Kirkland >Food & Dining > Cafe Juanita
9702 NE 120th Pl, Kirkland, WA | Directions 9803447.707462 -122.212272
Tuesday To Saturday From 05:00 PM To 10:00 PM Sunday To Monday From 05:00 PM To 09:00 PM
Neighborhoods: South Juanita
In over a decade I've never had anything less than a stellar dish here. Indulge in the great wines, foie, grilled octopus, braised bunny and the risotto of the season (forget about the calorie count.)
Got a special occasion to celebrate? There's no better place. The setting is cozy and welcoming and chef Holly Smith's ever-changing menu is challenging, only because every single thing is worth ordering. Truly one of the absolute best restaurants in the Pacific Northwest.
Delicious food in classy, welcoming surroundings. – In Short
Chef/owner Holly Smith's regard for ingredients is apparent and a frequently changing menu ensures everything is at its peak. Foie gras is paired with nectarines; a dish of local chanterelles is tangled in tagliatelle and enhanced with marjoram. Smith's dishes--such as a thick, rare hunk of lamb paired with a turnip gratin--are both comfortably familiar and innovative. From the sweetbreads to the fried razor clams, there is plenty to try.
Lovely Surprise – While visiting Seattle we were asking around for suggestions....Cafe Juanita came highly recommended. When we arrived at the restaurant we were pleasantly greeted by the hostess and seated immediately. The atmosphere is almost cabin-like with a rustic feel. It over looks a garden out back that works as a nice backdrop. Simply put, the food was amazing - from bread plate to dessert. Our server was attentive and very well educated on each menu item. We really had a very nice dinner. I would recommend to anyone living in or visiting the area...in fact, I alreay have.
Disappointed for the first time – We had dinner at Cafe Juanita on April 15th. We were quite disappointed, based on a number of excellent meals we haave had there in the past. We showed up on time at 9.30pm and had to wait a good 15' for a table. The food had lost the quality and crispness of preparation characteristic of this restaurant. My squab was literally swimming in a very watery sauce, the soup appetizer was average. Worse, the waitress pushed wine consumption, literally forcing us to have a second bottle (this was a party of 4...) of wine. We also e felt that dishes had been served too quickly, so much for slow food! Has Cafe Juanita fallen victim to its success?
User review by krisdowning – After talking about Cafe Juanita being my all time FAVORITE restuarant for years, it is time that I finally put it into writing. The food is always wonderful and created with seasonality. Holly has passionately taken Cafe Juanita from one dining level to the next with the addition of 90% of her menu being organic food found locally. The service is the best in the city. Jim is hands down the best waiter I have ever had, in any restaurant. My true testament to this restuarant is when we take non-foodies to Cafe Juanita and they enjoy it as much as we do. My nine year old niece told her mom, I want to come to Cafe Juanita every year for my Birthday!!!!! I can not say enough about the dining experience we have everytime we dine at Cafe Juanita. Keep up the good work Holly and Cafe Juanita staff.
Absolutely one of the best – Tonight was our third time dining at Cafe Juanita and, as before, the meal was unforgettable. The Pear Brandy Sidecar was fantastic, with just enough sweetness to contrast the strong flavor of the pear brandy. The octopus was the most tender I've had anywhere (I wish I knew how to do it) and married perfectly with the chickpea and sauce. The lamb was cooked to a perfect medium rare and the white anchovy reminded me of a classic bagna cauda sauce, but I really appreciated the anchovy without the heavy garlic, particularly against the subtle flavor of the turnip gratin.
Once again, a perfect meal in a beautiful setting with an attentive waiter. If it hadn't been raining I would have sworn I was in the Piedmont!
French/Italian – This is the most French "Italian" I have ever eaten. I've lived in Italy and was NEVER served butter with the bread only olive oil. The menu consisted of rabbit, duck and lamb...hummmm sound FRENCH? The rib eye was full of fat, charred and greasy. Not appetizing at all. For the money, definitely not worth the hype. If you want to do french food, then advertise as such.
What A Gem! – This place is truly amazing - and trying to find it is actually part of the fun....food is utterly delicious - with a very unique sense of the true Italian cooking. It is the sense of "purity" and "creativity" without losing the simplicity that sets this place apart from your normal Italian restaurants. Well-crafted wine list shows good depth and includes some amazing finds. The dining room is particularly beautiful around sunset and the services are warm. Truly worth a treasure hunt out of the Seattle city limit!
Dressed Up On The Eastside – Beautifully seared, crusty yet medium-rare, bone-in, rib-eye for two with a chanterelle, lobster reduction sauce. Absolutely stunning. It was all I could do to keep from gnawing the bone. The waiter hinted it might not be appropriate. If the sauteed cauliflower in a nutty cheese sauce was served as an a la carte vegetable, this might as well be the best steak house in town. But that would be far too limiting for Holly's ability. The menu is filled with creative, Italian and French inspired dishes made with local, seasonal ingredients. The wine list, while pricey, was thorough and trustworthy. We picked two $60 Barbarescos that were great, even at that bargain price. The ambiance make this a romantic place that serves what I believe to be the Eastside's highest cuisine. My only wish was that I knew the menu was a la carte. I would have ordered more.
Cafe Juanita – They spend all their profits on meals and service, not on fancy building and gimick scencery. The food was spectacular and Jim (the waiter) was above all possible expectations. When you visit, ask him about the wheel of parmesian cheese. The food chef and the bakery chef were both tantelizingly talented women and had a crew that was filling my needs before I knew what those needs were. The cloth towels in the bathrooms were a nice clean touch.
Relax in Juanita – The server made excellent suggestions as to food pairings. I found it strange that he bragged of the cost of the wheel of cheese the restaurant has shipped from Italy each month.
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