Saturday, April 2, 2011

Review - Book Bindery

Book Bindery

Walking in to Book Bindery, you immediately feel the warm welcoming vibe as if you entered into a familiar place. The atmosphere feels like the love child of Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware. The dim lighting and soft glow from the candle lights make it cozy.

We were seated at a corner table which seemed like the best seat in the house. We were able to sit close and soak in our surroundings. Behind our table was a wine cellar, you can see the barrels all lined up. through the windows.

Our meal started with an Amuse Bouche of sorts, a shot glass with a Cipollini Onion soup with basil foam.  The soup was served hot, and it was good.  I am not a fan of foam on my food, so it may have been better without the frothy topping.  We were also served bread and butter.  The butter was topped with flakes of salt, and the butter was room temperature, which I always appreciate.

Cipollini Onion Soup with Basil Foam

My first course was the White Beans and Clams with Chorizo, Tomato and Basil ($12).  The portion size was pretty large for an appetizer, but I managed to eat all of it!  Each bite was super tasty, without being overpowering.  You can taste the subtle flavor of the clams, the green flavor of the basil, and the spicy and salty flavor from the chorizo.  The bread was perfectly toasted and perfect for dipping in the broth at the bottom of the bowl.

My SO had the Compressed Cucumber with Grilled Onion, Basil and Romesco Sauce ($12).  He said it was good, I was enjoying my clams too much to take a bite from his.  The presentation was gorgeous - rounds of cucumber topped with toasted croutons, grilled red onions and peeled tomatoes.  I love that places are doing the compressed melons and vegetables.  It offers a totally different texture and brings out the natural flavors of the fruit or veggie.

Book Bindery Menu

My entree was the Mishima Ranch "Flavor Curve" with Confit Potatoes, Creamed Nettles, Tempura Hen Of The Woods Mushrooms and Bordelaise Sauce ($38).  The Flavor Curve is the best part of the ribeye - The tender side that is well marbled with fat and super tender - This is the side I always eat first when I order a ribeye, and usually the only half of the enormous steak cut that I can eat in one sitting.  I was excited to see this on the menu, and didn't have to think twice about what to order.  I have to say, I was a little disappointed, although I appreciate a rare steak, I prefer the ribeye to be cooked a little longer to fully draw out the flavors.  They don't ask you how you want the steak cooked, so I assumed they knew best.  Book Bindery's ribeye was extremely rare. It was bright red, and almost as if it was just seared.  The sauce was delicate, almost under salted.  I enjoyed the tempura mushrooms and little round confit potatoes - That was the highlight of my dish.  I don't think I would order this dish again.  

On the other hand, the Duo of Pork ($26) was a Roasted Pork Chop & Crispy Pork Belly with Lacinato Kale, White Bean Puree and Maple Bourbon Jus was absolutely amazing.   At first bite, it was like a flavor explosion in your mouth.  I wanted to eat my SO's dish more than I wanted my own.  Fortunately he's sweet, and kept giving me bites.  He doesn't care for Pork Belly, because of the gelatinous fat, but he found that if he sliced a little piece and ate it with the pork chop in one bite, it was good.  And he was right, the two combined was fantastic!

The portions are pretty large, and hearty, but we wanted to try a dessert.  We originally planned to share one, and once we looked over the menu, we couldn't decide on just one.  So, we got two!

The Beignets ($8) at Book Bindery are fantastic.  They are similar to the doughnuts from Tom Douglas's empire... we didn't think we could find something better than the Dahlia doughnuts, but Book Bindery has proven us wrong.  Just like the Dahlia, they are served with Vanilla Mascarpone, and apple sauce. Each little pillow of cinnamon sugary goodness was super light, hot and soft.  The richness from the mascarpone is a fantastic accompaniment.  These were to die for.

We also had the Frozen Butterscotch Parfait ($8).  This is a deconstructed parfait, and not what I was expecting, but it was fantastic.  The plate was drizzled with butterscotch sauce, and the parfait was served with slices of perfectly ripened pears and a tuile ginger cookie... Each bite was so decadent, without being overly sweet.

I don't have any major criticism for this restaurant, and perhaps after another visit, I will bump it up to 5 stars... I just didn't enjoy my entree all that much, and due to the intimate nature of the restaurant, it was hard to ignore people who talk too loudly at their tables.  There was no need to shout across the table at each other.  This is also not a place to dine at if you are in a rush, the meal progression is artfully timed, and the entire dinner from when we were seated, until we paid the bill was about 2 hours.  The bar area looked lovely, comfy bar stools, and an array of good liquors.  I loved this spot and look forward to coming back to try the Foie Gras Terrine!

Book Bindery
198 Nickerson St
Seattle, WA 98109

Hours: Monday - Saturday 5:00pm - Close

Book Bindery on Urbanspoon

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