Monday, January 11, 2010

St. Cloud's Restaurant

I had dinner with my wife at St. Cloud's in Seattle's Madrona neighborhood this weekend. We'd never heard of it before but went on a friend's recommendation and found it to be a generally worthwhile experience. So I figured I'd give it a little bit of press.

When we arrived for an early dinner the place was full of thirty-something hipsters and their kids; add another item to the list of good, family friendly restaurants in the area. They were a bit understaffed and it looked like everyone was having to wait a bit to get their food. But apart from that both the food and the service were pretty good. The wifey got the curried, roasted yam and sweet potatoes with chickpea cakes, which was pretty very good. I got the steak special, a top sirloin (I believe, but don't quote me) with blue cheese butter accompanied by polenta and green beans. They could have improved the execution of my dinner; the butter garnish was ice cold and they hit the steak with way too much black pepper. Picky picky, I know, but if you're charging $27 for an entreé these things matter.

They redeemed themselves, however, by having a pinotage on their wine list. I'd never had this varietal, a cross between pinot noir and cinsaut, and so gravitated to it immediately. Their particular offering was the 2004 Backsberg Estate Cellars Pinotage, which had a rich mouth feel with pronounced fruit and a mild finish and was definitely worth the $8.50/glass they were charging.

Overall I think I'd visit again. Complaints about the execution of my steak aside the food was good, the waitstaff was friendly, and its about the nicest restaurant I've been to where a well-behaved one-year-old wouldn't be the least bit out of place. I put a lot of stock in all of the above these days.

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