Seattle >Food & Dining > Boat Street Cafe
3131 Western Ave, Seattle, WA | Directions 9812147.618255 -122.357336
Mon. - Sun. 10:30am - 2:30pm
Neighborhoods: Magnolia - Queen Anne, Magnolia / Queen Anne, Lower Queen Anne
Never a bad meal at Boat Street, just spot on delicious food and possibly the best bread pudding in all of the Seattle. Actually the world! Do not miss.
Tucked away in an office building courtyard, Boat Street is full of French charm and warming plates.
Charming space and delicious takes on regional French cuisine are enough to lure me in. Add gracious service and outstanding wine menu and it's a no brainer! As the first of now 3 restaurants for Chef Renee, this one has stood the test of time for good reason!~
Tucked into a work-space loft just off Western, Boat Street is like stumbling upon a hidden gold mine. The French-inspired menu is heavy on meats--the pork chops is not to be missed, says almost everybody who has eaten here. If you just want a bite and a cocktail or glass of wine, head to the charming little bar that doubles as a people watching perch in what seems like a small town of France.
A hidden gem in Seattle!! – I absolutely love this place. Husband took me here for the first time on our first date 5 years ago and we've been going back all time!
The food rocks and the price is right!!! We can afford to come here and not have to take a second mortgage out on the house.
I don't mind the fact that sometimes the food does take a little bit to come out but we like to linger and enjoy our meals and not have each course shoved down our throats. There are plenty of restaurnts in Seattle if you are in a hurry......don't come here.
The staff is well versed in recommending wine and Renee carries excellent wine for very fair prices!!
thank you Boat Street Cafe............ you guys are the best!
This place rocks! – I wish I had more time!
I would write the kind of review this place deserves but I don't so here is the short version. My wife and I were downtown for a little shopping spree. We decided to try the Boat Street Cafe because a restaurant owner friend of ours had said it was his favorite restaurant. It was 7pm on a friday night and there was a long wait. We waited at the bar for over an hour but with no reservation what would I expect?
Everyone, the hostess, bartender, server and even the chef at one time or another came by our table to check on us or just to talk. It was hospitality times 10! The food was exceptional and the bread pudding was to die for.
My recomendation - make reservations and plan on spending a wonderful evening wining, dining and socializing.
Food didn't live up to ambience and price. – I've only been there once, and I tend to eat at nice restaurants quite often, and maybe I just had a one off less than impressive experience. For starters, the place itself is very nicely decorated, and the ambience is great. The service was excellent. The menu is fairly pricey which is completely ok with me, but I just didn't feel the food lived up to my expectations. I had the Chicken Liver pate for starters which was not bad, my entree however was the Lamb Shoulder which was recommended, but it was not cooked well at all. It took me a while to cut through the tough meat, to the point that my fingers would ache, the sauces seemed quite average, almost as if it were a pre-seasoned steak I could pick up at a safeway. My friend had the roasted Poisson which wasn't bad, but the sauces hadn't sufficiently soaked into the meat, and was very greasy/creamy.
I made the mistake of getting the bordeaux, after trying a couple of other wines. None of them very satisfactory.
Again, I've only been there once, and they have a menu that changes daily, so I'd still say give it a shot if you will. Ihonestly wanted to give the place 3.5 stars if it were possible.
location, location, location – I wasn't planning to write a review until I came across the grumpy ones here. Now I feel compelled to share that the food and service I experienced last night were great. Even great enough to overcome this absolutely TERRIBLE location. This spot is strictly for the hard-core foodie: the kind of person who revels in a challenge. The kind of person who actually likes a restaurant more the harder it is to find. The kind of person who doesn't care about parking, reasonable driving directions, or particularly good signage--as long as the food is amazing. It is. (The ribeye was outstanding--very unique preparation, and enough for two great meals.)
"2 for 2" Great Dining Experiences – I want to assure anyone reading the negative reviews here that I believe those experiences reflect the exception, not the rule. I have had 2 fabulous experiences in the last 6 months. The 1st was on a Friday night when we (4 of us) called at the last minute, were warmly welcomed with an 830 reservation, and had professional, friendly service, and food that surpassed our expections. Most recently 3 of us ate on a Tuesday night, when every table was full at 7:00 pm, which speaks volumes about the popularity of this place. Again, service and food were excellent. When we asked for advice on wines, we were happy with the suggestions, both for quality and price. Even given the risk of making it more difficult for me to get a reservation in the future, I felt the need to offer my experiences to balance the false impression these negative comments leave.
Arrogant service – We recently ate at the Boat Cafe and had such terrible service that we will never return. We had reservations but had to wait a half hour after the reservation time to be seated, never got our glasses refilled with water and waited another half hour to pay the bill. Our friend didn't care for her dish and when she told the waiter, he said "huh" and turned on his heel and left. In addition, our other friend wanted some dressing on the side and was told that the chef wouldn't allow it. We can appreciate the chef's attention to the menu but with that attitude, she should just cook for herself.
The Boat Street Cafe seems to have sprung a leak – I have eaten at the Boat Street Cafe a few times in the past and thought the food was excellent. However, I had such a horrible experience that I will never return. The wait for dinner was over 30 minutes and once the food came out, the crab cakes were badly burned on both sides. The waitress never came by to check on us until we were done at which point we told her about the food. She initially offered to take them off the check but after talking to the chef she returned to tell us that the chef said she would not give us a credit and that is the way she always makes them (??!?). Sorry to say, but I have had crab cakes at restaurants all over the country and have never seen crab cakes which were so burned. More than that though, I have never eaten at a restaurant where such a blantant problem was ignored. My summation is that the Boat Street is operated by some very arrogant folks that have lost touch with their patrons. This is always a recipe for disaster.
French country elegance relaxes diners in the midst of a downtown courtyard. – The Scene
The entire restaurant glows--inside and out--with soft warm light. Large windows overlook a well-planted courtyard, while small glass candles shine on every table. White linens, tall straight chairs, tile floors and special touches like a lichen-covered branch mounted to a center beam create a rare feeling of nature-inspired elegance. The staff works hard and does it with a smile. Menu recommendations and attention to small details are unending.
The shareable pickle plate provides sweet, tart and shockingly hot flavors, with textures ranging from crisp (carrots) to soft (prunes): this is an appetizer with something for everyone. Vegetarians will always find at least one option among the seasonally changing entrees--the roasted shallot flan is a cheesy treat described as a "crustless quiche." House crab cakes have a crisp cornmeal batter--it's tasty, but unusual for Maryland traditionalists. The dessert menu's star is a pot de creme that balances richness and light while providing a powerful punch of pure chocolaty goodness.
Bread Pudding! – I waited anxiously for Renee to find the right place. the food is superb as always, shallot flan, poached chicken sandwiches, homemade pickles. drool drool. sadly the service is still not wonderful, staff can be slow and forgetful. But the food it worth any inconvenience! Come patient and relax. The amaretto bread pudding is not to be missed! I ask when seated to make sure some is saved for me.
Disappointing after such a long wait – The old Boat Street cafe was my favorite. For years I waited for the new location and when it finally opened, I visited it in it's second week. Very disappointing - they were out of the lunch special (at 12:30 with only one other table seated!) and out of the bread pudding (my favorite). Unwilling to give up on my old favorite, I returned a couple weeks later for lunch and was again disapointed. It was deserted - only two other small tables seated, and yet we still had to wait 10 minutes for coffee. When the waitress finally came to take our orders after another 10 minutes or so, she said that she "forgot" to tell us about all the things they were out of. Maybe it'll get better in the future, but if you were a an old Boat Street fan, prepare to be very very disappointed.
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