With Chloe Bistrot, French-born chef and owner Laurent Gabriel has transformed an unassuming storefront in Laurelhurst into an elegant eatery seemingly plucked straight from Paris. Inside, cherry-red upholstery, dark chestnut walls, and polished tabletops puts guests into a Parisian state of mind even before they glimpse the menu of classic French fare. Diners can begin with escargot in garlic and parsley butter before moving onto steamed mussels in a tomato, garlic, and fresh thyme broth. An extensive wine list, meanwhile, pulls together varietals culled from across the French countryside, while authentic desserts like tarte tatin rival those found in any French bakery or left carelessly on any French windowsill.
Where to Sit: Day or night, find a window seat, or—better yet—grab a table outside to take in the epitomic Seattle sights.
When to Go: The restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, or you can stop in for a glass of wine or cocktail at the bar.
While You’re Waiting
Fun Fact: Place Pigalle is named after the red-light district in Paris. Years before it became a fine-dining institution in 1982, it served as a bordello (masked as an inn), a biker hangout, and then a gathering place for artists and travelers.
Dungeness crab: West Coast crab with a slightly sweeter taste than snow or king crabs.
Bouillabaisse: a Provençal fish stew originating in Marseille, typically made with several types of fish and shellfish and served with rouille on grilled bread.
Rouille: a creamy sauce blended with olive oil, breadcrumbs, and saffron.
Where to Sit: Ask for a table on the terrace, where patrons can look out on all the bustling activity of Pike Place Market.
When to Go: Try happy hour, which occurs from 4–6 p.m. Monday–Friday.
While You’re Waiting: Grab a seat at the long, wooden bar. Bartenders mix cocktails and pour 30 wines by the glass.
Press and Praise
Croque-monsieur: originated in French cafés, this pressed sandwich is filled with ham, gruyère, and béchamel. (A fried egg turns it into a croque-madame.)
Confit: a French term used to describe food that has been cooked in oil, syrup, or—in the case of some meat—its own fat, and then preserved.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Buy a vintage poster at Old Seattle Paperworks (1514 Pike Place).
After: Catch a surprising, tongue-in-cheek production at Theater Schmeater (2125 3rd Avenue).
When to Go
What to Wear: Although Frommer’s calls The Georgian “the most traditional and formal restaurant in the city,” the dress code is “smart casual,” meaning no jackets are required.
Inside Tip: Splurge on the five-course prix-fixe meal with handpicked wine pairings; it usually features fresh seafood and seasonal specialties.
Celeriac: a root vegetable that tastes similar to celery. It’s also known as turnip-rooted celery or knob celery.
Foie gras: the fatty liver from a goose or duck that's been force-fed. The liver is then marinated in a mixture of alcohols and seasonings, and is typically baked.
Where to Sit: When the weather is nice, try to snag a coveted outdoor table. When it's rainy, cozy up at one of the second-floor tables overlooking the rest of the café.
The Vibe: The small size of the shop makes it a popular place for quiet activities such as reading, studying, and folding leftover crepes into origami.
When to Go: Coffee and pastries such as muffins and cookies are served at all hours, but the kitchen stops making crepes and paninis earlier in the evening.
While You’re Waiting: Admire the café’s collection of artwork. It’s a result of the One-Eared Rabbit Collaborative, Joe Bar’s initiative to showcase the works of a different artist on the second Thursday of each month. Pieces can range from paintings to woodblock prints.
Seated on the front patio of Le Pichet, you can almost hear the waves lapping against the shore of Elliot Bay. The café is located mere blocks from Seattle’s waterfront, which means it’s also right next door to Pike Place Market. And yet, despite their proximity to one of the world’s most renowned fish markets, owners Jim Drohman and Joanne Herron harvest most of their inspiration from a place thousands of miles away: France. Jim, for one, is accustomed to following his heart wherever it may lead. He left a career as an aeronautical engineer to learn how to cook in Paris, and brought his love for French cuisine with him when he returned back to Seattle. Joanne’s interest in France took hold much earlier in life—at the age of 19, when she first visited and fell in love with the country’s wine-producing regions. Together, the duo has been serving the Pike Place Market neighborhood for more than 10 years. Though it would feel perfectly at home on a narrow street in the Latin Quarter or perched precariously on the tip of the Eiffel Tower, Le Pichet has become a Seattle institution. And, as you might expect from its location, the menu perfectly marries French culinary techniques with the ingredients of the Pacific Northwest, resulting in delicious entrees like grilled trout with broiled Washington asparagus or grass-fed Northwest beef skirt steak with wild ramp butter, mushroom duxelles, and pommes frites.