Steak Frites pour Deux! {Cafe Presse}

Today was something between horrifying and hilarious. It started with a level of intensity and stress that shouldn’t be maintained for more than a few minutes and stayed there all day. By 5:30 I had a pounding headache and felt on the edge of either hysterical laughter or hysterical tears. I’d planned to make chicken skewers on our new cast iron stovetop grill tonight, but B suggested we go to Marjorie instead.
A couple of blocks from the restaurant, we realized it’s Monday night and they are closed. We changed the plan and decided instead to visit Barrio just around the corner. Remember when I said we’re getting the hang of Capitol Hill parking?  Yeah, well, I take it all back. After driving around for quite a long while, we passed Café Presse and changed our plan to stop there instead. Several more trips around the nighborhood, we finally found a spot several blocks away.

This was our third trip to Café Presse since they opened in 2007. On both our first two trips, we sat in the front part of the restaurant. The decor has a distinctly French café feel from the small tables placed close together to the blue floral wallpaper. You can order wine by the glass, by the bottle or by the demi-pichet. Tonight we sat in the very back of the restaurant, though, down a hallway, past the kitchen. The back room has a much less quintessential French feel and seems more urban. With exposed pipes, a beautiful wood ceiling and exposed brick walls, it’s still a beautiful space, but looks much more like something you would see in other restaurants around Seattle. The standout feature of this back section is a sort of staging area where they slice the baguettes and keep several bottles of wine chilling in a big bowl of ice.



To start, we shared the pork rillettes and baguette. It was very tasty and though the portion was small and we shared, it was too rich to finish the whole serving. B and I rarely order the same dinner, but our favorite meal at Café Presse is the Steak Frites. As on our previous two visits, this is what we both chose. Of course, my favorite feature of their steak frites is the housemade mayo served with the frites. The steak was flavorful as always. One distinctly inauthentic aspect of Café Presse is the size of their portions. Realistically, we could have shared an entree. Instead, we brought a lot of food home. For dessert, I couldn’t resist the chocolate mousse. Despite all the amazing desserts I’ve had around Seattle, two basics remain my favorites – crème brûlée and chocolate mousse. By sheer willpower alone, we didn’t finish the mousse.


At some point midway through our steak, B commented that I hadn’t spoken in at least ten minutes. I hadn’t noticed, but that’s when I realized the day was finally wearing off. I felt instantly grateful and overwhelmingly exhausted. Here’s hoping sleep does not elude me tonight!

Café Presse on Urbanspoon


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