Seattle >Food & Dining > Madison Park Cafe
1807 42nd Ave E, Seattle, WA | Directions 9811247.634842 -122.278787
Neighborhoods: Capitol Hill, Madison Park
French Bistro – Clearly a 5 * experience. Karen is a wonderful hostess and her chef "Bo" is a creative artisian who provides top quality presentations and creative cuisines. Karen, Bo and the waiter staff work hand in hand to creat a memorable evening and fantastic dining experience. Karen's wine cellar has numberous French wines and many different Washington wines. All the staff are experienced in pairing the wonderful wines with the exquisite meals and very knowledgeable in the way the meals are prepared. The art that is displayed on the walls of the restaurant are pleasing and often breath taking. On a warm Seattle evening the outside dining is lovely under the boughs of the trees around the garden. A grand place to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. An equally great place to meet and talk to friends and enjoy a wonderful meal.
Best outdoor - and indoor - dining in Seattle – Madison Park Cafe is a totally charming little French bistro with truly outstanding food and wine list. I try to dine there at least once a month. It is my favorite place to treat out-of-town guests. Karen Binder is an absolutely charming host and her (good looking) chef never disappoints with his creations. The staff is knowledgeable and attentive (but not intrusive) and willing to go the extra yard. (They carried my oldest and dearest friend's son, who is in a wheelchair, both in and out of the restaurant.) If weather permits, the courtyard is especially charming, but the inside is also quite cozy on a dark, rainy Seattle evening.
The perfect setting for outdoor dining – Madison Park Cafe is a charming little bistro that has amazing food and great service. The courtyard dining is reminiscent of dining alfresco style anywhere in Europe. The pommes frites are "to die for". And Karen Binder, the owner, is very knowledgeable about wine-you'll always get the perfect pairing of wine and food. If you haven't dined outside at the Madison Park Cafe yet this summer, you must!
most romantic outdoor dining in the city – Not only is the food great, and innovative, but if you have the good fortune to be seated in the outdoor terrace on a nice summer evening - then you are really in for a treat. Really a nice venue for gathering friends or the kickoff of a special and romantic evening. DO NOT miss the French fries! Also, the Martini's are excellent...
Great main entrees....but.... – A group of us ate here the other night - some positives and negatives:
+Great entrees, pleasant courtyard seating, probably best for smaller groups
-Poor service (our waitor was too formal and uncreative) - This could have been just the one person who served us, but it did turn me off from returning. For the cost of the meal, I'd like personable and experienced servers that know their trade!
Best brunch in town – Upon arrival at this busy cafe I can see there is a wait for me and my friend. The artwork was beautiful and the smell of the cafe was like a baked egg. The cooks looked busy. Overall that the food looks amazing so my friend and I decide to wait. I ask the host how long the wait is and he says with a smile "It all depends on when people get up, it's Sunday you know and I'm not about to push people out the door. As soon as they do we'll get you seated, would you like some coffee before you're seated?" How refreshing, good customer service from a good looking professional in an otherwise awkward situation.
We waited and were seated at a clean table in the center of the restaurant by the host who apologized for the wait time, he?s very charming. We had people waiting on us hand and foot, the host provided us water, a sassy red headed woman with a New York accent and unusual personality was quick to refill our coffee and said something incomprehensible, a bald gentleman who later claimed to be a flight attended smiled from across the room while taking another table?s order and a high energy talkative lady with a tan and frail body shared the specials (as well as her life story) and took our order. This was our waitress and she talked so much we just sat and listened. We noticed she was genuinely interested in hearing how our morning was going as well and she is a hoot, we let her know that and she started clapping her hands, wonderful character in this place!
Overall, we had such a great breakfast and the cost was minimal. I would recommend that all my friends experience this wonderful site for weekend breakfast. 5 stars all the way.
Downside: they don't take reservations for breakfast. I say: if you don't want to wait, there's an IHOP right down the street; I prefer style, great service and good food even if I have to wait 20 min.
A hidden gem – I can't believe we've lived in seattle for almost 40 years and never tried this oustanding little restaurant. We recently had one of the BEST dining experiences we've ever had at the Madison Park Cafe. The owner, Karen, greeted us at the door..... we felt like welcomed guests. She frequently checked in on us during the meal, as did other wait staff. Everyone was so friendly and attentive! And the food..... oh, the food... everything was extraordinary. Even simple items like the salads were unique and flavorful. I had the most delicious, unique preparation of fish ever... sturgeon in an orange vanilla bean sauce that was lick-the-plate good. The wine list is outstanding, with a good mix of new world/old world, and the staff are all very knowledgeable and helpful in selecting the perfect wine. Can't wait to return, and we'll pass along the good word!
Rude – I heard that the brunch was good so I called to make reservations. But apparently they don't take reservations. Alright, no problem, just tell me how long I have to wait. They tell me, "The wait could be 10 minutes, it could be 0 minutes." My group of four had to wait AN ENTIRE HOUR! Not only that but they treated us like feces. After half an hour they said it would be "only a short while." When a short while turned out to be another half an hour I asked what was the deal. Their response: "Maybe your party should go somewhere else because we don't know when we could seat you." Are you for real? You make me wait and then say you don't need my business like I did something wrong? They also mentioned that the wait is never 10 minutes, always much longer. THEN WHY DID YOU TELL ME 10 MINUTES OVER THE PHONE? My party and I were livid and left. If you are looking for a great French bistro for lunch then go anywhere but here. I recommend 35th Street Bistro in Fremont. Almost never a wait. Great service and food.
P.S. I never write reviews but I couldn't help myself with this place
A perfect Evening – We celebrated our 27th anniversary here on 1/17/08, coincidentally the restaurant has been in business 27 years as well! Both of us were very impressed with not only the quality and quantity of the fare, but also the perfect timing of when each course was brought to the table. We both started off with onion soup,which was excellant. The seafood salad was equally impressive. I had the Monkfish, which was lightly braised and very tender. My wife enjoyed a very nice filet, also perfectly cooked as ordered. After splitting dessert, we could not have eaten another bite. We certainly will not wait a whole year to return, even though we live north of Everett. Definetly worth the trip.
Highly Overrated – I had been looking forward to dining at the Madison Park Cafe because I had heard such nice accounts from others about their French bistro fare. It was very mundanely disappointing. While the cuisine was decently prepared it was nothing special. As a main course I ordered the Cassoulet which I had heard raves about, but sad to say, I have eaten much better elewhere in this city with a far larger portion for less money. This pitiful thing was the size of a Creme Brulee, and even with an uninspired organic greens salad (toasted hazelnuts, gorgonzolla and crunchy unripened pear slices) as a first course, I departed the empty, yet claustrophobic, dining room still feeling hungry and dissatisfied. Yes, I could have had dessert, but the choices on the menu were so uninteresting that I decided against it. Perhaps this place is better for brunch, but I don't intend to go back to find out what I am missing. It was a very forgettable dinner....don't bother!
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