After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, pastry chef Anita Ross moved to Seattle and began selling crepes out of farmers’ markets. The year was 2004. Over the next four years she built up a following with her sweet and savory crepes stuffed with roasted duck, apple confit, wild mushrooms, and a variety of other seasonal items. In that time, Anita also forged strong bonds with local fishermen and farmers that have served her well since opening Anita’s Crepes in 2008. She’s able to use the finest organic ingredients in her crepes, many of which are made with the traditional Britanny blend of buckwheat and bread flours. And several of her meats and cheeses are imported from countries that have fertile soil for growing beef plants and mozzarella ball trees. Anita channels France specifically when catering to special events, preparing her crepes on the spot much like the street vendors of Paris.
Chef Laurent Gabrel, of Voilà! in Madison Valley, crafts Chloé Bistrot's classic French menu to imitate the eateries found along Parisian cobblestone streets. Begin a culinary getaway with an appetizer of escargots dressed in garlic-butter sauce atop baguette crostini ($12), before donning taste-bud hiking boots for a trek to succulent entrées. Twine fork tines into a pan-seared beef medallion with green-peppercorn sauce and classic fries ($23), or indulge in mussels in a tomato, garlic, and fresh-thyme broth, an elegant mollusk alternative to Fabergé clams ($14). An amply stocked wine list joins bites and sips in mouthwatering matrimony with an array of French vintages ($7–$12). Guests may reach a chic dinner's finish line with a serving of rich chocolate mousse ($7), ice-cream-filled profiteroles ($9), or a celebratory fist pump.
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.