In this week's reviews, the city's critics paid visits to Fremont's wine bar/cafe Vif, Queen Anne's new Eden Hill, and downtown's Bookstore Bar and Cafe. Here's what they had to say:
Providence Cicero says Caprial Pence's Bookstore Bar and Cafe in the Alexis Hotel is a major flop: "Pence is general manager as well as executive chef and pastry chef, overseeing a kitchen open from early morning until late night, plus room service. Recent visits at lunch and dinner suggest she is overstretched in those roles...The menu, replete with misspellings, offers vague or confusing descriptions. On the very limited wine list there are no details at all beyond the winery and the varietal." She gives it a dismal one star.
At Eden Hill, Seattle Weekly's Nicole Sprinkle had mixed results but suggests you give it a try: "The restaurant deems itself 'avant-garde,' so I expected some of the preparations and exhibitions to play to that conceit. Too often, though, it feels more like a bad trip back to the ’90s, where 'dots' and 'drops' and 'dollops' of ingredients—all words used to describe a single dish during my visit—do little more than illustrate the plate. There are certainly inspired moments, however, and it’s abundantly clear that Petty puts a lot of love into his work; he’s especially successful when he edits the dishes."
Vif isn't primarily a restaurant, says Angela Garbes at The Stranger, but it has restaurant-quality food: "Open for a little more than two years in Fremont, Vif offers a rare kind of nourishment in Seattle. And while it might be a stretch to call Vif a restaurant, its food is certainly restaurant quality. The dishes are simple in composition and feature high-quality ingredients. But it's the details—the small elements of lavishness in every dish—that really make the food wonderful."