Le Chat Noir is a lovely and very inviting lounge/restaurant, located on the third floor of an historic building in the historic Fairhaven district of Bellingham. Finding it is the hardest thing about going there! It is marked by a small, black corner sign -- "Le Chat Noir" -- high on the wall at 12th and Harris Sts., and by another very small sign -- "The Black cat" -- next to the building's entrance on 12th St., next door to the prominent Mambo Italiano restaurant. Once in the building, take the stairs or elevator to the 3rd floor and look for the entryway in the northwest corner. Their sign at the entryway is very easy to miss!
Once inside, you'll find the restaurant that is divided into several cozy rooms, with decidedly 18th Century, romantic Victorian decor, fit to satisfy any romantic date.
The menu is quite eclectic, ranging from fondues and sandwiches to crepes to filet mignon! Drinks are equally eclectic. Prices are moderate+, ranging from $8 happy hour fare, salads, soups, and desserts, to entrées in the $17 - $28 range. Everything ordered at our table (a group of 19) was beautifully presented and expertly served. Entrées were all prepared to order, so they took about 25 minutes to arrive, but we were plied with our drinks, sourdough bread, and our soups and salads to smoothly fill the time. While everyone was happy with their orders, several dishes stood out as particularly good: the cheese fondue, the Greek salad, the French onion soup, and the "Chat Noir" crepe. The entrée plates were good, but less "special" considering their higher prices. There were also a couple of oddities with the entrée plates: the "cooked" carrots were huge slices and nearly raw (still crunchy!) and the roasted new potatoes were very hot peppery spiced (good, but shocking). Servings were large -- no one in our group saved room for dessert.
All-in-all, I most recommend Le Chat Noir for a very relaxed and romantic early evening out, for a meal of their fondue, small plates, appetizers, and drinks.
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