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“Experience did not live up to the mostly favorable reviews”

Purple Cafe and Wine Bar
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Ranked #2 of 114 Restaurants in Woodinville
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $35
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: NE 145th St.
Description: Purple Café and Wine Bar pairs a global wine selection with a menu that combines classic American styles with seasonal Northwest ingredients..
Redmond, Washington
Level Contributor
107 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
“Experience did not live up to the mostly favorable reviews”
Reviewed September 23, 2013

I'm generally fairly easy to please when it comes to restaurants and food, but I was a little disappointed with this, my first visit to Woodinville's well-known Purple Café. Perhaps my experience was an anomaly or I had "bad luck", but in any case, here's the good and the not-so-good:


1. Pretty amazing wine list

2. Friendly and knowledgeable staff

3. The grilled summer squash appetizer was absolutely wonderful

4. I like that they leave a carafe of water at the table

5. Nice interior décor . . .really liked the candles attached to the wall

6. Outdoor sitting area was inviting and pleasant (unfortunately we did not sit there).


1. The restaurant acoustics are noisy, and the table where we sat was very dark, making it difficult to read the menu.

2. No bread was served to us. We did order bruschetta off the appetizer menu, but I was not very impressed . . . it was a little heavy and with the cheese the pieces were more like "mini-pizzas" than bruschetta.

3. Our (wife and myself) orders were both pasta: a Dungeness crab & mushroom pasta, and a Gorgonzola Pancetta. The former was OK but nothing special; the latter was really heavy and not very flavorful . . .I ate half, took the rest home, but never felt like eating it.

4. The crème brulee we had for dessert was served cold. Apparently "culinary custom" "allows" this, but at a middle to upscale eatery, I like it when the caramelized top of a crème brulee is still warm.

5. Parking was a headache -- something you wouldn't expect for a restaurant in an "exurban" location; it's a crowded lot with a dead-end that makes it tough to turn around after an unsuccessful search, especially with other cars trying to do the same. Ended up parking in a gravel lot down the road. No big deal to walk a bit, but perhaps on a busy Saturday evening, they could put a guy out in the lot with an orange vest to provide some direction or guidance to their customers.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank kwa829
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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426 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
212 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
“Simple Fare - Good go to in Woodenville”
Reviewed September 14, 2013

The menu was simple, they used local fresh ingredients and everything tasted great. I would go here again in a heartbeat.

Visited July 2013
Thank meritagebc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Everett, Washington
Level Contributor
82 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed September 7, 2013

Had a Saturday lunch. Our server was Stephanie. She was very informed on the menu items, friendly and very attentive. The food was really fresh and good. Restaurant is clean fairly quiet. All in all the food was really good. We highly recommend this place.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redmond, Washington
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Above and Beyond”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

I've eaten at Purple several times over the years. In my opinion the food is consistently very good and priced about right, the vibe is very cool and the service is excellent. Staff is courteous, engaging and knowledgeable and the wine selection is spectacular. However, that is the not the point of this review.

During a recent meal there with my fiancé I was eating a pasta dish (spaghetti in a light alfredo with grilled chicken - excellent) when I noticed something hard in my mouth. I assumed it was a piece of bone. As luck would have it our waitress happened by at that exact moment checking on our satisfaction. I told her everything was great but that it appeared I'd found a piece of bone. Mortified she took it back to the kitchen only to return a few minutes later with the bone in a small container. She said that they looked at it more closely and thought that it was a piece of tooth rather than bone. A little further investigation proved her correct. It was, in fact, a piece of ceramic from a failed cerec crown from my mouth. Yikes!

We finished our dinner and when we paid the tab she brought us a $50 gift card for our next visit. I was stunned. It was my crown that broke through no fault of Purple's but, regardless, they felt that since it happened in their establishment while eating their food that they should pony up. Needless to say, they went above and beyond any reasonable expectations in my opinion and I can't recommend this restaurant highly enough.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank MJRomano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodinville, Washington
Level Contributor
67 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Excellent dinner and service”
Reviewed August 31, 2013

I wanted a nice dinner for my girlfriend for her birthday. We originally had reservations for the Barking Frog restaurant in Woodinville. I cancelled our reservations after reading too many recent, negative reviews. I came across Purple Cafe and Wine bar on Open Table and decided to give it a try. We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner on Wednesday, August 28, 2013. Our server, Seth, was professional and friendly. The food, atmosphere, and wait staff are all top notch. We even had a gentleman stop by to ask how our dinner was. I believe he was the manager on duty. My girlfriend ordered the filet mignon and I had the New York Strip. Both were delicious. The waiter brought out some dark chocolate coated caramels coated with sea salt for dessert, on the house. I would recommend the Purple Cafe and Wine Bar to any of my friends for a great dining experience. We will be back.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank twbagby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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