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“Great food and service, but unreasonabley expensive”
Review of Cafe Juanita

Cafe Juanita
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Ranked #3 of 269 Restaurants in Kirkland
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $41 - $80
Cuisines: Italian, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Special occasions, Local cuisine
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Full Bar, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Fine Dining
Level Contributor
201 reviews
122 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Great food and service, but unreasonabley expensive”
Reviewed December 29, 2012

OK, there is no question that this is an extremely good restaurant, even by Seattle's very high standards. However, in my opinion there are a number of others (Nell's on Green Lake comes to mind) that are at least as good, and maybe better, for somewhat lower cost.

My wife and I recently celebrated a birthday at Cafe Juanita. We shared an appetizer and a salad and each had a pasta and one of their mid-priced entrees, and shared a one of their most modestly priced ($48) bottles of wine (which was excellent, by the way). We particularly liked the gnocchi -- it was a good as any I've had in Italy.

The food was sublime and the service was brilliant -- everything you would expect from one of the most highly regarded restaurants around Seattle. However, with the bill (including tax and gratuity) topping $300 (and that's for TWO, remember) it frankly wasn't THAT good. For about the same money you can have a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience at the nearby Herb Farm.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Skeptic2241
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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245 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
106 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“One of the best in Seattle”
Reviewed December 6, 2012

Cafe Juanita still ranks up there for one of my favorite and classiest restaurants on the Eastside of Seattle in Kirkland WA. We went for our anniversary and the dishes were top notch- foie gras like butter, a simple but tasty Caesar-like salad. My husband had a yummy Italian? pork dish and I had rabbit in a porcini mushroom sauce, both winners. I LOVE their little selection of breads- a variety of crackers/ hard and soft crust breads, as much as you want. I did not care for my dessert so much, a combination of a pumpkin treat plated with chocolate truffle-like cake. I just didn't like the combo of favors, but we also ordered an apple beignet. It was not warm, so they whisked it away, and brought a hot one at no charge. They also treated us to an excellent glass of dessert Muscat for our anniversary. We were not sure which glass of wine we wanted with our entrees, so the sommelier let us try both before deciding. Little things like this count in my book. We each started with a glass of Prosecco, so all total the bill was about $100/ person. We will go back-

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank WAgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
69 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Elegant and Delicious”
Reviewed December 2, 2012

This is a foodie's paradise. Don't go expecting low prices; this is a restaurant by people who love food FOR people who love food, and it's not inexpensive, but it IS a good value, especially when you consider you'll probably never have another meal quite like it.

I had the best foie gras I've had in my life here. A perfectly seared 3 oz. lobe, it melted in my mouth. Served with home made lavosh and rendered fat drippings, it's amazingly decadent. For my entree I had the rabbit, and there are not enough superlatives to do it justice. The sauce alone almost gave me an orgasm. My husband had the pork shoulder served on a heated tile, both dishes were presented with beauty and unexpected flavor pairings that made them memorable. The beet salad with burrata, for instance, had toasted sunflower seeds which added a lovely bit of crunch to set off the creamy burrata.

Kyle was the sommelier and couldn't have been sweeter. Or cuter. Our server was Josh, who was very professional, descriptive and knowledgeable about the food. We had a wonderful time, and have been to the best restaurants all over the place, but this was truly a memorable experience. It's fine dining at its finest; epic food, great service, without the pretentiousness of L.A. or NYC.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank mongolikescandy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redmond, Washington
Level Contributor
63 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“A Romantic Italian Evening”
Reviewed November 29, 2012

I was told I was going to a "nice Italian place" when I went to Cafe Juanita. That was a little bit of an understatement. The restaurant was cozy and had a great romantic atmosphere. It was quiet and the tables were arranged to be private enough to enjoy your evening with your dinner party and not feel like you're part of someone else's. Waiters and servers were helpful and attentive. Never did I have an empty plate or glass for more than a few minutes.

The food was great too! Be careful if you're wary of cheese. There is cheese on everything. They have some really interesting dishes that use cuttlefish ink as well as a tasty rabbit dish. They cycle through their dishes so going every few months or once a year wouldn't be monotonous at all.

Highly recommended for a romantic evening or quiet and enjoyable dinner.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Aboten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellevue, Washington
Level Contributor
71 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“The Best restaurant in Juanita”
Reviewed November 13, 2012

Holly Smith's resume is very impressive, including a James Beard award.

Nevertheless, it's a restaurant this is a restaurant we have been going to for since 2007.

The dining room is shockingly intimate, and the open kitchen where the one-time iron chef candidate was cooking furiously can be viewed from pretty much every seat, save for the downstairs area which I'm told is usually reserved for larger parties. And the food is outstanding, and extremely inventive. A truly unique bite not to be missed is the King Crab w/ green apple sorbetto along with crab butter powder. The savory and sweet and chilled flavors combined to make what was unquestionably one of the greatest dishes I've had in recent memory. The incredibly simple pear salad was also very elegant - thinly sliced pairs paired w/ pin nuts, freshly shaved parmigiano reggiano, and an incredibly fragrant white truffle vinaigrette. And of course the freshly made homemade pastas and entrees were also outstanding. We opted for the maltagliati with lamb and ricotta and the braised rabbit. The former was such a delicate dish despite its normally heavy ingredients, and the latter was coupled w/ a chickpea crepe that came w/ thinly cut strips of pancetta and porcinis that really blew me away.
Add housemade bread and crackers, an incredibly attentive wait-staff, and an extensive wine list (about 95% Italian), and I guess there's no surprise that this restaurant racks up the awards on an annual basis. If there's ever an excuse to go over the eastside, this is it.

Visited January 2012
Thank SheLuvsShoes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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