French on 15th Avenue: Capitol Hill's Le Zinc Reviewed

Allison Austin Scheff  |   December 2013   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
le zinc review seattle magazine
Moules frites at Le Zinc, on Capitol Hill

The several-block radius around Le Zinc’s 15th Avenue digs is a little Italy: Spinasse and Artusi are down the block, Anchovies & Olives and Bar Cotto are just across the street, and there’s pizza nearby, too. So it’s a nice change of pace to lean over a steaming pot of plump moules frites (mussels and fries) at Le Zinc, the sleek sister restaurant to Pike Place Market’s Maximilien, especially for those crisp, salty and delicious fries. They’re served in a newspaper-lined cone alongside the excellent steamed Penn Cove mussels, which are offered in four preparations: I recommend the marinière ($16), a classic, well-prepared vermouth and garlic butter broth; and the Pernod-laced moules au fenouil ($17), the heady fennel broth enriched with pork belly. The menu here, overseen by Jaron Witsoe, is a kind of French throwback, with its foie gras, frog’s legs, escargot and a green salad that brings to mind the cheese-and-fruit-salad ’90s. Here, greens wear a blackberry vinaigrette that complements the goat cheese crostini that accompanies it. It’s a tasty salad, but it’s also dated. And while the onion tart is good if eaten with eyes closed—the flavor rich, the onions soft and caramelized—because the tart is served stacked, it arrives in a soft, eggy, crusty mess. Cocktails, however, are quite good, especially the sidecar, here made with cognac, dry curaçao and a hit of lemon ($10). Dinner nightly. 1449 E Pine St.; 206.257.4151; le-zn.com

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