Le Grand Bistro Americain: A Summertime Destination

Allison Austin Scheff tells us why stunning food with stellar views make dining at this restaurant a
Allison Austin Scheff  |   June 2011   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
Worth crossing the bridge for: Le Grand Bistro Americain

They’ve stacked the decks at this Carillon Point newcomer, which opened last December. Owned by Ted Furst, who, together with Peter Lewis, opened Campagne in 1985—and with Scott Emerick of Madrona’s once-grand Cremant at the stoves—it would only be surprising if this roomy bistro wasn’t a hit. And I’m here to tell you, it is.

This is your summertime al fresco dining destination for mussels ($12) in a white-wine-and-tarragon-kissed broth so delicious they’re worth paying the (eventual) 520 tolls for, and fried oysters still jiggly inside, with a pickle-spiked rémoulade and a simple celery root salad ($10). Steak frites ($19) is a solid order; hangar steak with a deep sear, a juicy interior and served with some of the best fries around.

But the star of the menu is a sublime salade niçoise: Each element, from the hand-dressed whole leaves of snap-crisp lettuce to the poached albacore tuna, to the creamy-yolked soft-boiled eggs and all the perfectly cooked veggies, is given the utmost care.  This is the dish I’ll come back to sit on the patio for, to sip a cool glass of Côtes de Gascogne ($8) with a view of Lake Washington and the Seattle skyline as a sunset backdrop.

Brunch Sat.–Sun., lunch Mon.–Fri., dinner daily. Kirkland, 2220 Carillon Point; 425.828.7778; bistrolegrand.com. $$