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“Not value for money”
Review of The Fountain Cafe

The Fountain Cafe
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $8 - $17
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Reservations
Seattle, WA
Level 6 Contributor
214 reviews
118 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 224 helpful votes
“Not value for money”
Reviewed December 29, 2009

My opinion: An uneasy combination of granola and gourmet.

Granola: ditzy décor, paintings tagged for sale, bare tables too close together, friendly wait staff in idiosyncratic attire, loud music, a tiny open kitchen in the rear.
Gourmet: pretentious menu descriptions, unjustified prices, e.g. $6 for a meager handful of salad greens with a few beet scrapings. Large servings, still not justifying the price.

Our choices for two: For $12 eight succulent oysters trapped in a hard, heavily fried cornmeal crust. For $16 a glutinous, monotonous mushroom risotto, without sides. For $6 a glass of thin rose.

We’d have been better off with excellent sandwiches from the local coop. Even adding a bottle of good wine we’d have saved more than fifty percent, and our clothes wouldn’t have stunk from grease the next day.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank dadhy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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518 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Port Townsend, WA
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“AMAZING! You will not be disappointed”
Reviewed December 4, 2009

This is one of my favorite restaurants of all times and I'm a picky one. Upon entering the Fountain Cafe, one may question the small space located in one of the older buildings in Port Townsend. However, you will be lucky to get a table and have the opportunity to dine at the Fountain Cafe. Yes, the restaurant is small but the tables are set at such an genius angle, it exudes coziness and the conversation flows that feels surprisingly intimate and private. The decor is beautifully done and the local art work is due to entice the critic within you. The service is excellent although rarely do you find more than two waiters/waitresses. It's obvious that the experienced wait staff has been well trained for I have never been disappointed; they are always polite, considerate, and personable. The wine selection is excellent and a real bonus is the oversized wine glasses generously filled at a very reasonable price. You can't beat that. The food, always arriving hot and fresh, is served on beautiful dishware and the servings are as generous as the plates they are served on. Last but certainly not least, the food is amazing. My favorite being a pasta dish served with a gorgonzola walnut cream sauce with roasted tomatoes. The menu offers a very nice selection and so far, my family and friends have never been disappointed. The appetizers, salads, and desserts are surely not to disappoint. What is really entertaining is to watch the staff work in the smallest kitchen I have ever seen. How they produce such generous and flavorful food?...they are truly a well oiled machine. Bravo to the Chef and Bravo to the owner. Being a former restaurant owner, I appreciate your restaurant more than words can say.

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Thank FoodyKat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Puget Sound, WA
2 reviews
“Exceptionally Tasty, Cozy and Fun”
Reviewed November 28, 2009

My wife and I decided on short notice to drive to Port Townsend (about 100 miles from our home) for a romantic get away. We had no reservations for hotel or dinner, and just decided to "wing it". We spent a lovely afternoon driving there, walked around the encanting Victorian old town shopping district for a couple of hours and then checked in to the Palace Hotel (a charming spot in the center of the old town, built in 1889). The concierge at the Palace answered our request for a dining recommendation with three or four suggestions, but said that the most consistently positive feedback he heard from their guests was for the Fountain Cafe.

We decided to check it out, and despite its rather small size (probably less than a dozen tables and a tiny bar), we were totally delighted by the experience.

My wife ordered an oyster and liguini dish that she described as "divine" and perhaps the best she'd ever had anywhere. As a seafood lover and gifted cook herself, my wife is not always easy to satisfy, and I could tell she was completely pleased with her entree. I had the chicken with linguini (featuring spinach and mushrooms in a wonderful cream saunce) and was completely delighted. Everything about both our entrees ... portion size, presentation, taste, texture, temperature ... was just perfect. Neither of us could remember the last time we had two such completely satisfying entrees in even the finest restaurants we'd visited.

Despite the fact that we were a bit full, we decided to order dessert and were again delighted by warm gingerbread and pumpkin cheesecake. Both were outstanding on all counts. The gingerbread was flavorful and very cozy on a cool autum evening, and the pumpkin cheesecake balanced delicate richness, creaminess and lightness with exceptional yet not overpowering pumpkin flavor.

My wife gave very good marks to her glass of French Chardonnay and our service was friendly and helpful. All in all, it was one of the finest dining experiences we've had in years. The fact that one could have such a wonderful experience in such a tiny cafe was a delightful surprise. In business for 29 years, the Fountain Cafe provided an exceptionally enjoyable experience for us both.

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Thank doniejustinta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newark, England
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Enjoyable, funky eatery”
Reviewed September 29, 2009

This place gets a mixed bag of reviews. On the night my wife and I ate there, everything was just great. From the street it does look kind of grubby looking and strange but we were glad we persevered. In fact we could not fault the food, wine or service and it was nice to be in a place with real ambience. The clientale did have a bit of an aging hippy look on the night in question but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I guess this is one that is really likely to be down to personal taste.

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Thank seagullsfanl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Not the best place in Port Townsend.”
Reviewed September 22, 2009

We moved to Port Townsend 2 years ago, and were excited to try this restaurant because it got such good traveler reviews. Well, we've eaten there three times, now, and were underwhelmed all three times. The service has been friendly, but spotty and sometimes slow. The menu is kind of strange, the wine selection is not great, and the food is seriously lacking. Gluey pasta, fish overcooked, flavors just generally uninspired and muddy. I wish I could give them points for trying, but honestly, this place is just overrated. There are much better places to eat in town and nearby. Plus, it's not cheap! Every time we ate here, we felt ripped off. It pains me to give such a bad review, but I just feel like people keep going here because it's rated highly on TripAdvisor, and we just don't see why that is.

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    • Food
1 Thank melbat0ast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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