Bastille Cafe & Bar (Ballard)

5307 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 453-5014

Jason Stoneburner (Union, How to Cook a Wolf) runs the kitchen and Erik Carlson (Moshi Moshi, the Redwood Room and Slanted Door in San Francisco) heads the cocktail lounge at Bastille, which has a 5,000-square-foot rooftop garden for hyper-fresh vegetables in season. Bastille is absolutely beautiful, like walking into a sepia-toned Parisian photograph; the interior is big and bustling, but candlelit and romantic. However, the food—French standards that aren't rocket science—is uneven.
Hours: Daily 4:30 pm-1 am
Categories: Bar, Restaurant
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Average Rating:
  • 3.60000/5 Stars.
Reviews/Comments (6) RSS

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Didn't meet expectations

Went for my birthday this year with my wife and daughter. Service was friendly and adequate, a bit inattentive as they got busy. Food missed the mark for all of us: burger was good, but fries were not crisp (inexcusable in a French restaurant!); rockfish special was nicely cooked, but couscous accompaniment was sweet like tapioca pudding; shellfish soup had too many mussels (wife specifically requested more clams than mussels, which are not a favorite), and there was a thick layer of sand in the otherwise tasty broth. (They did comp the latter dish when we complained about the sand, to their credit.)
Posted by mhoonchild on July 1, 2011 at 2:56 PM · Report this

everything but.....

Dinner for the 3 of us was excellent. we all ordered from separate parts of the al-cart menu. every dish passed the taste test we expected. My endive salad was a culinary triumph. Muscles in a vermouth/bacon sauce were superb and more than enough to fill the hole where my stomach used to be. There may have been a communication mishap with our server,when I wanted to order three samplings of the chef's muscles. Instead, I was told I could order 1 of the three. The choice of 3 samples was to be the Monday night special, at least, that's what I understood. Aside from that, entree, wine,bread,dessert,coffee,and brandy were an experience I will do over in the near future. Ambiance of the restaurant and generous bar, fit the bill to a T. out of 100, I would give it a 98,but who.s counting. TG
Posted by holy ned on March 22, 2011 at 12:09 PM · Report this
Tom Sackett 4

Good, but uneven food, inexpert service

I will probably go back to Bastille, but next time I'll probably sit in the bar, rather than the dining area, and I'll be choosier about what I order.

Our server had a hard time coordinating with the bar. It took three tries to get a cocktail. Worse, there was a lag of at least five, maybe ten, minutes between when our entrees arrived and when our wine came to the table. We had ordered a carafe of house wine at the same time we ordered our meals, and asked for it to be brought with the entrees. This should not have been difficult to coordinate, but our server didn't seem to communicate well with the bar and with the other server who brought our food.

We ordered off the $25 Restaurant Week menu. Our starter was a slice of pressed pork ( I can't remember the actual name of the dish; it is not on the regular menu.) that came with grainy mustard, mixed olives, and something that was probably pickled turnips. The quality of the ingredients, and the care with which is was prepared and presented, seemed very high, but the pork was too bland to work as an appetizer. Adding the mustard actually highlighted the lack of flavor. Our next course, the entree, was a duck confit. This was great. I liked everything about it and the bed of vegetables on which it was served. We finished with a pear tart (served with vanilla ice cream and a caramel sauce) that was perfect in every way. It kills me that it's not on their regular menu.
Posted by Tom Sackett on October 26, 2010 at 2:15 PM · Report this

My new favorite dining location is in Ballard. "Bastille Cafe and Bar" is where I dine and entertain guests. And now I am a huge fan of Bastille's Sunday breakfast/brunch. I loved Chef Shannon Galusha's "Veil" in lower Queen Anne and now Bastille is my Seattle one stop dinner haven. The Baby Octopus appetizer is so delicious. And the Halibut is to die for. The duck hash confit for Sunday breakfast surpassed all my expectations. I am a foodie from San Francisco and travel frequently for business and pleasure to Seattle. Bastille is my new home away from home. :>)
Posted by john thomas on December 30, 2009 at 12:03 AM · Report this

Lacking french committment to quality

I went last night for my birthday dinner, because my mother was still excited about her first experience there a month ago. I wasn't expecting anything extraordinary, but soon after being seated, I became disenchanted. The server interaction was fine, but the absence of busing and general table maintenance was felt by everyone; wine tasting glasses were left to occupy space well into the entree, as were bread plates and dirty tableware, and water was more often than not forgotten about. The food was equally disappointing: my cassoulet was overloaded with bread crumbs, which soaked up the majority of the stew, and a sparsity of pork left me feeling like I ordered the wrong thing. Wine was good, but further disappointment came when my dessert arrived and I found the puff pastry over-baked and practically crunchy. I imagine not everything on the menu would have been executed so ineptly, but the experience left me feeling hesitant to return any time soon.
Posted by esagen on December 13, 2009 at 2:04 PM · Report this
Loved the ambience and side patio, food was good, cocktails are tasty, but can they really call it a happy hour (4:30-6) without offering drink specials?? I have never encountered that before, very strange indeed.
Posted by kas on August 20, 2009 at 8:37 AM · Report this

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Bastille Cafe & Bar
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