35th Street Bistro Has Many Hits; A Few Misses

Our resident food expert visits the French Bistro after a new chef takes the reigns

Category: Eat + Drink Articles


Romance fairly spills out the door at this quaint neighborhood bistro; it’s one of the prettiest dining rooms in the city, beset with antique tables, buttery lighting and a wall of windows that allows passersby to peek at dinner-daters perched on pillow-strewn banquettes. So when I heard that Tom Black (formerly of Woodinville’s Barking Frog) had taken the top chef job in February, it didn’t take any arm-twisting to get me in the door. The good news is, well, it doesn’t feel like much has changed: The menu is still French bistro through and through—onion soup wears a burnished Gruyère crust ($9), freshly picked salads sing in their sprightly vinaigrettes ($7–$9)—with daily specials that bring the local, seasonal tastes to the table. Black’s sure hand with seafood, which earned him raves as the chef at the Barking Frog, puts forth a textbook-perfect pan-seared salmon ($25); the fish is a revelation, sided simply with early spring pea vines and morels. There were a few missteps: The moules frites (mussels served with French fries, $12) was overwhelmed by an overly acidic tomato-fennel broth, and the artisan cheese plate ($11) was puny and the cheeses were shivering cold. Still, sipping a glass of wine at a sidewalk table as the sun sets, it’s hard to not get swept up in the moment. Brunch Sat.–Sun., lunch Tue.–Sun., dinner daily. Fremont, 709 N 35th St.; 206.547.9850; 35bistro.com $$

Photo by Victoria Lahti