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Le Pichet (X 2!)


Last Sunday M and I planned to meet early in the day.  I suggested Le Pichet as I hadn’t been there for a little while and it is always one of my favorite places in Seattle.  Le Pichet is a little French bistro, as you may have guessed by the name. :-)  When I am there I always feel as though I’m on vacation. Sometimes it feels like Paris, not always, but it just has the feel of the kind of lazy and relaxed days you have when you travel. 

And it’s very versatile: I’ve been there with friends, dates and on my own; I’ve been there for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a late evening bite or glass of wine.  The menu is simple but you can always find something to suit what you’re looking for.  They have a fairly extensive wine list and I love that you can get most of it by the glass, demi-pichet, pichet or bottle. 

So on Sunday M and I met there at 9:00 am, settled into our table, ordered tea to start and then looked over the menu.  They always have a few things on special and in the morning, if you are lucky, they will have freshly baked brioche.  I had actually been thinking about the brioche since I woke up, hoping they’d have it and they did!  So my order was easy.  The brioche are huge – no need to order anything else.  M opted for the salt cod. 

My one criticism of Le Pichet is that they seem to have more than their fair share of ditzy servers and I seem to end up with one about 50% of the time.  Since one of the reasons I go there is to relax and spend a little time, it doesn’t affect that much but you just have to be prepared for odd things.  On Sunday morning my brioche arrived a few minutes after we had ordered.  Obviously it wouldn’t take as long to "prepare" as the salt cod but since it was the only thing I’d ordered you’d think the server would have held it.  And it wouldn’t have been bad if the salt cod had arrived soon after, but that wasn’t the case.  After waiting quite some time, we finally had to ask about it and then it was brought out.  It was still hot so that was good.  And there were other little things that I won’t go into detail about, but just be prepared to have servers who may not be thinking through how to best serve you. 

The food, however, was superb!  My light as a feather, eggy brioche was heavenly, especially with a dollop of the fresh strawberry jam served with it!  M’s salt cod came with big slices of toasted peasant bread and was piping hot!  I didn’t try it, but she said it was all she was hoping for. 

A couple hours after breakfast I met R at Safeco Field, where we watched the M’s crush Cleveland, 9 to 1.  When we were planning our day we had decided to grab a bite after the game instead of before, since it was a 1:05 pm game.  And where had R suggested?  Why Le Pichet!  I kept mum on the fact I was going there for breakfast, as I didn’t want R to change her mind. :-)

So after the game, about 4:00 pm, we found ourselves selecting a table and making ourselves comfortable.  The café was partially filled and there was a duo (accordion and bass) playing for those enjoying a late afternoon lunch.  I know that many people do not appreciate accordion music but it always reminds me of Europe.  And I was happy to see that the accordion in use was a Petosa accordion, made by a local family that I’ve known for many years. 

We looked at the menu but I think that R and I pretty much knew what we wanted.  R selected the Pate Albigeois and I chose the Gateau au Foie de Volaille.  If R had not ordered the Pate, that would have been my choice but since she did, I ordered something a bit different so we could have a couple different tastes.  Then we selected a demi-pichet of Cotes du Rhone to accompany our meal. 

The pate is a rough-cut, chunky style, country pork pate.  It comes with mustard, honeyed walnuts and the teeniest-tiniest little cornichons.  The Gateau is a smooth, mild and buttery chicken liver terrine.  It also comes with mustard and cornichons.  And of course, both are accompanied by beautiful baguette.  I like participating in my food preparation and both of these dishes fit that bill, as you choose which mustard, or how much mustard, to include a piece of cornichon or the honeyed-walnuts in each bite you assemble.  And it makes for a much more relaxed way of eating because you can’t just shovel it all in – time must be taken to create each combination of tastes. 

All in all, it was a wonderful day of relaxed and tasty dining. 

Le Pichet
1933 First Ave.



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