This weeks Spotlight on Happy Hour took me across the water to Bellevue’s Purple Cafe & Wine Bar (also with locations in Woodinville & Kirkland, both of which have the same happy hour, and downtown Seattle but no happy hour is available at that location).
If you’ve never dined at Purple, for happy hour or any other purpose, I highly recommend a visit to any one of their locations. With an on-site sommelier every day of the week, amazing chefs & a truly delicious grasp on wonderful flavors, Purple is an average priced restaurant with above average culinary & drinkable treats!
With so many happy hour options available, it was difficult to decide where to start. Luckily their service manager Jeff was on hand to guide our evening and recommend some delicious food and wonderful wines.
The first thing that caught my eye were the spreads at $3 each. Feta Walnut, Edamame Hummus and Roasted Garlic & White Bean all sounded delicious. Jeff paired all three with a Bordeaux style white, $8 on happy hour, the 2006 Chateau La Garde Pessac-Leognan from France.
-The feta walnut was amazing. Slightly spicy, with sun dried tomato hints, herbs, garlic & a creamy texture, topped with candied walnuts (ask for extra of these, trust me!); this all just came together like a gem. The wine paired very nicely with it as well, offering a smooth, well balanced mouth feel.
-The edamame hummus was very subtle, with only slight hints of edamame. Traditional hummus was the predominant flavor in this one, and the balanced oak flavors in the wine complimented this spread well.
-The roasted garlic and white bean was smooth, with very subtle flavors in general. It had very strong lemon flavors, and the pesto that topped it was a great addition. The wine added another level of flavor, enhancing the dip well.
Purple also offers the quintessential stuffed date with their own twist. A creamy blue cheese (made creamy with the addition of some sort of heavy cream & cream cheese blend), and topped with chives, pine nuts and a saba drizzle, a sweet balsamic-like syrup made from grapes. This was paired with the 2010 Lodi Petit Syrah from California, only $6 on happy hour and a wonderful compliment to this dish. It was incredibly smooth and really paired exquisitely with this simple appetizer.
The baked brie was another item we couldn’t miss. If you are a brie fan, this is a must. Baked and served warm in beautiful puff pastry, it was delightful with apricot flavors that were entwined within the warm brie. It is served with housemade flatbread which was buttery, flaky and so delicious. Paired with the 2009 Clos de Nouys Vouvray Demi-Sec from France ($7.50 a glass on happy hour), this was an amazing pairing! Nearing dessert wine, the sweetness balanced the earthiness of the cheese and buttery flatbread flavors so well!
A star of the happy hour menu is the Champagne Steamed Penn Cove Mussels, at only $8, these were simple and delicious. The sauce was creamy & buttery, but not too overpowering, with hints of dijon, pieces of bacon and served with grilled bread. Paired with the Vega Medien Cava Brut from Spain, only $6 a glass on happy hour and a great pairing with this dish. The perfect bite? Soak a small piece of bread in the sauce, find a bacon bit (scattered healthfully throughout the dish!), with a mussel, then take a sip of the slightly-sweet cava. The combination of flavors was delightful. The creamy sauce, smokey bacon and subtle bubbles of the Cava all blend the bold flavors so well.
Another great item on the happy hour menu is the crab cake sliders. Slightly spicy with a huge chunk of avocado, I really enjoyed these as a hearty snack. Served with a mountain of fries which I can only describe as amazing…I couldn’t stop inhaling them!! Highly recommended as a side to the sliders, or ordered on their own ($4). A good fry is a good thing!
Another great option for a quick snack is their wine and cheese pairings. You can order a complete cheese board, or just one of the the pairings, $4 for the cheese and $3 for each glass of wine. A lot of fun, and a great way to try cheeses and wines you may not ordinarily pair together!
Happy hour prices range from $6 to $16.50 for white glass pours, and $6-$18 for red glass pours, and both menus are arranged from lightest to heaviest, making it simpler to choose the best wine for you (not to mention they always have a sommelier on site to help!). Food prices range from $3-$8, with salted caramels at $1.50 each for a delicious, sweet ending to any meal.
But if you think this is just a wine bar, don’t be mistaken. They have a full bar with draft beers and a fully stocked liquor shelf. There is something for everyone at Purple!!
- A special Dinner Menu of your favorite items from the last 10 years
- A selection of $10 glass pours
- Complimentary amuse bouche before dinner
- Surprise gift card giveaways during both lunch and dinner
Stop on by, say hello, and raise a glass with us them as they celebrate ten fabulous years in Kirkland!