Great neighborhood bistro with consistently above-average food and a nice wine list and great service.. It is high time MI had a wonderful neighborhood bistro and Bennett's fits the bill to a "T". Bennett's strikes a great balance--the food is consistently very good to excellent, they have a nice wine list, and the atmosphere is comfortable and welcoming even when the restaurant is bustling. The crab cakes, pork shoulder, salmon and the burger are particular standouts, as is the Sunday brunch. The staff is professional, knowledgeable and personably without being cloyingly familiar. I eat dinner out several times a week and find that Bennett's compares favorably with some of my other favorite neighborhood restaurants--definitely worth a try.
Losing it's appeal. We've visited Bennett's 3 times since it has opened. We're huge fans of Beecher's cheese and Pasta & Co products, so couldn't wait to visit a restaurant owned by the same guy. They are way too hot on the 'all natural' concept. They feature an extensive wine/cocktail list, but don't list any non-alcoholic options. This is tough when pregnant! We've asked the servers every time for their non-alc options and they never offer anything other than cranberry juice or water. The mac & cheese is good, its not the best (Icon Grill is better in flavor, quality, quantity). The tomato soup is awesome with the cheese chunks. But, the overall food selection is slim - especially at lunch. Had the Fish & 'Chips' today - DO NOT recommend. Fish was covered in grease, and everyone in our group agreed it was horrible. The 'chips' were a bad version of latke's and you don't get ketchup or any sides besides a Tbsp of dipping sauce for fish. Burger isn't bad, but a little plain with only grainy mustard as a condiment besides lettuce, pickled red onions and tomato.
Finally a great spot to eat on Mercer Island!. I am completely addicted to Bennett's!!! I cannot get enough of the freshly made tomato basil soup with the flagship cheese. We eat out a lot and have eaten at many Seattle and Eastside restaurants, this is in my top 10 list. Being a Whole Food junkie I love the fact that the food is natural no hormones etc. and it tastes great! Finally a restaurant worth driving onto the island for. Great place for an evening away from the kids with the girls or with your husband. We tried eating there with kids and I would not reccomend it. Love the take out bistro for those days I don't want to go out and also don't feel like cooking.
Avoid if Your Family Includes Kids or People Who Want Healthy Food. Like other Islanders, we were very eager to try this new spot, but we were all very disappointed. One problem is that they have nothing for kids. Although they brag their mac 'n cheese is world famous, it is an adult mac 'n cheese that kids hate. We begged for them to cook something simple for a kid, such as noodles with butter or parmessan. We were very unpolitely informed that the chef would not stoop to such a thing. In a place as family friendly as Mercer Island, this was just plain rude. A second problem is that the restaurant's focus is entirely on what it calls "pure" food. We learned that "pure" does NOT mean healthy or even tasty. In what sense can a pork hamburger be "pure"? We couldn't figure it out. Maybe the owners do not understand that a very large number of Islanders avoid eating pork, either for religious or health reasons. A third problem is the service. Maybe it is just a start-up problem, but our server spent more time cross-selling other businesses owned by the same family (Pasta & Co. and Beecher's) than she did explaining our dishes. She could not even answer basic questions, such as where the salmon was caught. Fourth, the wine list is very small and uninspired.
All-natural Mercer Island bistro from the Beecher's Cheese folks uses fresh ingredients from local Northwest sources..
Fine dining by night and accessible deli by day, this downtown Mercer Island eatery provides meals comprised of organic ingredients from regional producers. The nighttime menu ranges from pan-seared local salmon to grilled steak accompanied by a large selection of Northwest wines. At lunch time, businessmen and locals stop by to grab entrees, like Beecher's acclaimed mac and cheese, along with sides and salads from the deli cold-case or browse the adjacent freezer section for take-out.
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