Kirkland >Cafe Juanita
In over a decade I've never had anything less than a stellar dish here. Indulge in the great wines, foie, grilled octopus, braised bunny and the risotto of the season (forget about the calorie count.)
Got a special occasion to celebrate? There's no better place. The setting is cozy and welcoming and chef Holly Smith's ever-changing menu is challenging, only because every single thing is worth ordering. Truly one of the absolute best restaurants in the Pacific Northwest.
Not Worth Going Out of Your Way For. For $200 (w/tip) - one appetizer, 2 entrees, 3 glasses of wine, one dessert - it's overpriced for the quality of food. My pasta bolognese was really greasy (left a pool of grease, not sauce, on my plate) and the pasta not top quality fresh. My husband's steak dish was really small, though it tasted good, not great. Dessert was so-so. Service was fine. But nothing was fantastic. Not special occasion-worthy. We'd always wanted to try this place so now we know - there are much better places for the price (or less).
Not romantic :(.
Cafe Juanita was warmly recommended to us as a really special restaurant. So, I reserved a table a month ahead to celebrate both my husband 's birthday and our 15th anniversary and I made sure they knew it was a special occasion.
First ,we had trouble parking because the restaurant 's small parking was full. Second and more importantly, they gave us a table beside the open kitchen (imagine the clatter of plates and the somewhat loud interactions between the kitchen staff: I couldn't hear the waitress when she was telling us about the specials). Not very romantic...Even my husband, who is a very easy going person, commented on the table 's location.
The staff was great and so was the wine list.
The food was good and sophisticated but not excellent. My husband took the rabbit and didn't like its very salty crust. My Chanterelle risotto was good but I have had much better ones in several other local restaurants. My beet salad was excellent though.
To conclude, good restaurant but not worth the money we paid for it.
Tops in Seattle Area.
My wife and I recently dined at Cafe Juanita for our anniversary. As always, the food was innovative and expertly prepared, and the service was friendly and efficient. In my 12 years of living in Seattle, I haven't eaten at a better local restaurant. The food comes first here. The atmosphere is elegant, but understated, relaxed, and unpretentious. It is like having an intimate dinner at a good friend's home (who happens to be an award winning chef). The entrees are all bold and innovative, but they also do the little things well, like the homemade flatbreads, the salads (the baby beet and almond butter salad is amazing), even the house aperitif list is fun - each coming with a bite-sized appetizer. It is a spendy restaurant. With drinks, wine, desert, and coffee, our bill topped $200, but nothing here is ordinary. If you love food, you will not regret the splurge.
If trendy presentation is more important to you than flavor, and you prefer a room full of poseurs, wait staff who try to upsell you on everything, and a feeling you are being processed like a credit card number, there are plenty of places in Belltown or Bellevue that will suit you better. I find that Seattle has many good restaurants, but very few great ones. I am disappointed in my local fine dining experiences far more often than I am impressed. This place is great. The only downside is the 40 min drive to Kirkland from my house. Otherwise I'd eat here far more often.
Nice Classy Restaurant. Cafe Juanita has joined our short list of excellent restaurants for those special occassions. This was our first visit at Cafe Juanita to celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary. We were very pleased with the overall atmosphere, food and service. I wanted to treat my wife to someplace different/unique and this choice turned out to be an excellent find. I'm certainly no connoisseur of fine dining/food, so don't take my absence of food ravings to imply that the meal was merely acceptable. I also rarely take the time to write a review. So, I had the Rabbit (first time ever) and my wife had the Quail; it was very good. The bread and desserts were excellent(chocolate cake a real favorite of mine). However, for us, I think it was the complete experience that made for a special anniversary dinner. We were impressed by the friendliness of the staff, but at same time they had a way of being attentive but not intrusive. They allowed the two of us to enjoy our night out w/o excessive interruptions, but also ensured we were taken care of. While the meals were somewhat pricey, it was reasonable given our desire for a special experience. They recognized our anniversary with a nice table location and complimentary dessert wine after the meal. Kudos to Cafe Juanita. Cheers! Steve
Best service and food around! This is better than allot of the greats. I have lived in the Seattle area for the better part of 38 years and this place is fabulous. The service is top noch, ask for Kristen as your server if possible. This Professional food server knew the menu backwards and forwards. I had the lamb and Bonnie had the Risotto and we were amazed. The dressing on the salads prior to the meals was one of a kind. Most of these four and five star restaurants have flavors that are very good but so rich you can't finish them. Not the case here, Holly the chef and owner puts it together perfect and I mean everything, service, food, and ambience. Cafe Juanita will be on our list for one of eastsides greats, well for that matter Washingtons greats. Try it you will love it if you have any sense of great taste.
Top 5 Great Seattle Restaurants. This is one of the few top shelf venues of the above ground Seattle restaurant scene. One of the few places left to get a real seared Foie Gras dish. The experience is comfortable and relaxing and the caliber of food speaks for itself. For the maderkader review. No one with any food sense will take your review of this wonderful restaurant seriously as it emanates 'I am from Tacoma... or south of which' and would rather be eating at KFC by candlelight.
One of the greats!. Cafe Juanita, under the able guidance of Holly Smith, is truly a shining star of restaurants in the Northwest. If you want a memorable dining experience, this is the place. Romantic for two, or impressive for a business dinner, the food and service are impecable. Northwest ingredients, great variety of choice, fabulous presentations. Portions are perfect. I cannot say enough about the quality and consistency. Wonderful place....enjoy!
A personal Favorite.
We all have those places that are first to mind when we ask ourselves; "where do i want to eat tonight?". For my wife and myself, this is "that place" that is first to mind when we ask ourselves that question.
The food has always bee from great to perfect, the wine list is very fairly priced (and I am familiar w/the wholesale prices), ambiance is always warm and cozy, and service has always been very good to great.
The flavors that Holly, and her team, consistently put together are always in balance, and flavors well thought out to compliment each other. Rabbit is one of my favorite dishes, and every time I have it at Cafe Juanita, it has that "WOW" factor. Last trip I strayed to venison...it too was brilliant! If you want to have a date night, or take some friends out that need to be stunned into admiration of your ability to pick "the" restaurant...this is "that" place. make sure you do dessert, have some cognac (Kelt if they have it in stock when you're there), and let yourself slip into food nirvana...
Waste of Money.
If you would prefer spending $100 and getting out of the restarant hungry do go there... There are much better restaurants with better decor and ambience than this place to spend your money and have it worth it. The most repelling thing is right at the entrance, the door which looks like you are entering a meat packing facility... Then you browse through the menu and they expect everyone in the workd to understand their language... The DO NOT SERVE CHICKEN on their menu...can you believe that...
If you are looking for nice dining experience kindly go some place else... Stringly recommend to avoid this one...
i prefer to eat organic... ..so it was a pleasant surprise to find that Cafe Juanita offered many selections that included organic and local ingredients. Although I ate there in the evening, it is my understanding that there is a small garden in the back of the restaurant that the chef will draw upon to spice up the dishes. That impresses me. You won't find that at just any restaurant. There were about 6 or 7 courses, and each had an Italian flare to it. The caesar is fabulous, and has a slightly salty anchovie dressing which I loved. The orecchiette pasta left a little to be desired, while my meditteranean sea bass had a beautiful spicy/salty flavor, with just the right amount of bite. It seemed to me that they were out of a few ingredients that evening, which prevented us from ordering a few dishes..but something about that speaks "fresh" to me. Definitely give it a try.
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