Downtown Seattle’s Purple Cafe & Wine Bar‘s architecture is as memorable as its name.
A black box structure stands out like a black concrete crate on 4th street surrounded by old buildings, modern minimalist experiments and is just down from the glass stacked geometric Seattle public Library.
The exterior of the restaurant fails to communicate what’s inside but rather keeps it from you like a secret. Upon entry you’ll discover a grand spiral staircase lining a circular wall with layers of shelves. Upon each shelf are wine bottles covering every inch making the search for a wine bottle an event as everyone turns their heads to observe the ascending and descending waiters. (Silly me I forgot my camera in the hotel this time out)
Aside from the huge selection of wines the food also plays a big part in drawing in the lunch and dinner crowds. Be sure to make a reservation as it can get packed unless you arrive around 2:00pm-5:00pm when it is generally slow and quiet to a calming degree. Enjoy your flight of wine in peace and order their goat cheese crostini or a cheese plate and take care of some online business with your iPad or read the paper. It’s a place I could and would sit from noon to night if I had the budget and time.
Otherwise it is a busy place that you would expect to be snobbish if places anywhere else in the USA from Los Angeles to New York. Luckily the condescension was left at the Gucci store across the street.
The food is a mixture of wine country favourites with an emphasis on cheese but has an influence of Tuscany with delicious pastas like pumpkin and mascarpone ravioli or lamb and prosciutto meatball pappardelle that are the perfect comfort food during a rainy Seattle afternoon. But the occasional Pacific Ocean nourishment creeps on to the place like their crab cakes, prawns or grilled wild salmon. For a more light hearted food affair try out a delicious thin crust pizza such as, my personal favourite, pancetta and apple.
If you’re in the Seattle area during the month of October you’ll be in time for Seattle Restaurant week(s) starting 13th-17th and then again from the 20th-24th. Head to Purple to try out their budget friendly menu especially curated for Seattle Restaurant Week.
What’s your favourite spot for wine in Seattle?