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.
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