Supper in Orthez

fish and reisling

Light supper in Orthez…Merlu de ligne from Saint-Jean de Luz pan sautéed with a compote of fennel and leeks from the garden and sauteed spinach.

On arrival in late November, found the garden still held a few winter veggies…some sad looking Brussels sprout, a fine row of leeks, one or two gigantic cabbages and a whole bed of black radishes fully 2 inches around and nearly a foot long. The radishes we have planted under a sheet of spring mulch mainly for their ability to break up our clay-heavy soil.  Despite their size, the radishes were still firm and peppery.  Had the greens sauteed with garlic the first night with a nice confit de canard and the radishes in green salad ever since.


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Holy Mackerel, check out Café Presse in the Washington Post!


Here is a link to a Washington Post article entitled “If you can only eat three meals in Seattle, make sure they’re here”.  Spoiler alert, Café Presse is one of them!

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November 2017 Chef’s Dinner

Camembert aged 20 days in Normandy cider, served wit caramelized onion-pork cracklin' brioche

Camembert aged 20 days in Normandy cider, served wit caramelized onion-pork cracklin’ brioche

The November 2017 version of our Chef’s Dinner took place last Wednesday and welcomed a sold out crowd to the back room at Café Presse.  The theme for the dinner was Tout est bon dans le cochon (every part of the pig is good) and the menu for the event was designed to highlight the different possibilities in taste, texture and experience possible using the humble hog.  We hope everyone who attended enjoyed the experience.

Here are a few photos of the different dishes for your enjoyment…and look for info about upcoming chef dinners  on this blog or on the Café Presse website!

Terrine de tete de porc served with house-made dark rye bread and mustard creme fraiche

Terrine de tête de porc served with house-made dark rye bread and mustard creme fraîche

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Artisan Butcher Demo

Priceless heirloom in a family of butchers

Priceless heirloom in a family of butchers

As noted in an earlier post, last week, in preparation for our November Quarterly Chef’s Dinner, Café Presse had a visit from artisan butcher Darron Marsolf, who showed us the proper way to break down a pig.  In addition to being a top-notch butcher, Darron is a affable fellow, and he took the time to tell us about how his family became butchers and how he personally learned the trade. He even brought along a technical butchery manual called “The Meat We Eat” which had been passed down to him by his grandfather.

Here are a few photos of the demonstration.

Darron talks tactics before starting to remove the primal cuts from our half hog

Darron talks tactics before starting to remove the primal cuts from our half hog

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Work starts for the Quarterly Dinner

Nov Qut Dinner head

Guest of honor at the Café Presse November Chef’s Dinner, “Tout est bon dans le cochon”

Preparations began today for the November Chef’s Dinner at Café Presse with the arrival of an entire half hog from Pure Country Pork in Ephrata.  The dinner, which is on Wednesday November 8, 2017, features a menu that makes use the whole spectrum of pig parts.

This afternoon, artisan butcher Darron Marzolf will be showing the Cafe Presse kitchen crew the finer points of breaking down a carcass, and after that the work of brining, curing, marinating and sausage making will begin.

Dinner by reservation only, call Cafe Presse at 206.709.7674

Here are a few more shots of the start of work…

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Villa Jerada


All the olive oils we use at Le Pichet and Café Presse are supplied by our friends at Seattle based Villa JeradaMehdi Boujrada, the brains behind Villa Jerada, imports organic olive oils from Morocco that happen to be produced by the Aquallal family, who are neighbors of Mahdi’s family there.  Sold under the Atlas Olive Oils label, these oils are preferred by some of the top chefs in France, Morocco and the U.S.  We love their Huile d’Olive Extra Verge Bio for everyday use and the very special “Les Terroires de Marrakech” Extra Virgin Olive Oil for finishing dishes.  This last oil, which is made exclusively from picholine olives, is perfect for dishes that need a bit of olive oil as a finishing touch.


M de Pentes de Barène


M Tasting Oct 2017 (2)

In May of 2017, I wrote a post about a wonderful visit we had to Domaine les Pentes de Barène in Tursan, an tiny wine growing region in the SW of France.  I mentioned that our host, Gaelle Vergnes, had given us two bottles from their first ever bottling of a sweet wine, which they make uniquely from the petit manseng grape.  They call this wine “M de Pentes de Barène” and the entire 2016 production was only 250 bottles.

Sweet wines from this region have the capability to age for a number of years, so, accordingly, one of those bottles is currently slumbering peacefully in a cool spot in our house in Orthez. The other made the trip back to Seattle with us.

Madame Vergnes recommended that this wine not be tasted before August of 2017, so we obediently resisted the temptation to crack it open until this month.  We had our first taste in the company of a platter of the Jambon de Bayonne, the iconic ham from the SW of France.  Délicieux!

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Fête de Beaujolais Nouveau at Le Pichet

Beaujolais Nouveau 2017

Please join us for our annual Fête de Beaujolais Nouveau at Le Pichet.

Always the 3rd Thursday in November, 11/16 starting at 6pm

No Cover Charge, No Reservations, Everyone is Welcome!

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Seattle Mayoral Debate at Café Presse

Mayors seal

What:  Viewing of televised Seattle Mayoral Debate
When:  Tuesday October 24, 2017, 6:30pm to 8pm
Where: The front room at Café Presse

Please join us for a viewing of the final Seattle Mayoral Debate before election day.

No cover charge, no reservations, everyone is welcome!

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Fall Quarterly Chef’s Dinner Menu

Fall 2017 Chef’s Dinner at Café Presse

Tout est bon dans le cochon

Wednesday November 8, 2017


Terrine de tête de porc, pommes sauvage aux épices
Pork head and kidney terrine, house made dark rye bread, spiced crab apples, mustard crème fraiche

Beignets aux pieds de cochon, salade aux endives
Crispy pig’s foot beignets, salad of mixed endives, grilled winter squash and black currants, sauce soubise

Jambon de cochon braisé aux boudins noirs, châtaignes et champignons
Pork leg braised with blood sausage, chestnuts, lobster mushrooms and red vermouth, served with steamed Savoy cabbage

Camembert mariné au cidre, pain aux oignons confit et aux grattons de porc
Camembert marinated 20 days in Normandy hard cider, served with house-made caramelized onion-pork cracklin’ bread

Coings pochée au miel, au laurier et à la queue de cochon fumée, glace à la vanille
Washington quince poached in a syrup flavored with honey, bay leaf and smoked pork tail, vanilla bean ice cream, hazelnuts

Dinner including beverage* $75
*paired wines or non-alcoholic beverage

For this special event, No Substitutions Please.
Reservations by phone only at 206.709.7674
Price does not include service charge and WA State tax

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