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“Good food and great service, but a little off the beaten track”
Review of Cafe Juanita

Cafe Juanita
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Ranked #1 of 283 Restaurants in Kirkland
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$41 - US$80
Cuisines: American, Italian, Seafood, Contemporary
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Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Romantic, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, View
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Reviewed 29 September 2017 via mobile

I was recommended the restaurant by a friend, who was born in Seattle, and still has family here. It is 40 to 45 minutes from downtown Seattle, in an area called Kirkland. Surrounded by less salubrious venues, it is an oasis of class with its own valet parking section. The restaurant has a very modern, dark wood and glass decor, making it quite hard to see the surrounding environment. It specializes in modern Northern Italian cuisine, by Holly Smith, who we did see pop in, and kind of reminded me of a Angela Hartnetts food at Murano.
We had the tasting menu, which started with a slice of prosciutto, nice but nothing special.
The first course was a cruda of yellowtail, which was surprising in its fattyness, which mixed with avocado, celeriac and passion fruit, was fantastic, not quite sashimi, not quite cerviche, it tasted fantastic.
The next course was a salad of shaved mixed beets, with a chevre, goats cheese, tiny crumble if walnuts. Was not a fan of pickled beets as a kid, and this didn't change my mind.
What looked like an overly seared Hokkaido scallop, was actually fine,
A very salty white sturgeon caviar followed, with a bland tajarin pasta. This actually worked, two wrongs, (salty, small egg caviar, with a bland fine pasta), making a right, to produce a creamy textured pasta, with a hint of brine.
Next was foie gras, with an Asian pear, and tiny pieces of crystallized ginger again worked, with the unctious savory goose liver being offset by the very sweet pear.
A ragout of lamb, with gnocchi, and a parmesan foam was next. I felt the gnocchi and foam were very tasty and light, but we're overwhelmed by the heaviness and strong taste of the lamb.
The main course of iberico pork (Spanish, but the best in the world), is slightly disconcerting with the pork served pink to rare. The taste was sublime, especially the seared exterior, and the amazingly sweet baby onions. I do think a conversation needs to be held before hand over whether guests are comfortable or not on rare pork.
Dessert, was smoked ice cream, a lovely light panna cotta with honey, and a quite heavy meringued truffle chocolate cake.
Overall we were quite satisfied, and admired the surprising way some of dishes were put together and really worked. The menu flowed well, though there were some misses(beets, lamb, truffle cake), as well as great hits, (cruda, caviar, foie gras, pork). Definitely worth a visit again if you are a foodie.

Thank hit16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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20 - 24 of 282 reviews

Reviewed 16 September 2017

Atmosphere calm and acoustics good for couple talk.
Food was perfectly prepared and crackers with appetizer were freshly made and I couldn't get enough of them.
I had lamb and my guy had rabbit.

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Thank SilverGirl710
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 September 2017

We have been going to Café Juanita for 30? years. Holly, the current chef, is an amazing chef - great flavors, care into the presentation, and the staff treat your meal and presence as worthy of the price. Sometimes I wish there were a few other entrees (as rabbit and sable fish, however great are not on my personal list). However, by putting together a dinner family style even the most picky can do okay. I like the innovativeness of the items and the foie gras is like tasting heaven. I recommend that if you are trying to save a few dollars bring your own wine and pay the corkage fee - however their wine list is extensive and interesting (and seems the typical 2x retail price). This restaurant is one of the best in the entire Seattle region

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Thank FBAGoddess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2017

We were visiting from afar and dining with friends. What an impressive menu with creative selections, based on Northern Italian cooking. It's a casual, but sophisticated venue where we experienced excellent service,, The rack of lamb was the best I've had anywhere and the risotto with squid was unusual and delicious. My husband, who can be hard to please, had the herring appetizer, followed by the rabbit entree, both of which exceeded his expectations! It is expensive but well worth the money for an extraordinary dining experience!

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Thank 12wandering
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2017

Service was decent. However, the food was the pleasant surprised. Although a bit expensive food was quite exceptional.

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Thank reachchris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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