Posts Tagged ‘Belle Epicurean’
Seattle was blessed with consecutive weekends of glorious weather. The feeling of sunshine on bare skin is so restorative and we had a serene afternoon at the Washington Park Arboretum and the Japanese Garden, strolling and gazing at the blooming trees.
We leisurely looped the arboretum and garden, and had afternoon tea at Belle Epicurean.
Located at the Madison Park end of the botanic gardens, the second café by Carolyn Ferguson is in a spacious slate building.
A marble counter and glass cabinet displayed sweet treats.
The décor is Parisian chic with panes of vintage mirrors, framed black and white prints, and replica Thonet chairs and stools.
A gleaming espresso machine dispensed Caffé Vita coffee and there was a wine menu by the glass.
There were cake balls wrapped in mint and fuchsia foil, Rolo tart, and slices of raspberry mousse cake, Alhambra cake, red velvet crunch cake, opéra cake and coconut crème cake.
In the perpendicular cabinet were flat discs of pastel macarons and jars of pistachio, vanilla, rose water and orange buttercream.
Pastries included pain au chocolat, orange scented brioche and croissants.
There were also lemon brioche buns with citrus confit and spiced almond brioche bostocks.
Mr S ordered le feuillette, a savoury tart. Black Forest ham, Gruyère and Mornay sauce were encased in a flaky brioche crust. The golden, molten mass was buttery and cheesy.
My coconut crème cake was baked with coconut milk, pineapple juice and rum. The layers of sponge and coconut cream cheese frosting were decadent and textured with shredded coconut. The tang of pineapple and the residual alcohol of the rum tempered the sweetness, it was an adult dessert!
Belle Epicurean Provisions was connected by a doorway.
A wall of square shelves cellared hundreds of bottles of wines.
Opposite was Belle Epicurean branded dessert sauces, and cake and frosting mixes, Riedel glassware and cookbooks.
Bars of Michel Cluizel chocolates of various cacao percentages tempted us.
The fridge at the back was a trove of gourmet and artisan aioli, butter, chutney, compote, soup base, tapenade, vinaigrette, and ‘take and bake’ croissant, brioche, puff pastry and tart.
Belle Epicurean is a French trio of café, pantry and wine store!
My only visit to Seattle prior to moving here was during winter a couple of years ago. A fog blanket cocooned the city the entire three days and it was the coldest climate I’ve been in except for skiing.
On our first day we exited the hotel in search of coffee. Shivering and waddling in bulky clothes, we nearly crossed the street for Starbucks to escape the chilly wind. Thankfully Mr S spotted Belle Epicurean in the Fairmont Olympic Hotel and we shuffled inside for breakfast.
It’s a charming café and I have fond memories of sitting in the bay window, drinking giant (by Australian standard) cups of coffee and eating pastries.
A bell chimed as I opened the door to signal my entrance. Belle Epicurean was near empty for my late lunch. Most patrons ordered food and beverages to take-away.
Sparsely furnished with marble tables and lacquered chairs, the chequered floor enhance the Parisian feel. The walls are decorated with framed reviews and the owner’s Le Grand Diplôme from Le Cordon Bleu Paris.
There are trays of baked goods on display and a refrigerated section with a selection of delectable desserts.
I sipped on Perrier as I waited for my lunch order. My mother likes sparkling water and the distinctive emerald bottles were omnipresent in my childhood.
I was in need of comfort food. A wintery meal of wild mushroom soup and roasted beet salad was satisfying. Dotted with flecks of puréed chanterelle and porcini mushrooms, the soup was earthy and warming.
A mound of cubed beets and sliced onions rested on a bed of mixed greens drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette. The salad was served with herbed chèvre crostini.
Each mouthful was a blend of sweet and acidic, a pleasant contrast to the creamy soup. Spread on a thick wedge of soft baguette, the molten goat cheese was fragrant and flavoursome.
Belle’s Buns was the genesis of the café. The owner, Carolyn Ferguson, sold these at her local farmers’ market before opening Belle Epicurean.
Brioche buns are the specialty of Belle Epicurean. There is a variety to choose from and I picked the mini cinnamon.
Tanned and tightly rolled with a dollop of cinnamon paste on top, the brioche had a light crisp shell and a buttery centre. A perfect size for a sweet addition to lunch!
Belle Epicurean was as chic as I remembered, and in a convenient location!