Friday night was great--we actually went out on a date. Albeit, we were home in time to put the kids to bed, but still, we got to eat a great dinner without being interrupted by anyone needing to nurse, go to the bathroom, or get more milk.
And, the best part is, we finally got to try the most famous new restaurant in Kirkland. Trellis. I've read a few reviews of the place and they all talked about how the chef likes to make very seasonal, local fare--that he even grows a lot of the food in his own garden plot down at the fabulous South 47 Farm off the Redmond-Woodinville Road.
It was a beautiful evening and there were many diners enjoying the patio tables. We opted to sit inside to avoid the late September cool nights. The decor is very earthy with rich but muted colors. The chairs even had a leaf motif embroidered on the back rests. The beautiful bar is overlaid in a pinky-orange marble slab.
Our server was great right off the bat. She knew the menu well and had great wine suggestions. We ordered straight from the specials menu, starting with a grilled peach salad stacked with caramelized onions, wilted arugula (obviously elitist, so naturally it was good), some fresh sliced figs surrounding the stack and drizzled with a truffle oil. Yeah, it was fabulous especially pared with a great pinot gris from a local winery.
Next to arrive was the cheese plate, served on a long wooden paddle. All local cheeses, we had a great white cheddar pared with quince paste, a triple cream with a tomato-peach jam, and a tangy bleu pared with a fall fruit jam and roasted hazelnuts. There was hot fresh steaming pita bread. But the best part-our smart server suggested champagne to accompany the cheeses. Genius! It was a great bright contrast to those substantial cheeses.
So far, we were ready to hand out 5 stars. Then, our entrees arrived. And they were good, but not 5 stars--maybe even just 3.5 stars. I ordered the lamb T-bone with braised swiss chard and a medley of berries (huckleberries, blackberries, and golden raspberries). Those flavors were all great together, but the sauce (which I think was a balsamic reduction) was much too salty. It tasted strongly of what I thought to be soy sauce and not really any balsamic flavor came through. It was in serious need of an acid (like more vinegar!).
My hubby ordered the wild boar cassoulet, which if you're not familiar with the dish, comes with beans and braised duck. Again, the flavors were good, but the boar was noticeably under-seasoned. We did have a couple of nice Syrahs with our meals adding their spicy goodness to the flavor mix.
Stuffed as we were, we just had to try dessert. The server was pushing for the lemon flan with thyme syrup (the chef's specialty), but as much as I like thyme, I think it should stay towards the entree portion of dinner. I went for the peach-raspberry cobbler served with ice cream and my husband ordered his favorite standby--apple pie. His slice of apple pie was garnished with a caramel sauce, cinnamon-caramel ice cream topped with apple shavings. It was really much better than my cobbler which had altogether too much cobbler and not enough fruit. Plus...it was barely warm! This has been our plight at many many great restaurants--dinner is great, but dessert seems like the afterthought. Please, make sure it's at least properly heated! So I think dessert gets about 3.5 stars.
Overall, the ambience and service is excellent. We loved the appetizers and liked dinner and dessert fairly well. We had a great time and would definitely try it again. It would be an ideal spot for amazing appetizers and good wine. Maybe we'll sit at that marble bar next time around.