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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Seattle
Food
Feel
Price
7.5
8.0
$85
French
Upmarket restaurant

Hours
Wed–Sat 5:30pm–10:00pm

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

Website

Ballard
425 NW Market St.
Seattle, WA
(206) 784-3463
Le Gourmand
Where puppets watch you eat poulet

Le Gourmand is one of those little neighborhood restaurants that you might drive by for years and wonder, “Who eats there?” But then one day, you try to make a reservation, and you’re denied for the day of your request. That’s when and you realize something must be going on inside.

Perhaps overshadowed by Sambar, which hipsters are hitting with great glee (the two share a kitchen), Le Gourmand is a Seattle institution that’s recently been renovated. The new space is no longer stuck with décor from a century ago; it’s now contemporary yet comfortable, unless you object to the eyes of the puppets that hover above you while you dine.

Chef Bruce Naftaly has been going at it for 25 years, but this is French fare still worth checking out. The meats may be simple, but Naftaly is a master of sauces, which adorn many of the menu items here. Simple, ingredient-focused preps work well, too. The “AQ” (as quoted) salad epitomizes the place: at our last visit, the locally foraged ingredients were fresh and the dressing delightful, but at quite a cost for a plate of mostly uncooked vegetables. If you’re willing to open your wallet to such prices, we’d recommend the tasting menu with wines to match.

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