In this week's reviews, Bethany Jean Clement of The Stranger visits À La Bonne Franquette in Mount Baker, where the views surpass the food. The hilltop perch overlooks Rainier Valley and Beacon Hill, with the downtown skyline in the distance. "The Olympics, on a clear evening, are the improbably cinematic backdrop to this ridiculously lovely view," Clement writes. Dreamy as this may be, she calls the food merely "credible." Her meal ranged from "unimpeachable" chicken liver mousse, "good" beet salad, and "perfectly palatable" duck rillettes.
The only real letdown at À La Bonne Franquette was the dense, dry, bland sweet potato gnocchi ($15). Otherwise, to find fault here is a matter of degrees; almost everything is tasty. At the end of dinner, the chocolate pot de crème and crème brûlée were just as picture-perfect as the view.
Providence Cicero of The Seattle Times awarded 2.5 stars to Belltown's Bell + Whete, with its meat-centric, Norman-inspired menu. Cicero says you need not have a grasp on the history of the Normans to enjoy the restaurant, whose menu "feels more eclectically American than anything else." Cicero found the housemade sausages in the meaty "Tour de Viande" to be "very good" and notes only a few minor flubs in what was otherwise a solid meal. The highlight seemed to be dessert: "The texture of dark chocolate pot de crème was perfect. It conquered me, from the first decadent spoonful to the final crumb of shortbread cookie by its side."