“What the Fearless Critic books and apps have that UrbanSpoon and Yelp don’t is a complete lack of bullshit.”
“I’ve spent years driving around with Zagat...but I think I’ll replace it with this Fearless Critic guide.”
–Leslie Brenner,
Dallas Morning News
Fearless Critic restaurant review
Upmarket restaurant

Mon–Thu 4:30pm–10:00pm
Fri–Sat 4:30pm–11:00pm
Sun 10:00am–2:00pm
Sun 4:30pm–10:00pm
Daily 4:30pm–1:00am back bar

Features Date-friendly, good wines, outdoor dining
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


5307 Ballard Ave. NW
Seattle, WA
(206) 453-5014
La controverse—conflicting opinions on the romantic, finely realized Francophilia here

Bastille serves classic French brasserie dishes in a classic French environment, and lately, the results have been all over the board. At one visit, mussels may arrive plump and well balanced, but then the much-heralded lamb sliders might come out bland and dry. When your salad greens are plucked from the rooftop garden, you’ll suddenly feel like you’re part of something special. Midwinter, when your simple sautéed vegetables arrive overcooked, you feel like the sucker who paid $3 for bread at a French restaurant.

Fries do finally seem to be improving (sometimes), and it’s about time: nearly every critic in Seattle has complained about them. Cocktails are good, and the wine list is extensive, covering France exhuastively, but the markups are insane. So why go?

Well, Bastille is beautifully designed. The main dining room has a huge zinc bar, a fire pit surrounded by bar stools, and the ideal ratio of cozy booths and café tables. The back bar, with stained glass and antique chandeliers, is like a cathedral dedicated to the patron saint of long, boozy nights with friends and lovers.

There is also the periodic, sudden food hit, such as a copper pot of super-tender braised pork cheeks, onions, and potatoes in a really dark, rich gravy.

We suggest treating Bastille either as a bar that serves food (there is real value at happy hour) or as a “we’re splurging on the experience” expense-account spot. And who knows? You may get a great meal out of it.

Be the first to leave a comment…