late May, one starter was a golden-yolked farm egg baked en cocotte with cream, raclette cheese , parsley and peas.   A main course featured  half a roasted chicken served with a salad of red feuille de chêne lettuce and potato puree.  Very simple dishes both but perfectly executed.  As each plate was delivered, the server chatted amiably about  the various farms from which came the eggs, chicken and raw milk raclette,

A cheese course we ordered was composed of a drippingly ripe Brie de Meaux, a cow’s milk tome from the Ariege hamlet of Bethmale and a herb crusted sheep’s milk cheese from Corsica.  The owner selected these from a small but very packed display case full of cheese and charcuterie at the back of the room.  Are these today’s cheeses, I asked?  No, he selected these to match the bottle of red wine from the Clos de Tue Bouef in the Touraine that we had been drinking.

By the time that a dessert of goat’s milk panna cotta with gariguette  strawberries (a specialty of the region)  arrived,  it had become clear that this simple little cafe and wine shop is anything but.  Instead, it offers something that is rare these days.  Impeccably sourced food and wine, prepared and served with skill and an amazingly humble sense of the virtues of a job well done.

Afternoons finds the pleasant terrace out front filled with tables of friends sharing a bottle of wine and a plate of charcuterie or cheese. Neighbors pass by to purchase a bottle and some cheese or rillettes to take home. Just another day in paradise.

Lest Temps des Vendages
Address:  9 Place de l’Estrapade, 31300 Toulouse, France
Tel: o5 61 42 94 66
Reservations:  Lots of space on the terrace, but if the weather is bad, reserve on of the 10 tables inside.

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Lending a helping hand to the Fred Hutch

Fred Hutch 2017 3

Café Presse and Le Pichet were very proud to have been asked to be a part of the 2017 Premier Chef’s Dinner to support the great work they to that the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.  The gala dinner, that featured guest speaker and culinary icon Alice Waters, as well as a host of top Seattle chefs, took place last Sunday May 21.

For their cocktail hour hors d’ouevre offering, Café Presse chef de cuisine Patrick MacWhorter and Le Pichet chef de cuisine Dave Cooper chose a mini-version of the classic Parisian sandwich, the jambon-beurre.  The ultimate in simplicity, the jambon-beurre consists only of good bread, salted butter and jambon de Paris.  Their version featured house-made Paris-style ham, sea-salt butter from Brittany, house made brioche and a garnish of cornichons.

Partick MacWhorter (left) and Dave Cooper (right) with Café Presse sous-chef James O'Hern lurking in the background.

Partick MacWhorter (left) and Dave Cooper (right) with Café Presse sous-chef James O’Hern lurking in the background (and doing most of the work by the looks of it).

Fred Hutch 2017 2

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Café Presse is turning 10!

CAFE PRESSE LOGO

On June 20, 2017, Café Presse will be 10 years old.  It has been a privilege to serve our neighborhood for the last 10 years. Help us celebrate by joining us for these special Café Presse Birthday Events in June:

*Every Tuesday from 11am to 10pm, we will feature   a prix fixe menu of classic Café Presse dishes at 2007 prices.  You can pick two courses for $15 or three courses for $20.

*Every Wednesday look for extended Vin Expresse Happy Hours from 3pm to 7pm.

*All month long, sample our special anniversary cocktail, la Liberté, and we will donate $5 to the ACLU for each one ordered.

*Join us Tuesday June 20th for a special 5 course family-style Chef’s Dinner composed of dishes from our very first menu!

Find more info about all these events at www.cafepresseseattle.com

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Domaine les Pentes de Barène

A few of the very limited supply of bottles from Domaine Les Pentes de Barene

A few of the very limited supply of bottles from Domaine Les Pentes de Barene

If these bottles look familiar to you, it may be because you have ordered one before at Le Pichet or Cafe Presse, where this white wine from the Tursan region in  southwest France is one of our favorites.  I have certainly drunk more than my fair share of this versatile, mouth filling wine recently.  Domaine les Pentes de Barène is a white that has dry acidity to pair well with seafood but also the body and richness to be a great match with a roasted chicken or even pork.

I recently had a chance to visit the Domaine les Pentes de Barène and was surprised to find out just how tiny it is.  At just over 1.5 hectares (about 3.7 acres), les Pentes de Barène is officially the smallest domaine in the Tursan AOC. Owners Daniel and Gaelle Vergnes are the entire staff and together produce about 5000 bottles a year, with nearly every step done by hand.  That includes hand harvesting in multiple passes through the vines to insure that only mature grape bundles are included, and even hand filling, corking and labeling every bottle. Continue reading

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Dog loves cheese (who doesn’t?)

Dog love cheese 2017

Seen in the Saturday market in Orthez:  a dog who really loves cheese.  Clearly a learned behavior, as,right after this photo was taken, he was rewarded with a bite of cheese by the vendor.

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Sunday Dinner in Orthez

Monfish 2 APr 2017

Monkfish filets from the Golfe de Gasogne, artichokes, peppers, garlic and spring onions.

A rainy Sunday in Orthez with plenty of time to prepare and enjoy a leisurely diner de dimancheSunday dinner in France, especially in the countryside, is a late lunch that serves as the main meal of the day.   The PM meal will usually be something simple, like soup and salad or an omelette.

Apero April 2017

L’heure d’apéro, in this case a glass of sweet wine from Jurançon, radishes and air-cured duck sausage.

Although fish is not traditional for Sunday dinner  (un rôti would be more common, roasted chicken, for example or a roast rack of pork), I make it a rule to follow my instincts when shopping…when I find an ingredient that grabs me, the menu de jour has to follow along.

Monkfish April 2017The finished main course:  Pan-roasted monk fish tail, artichokes, peppers and spring onions sauteed with white wine, and brown rice.

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New desserts for Spring at Café Presse

Dense chocolate cake square served with Earl Grey-lavender ice cream and chocolate sauce.

Dense chocolate cake square served with Earl Grey-lavender ice cream and chocolate sauce.

The new menu for Spring has started at Cafe Presse.  As promised, here are photos of the new desserts from the Staff Tasting…enjoy!

Frozen terrine with vanilla and lemon ice creams, served with rhubarb compote and crispy baked merengue.

Frozen terrine with vanilla and lemon ice creams, served with rhubarb compote and crispy baked meringue.

Vanilla scented tapioca mousse, with macerated Washington State strawberries and a langue de chat cookie

Vanilla scented tapioca mousse, with macerated Washington State strawberries and a langue de chat cookie

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Spring Menu starts at Cafe Presse

WA state asparagus with scallions, house-smoked arctic char, butter fried croutons and Basque cider vinaigrette

WA state asparagus with scallions, house-smoked arctic char, butter fried croutons and Basque cider vinaigrette

The new spring menu started today at Café Presse and it is filled with tastes of the season.  Here are some photos of the savory dishes from today’s staff tasting.  Look for photos of the new desserts soon.

And by the way, yes, Steak Tartare is back! Continue reading

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