There is something just a little magical about this Eastlake mini-strip mall location. I suspect that it’s the juxtaposition between the gritty parking lot approach, and the warm interior and beautifully crafted food. Whatever it is, Blind Pig Bistro has in common with its predecessors in the space, Sitka & Spruce and Nettletown, the ability to transcend less than perfect curb appeal and wow you with a wonderful experience once inside.
Blind Pig Bistro makes the most of its square footage, fitting something like ten tables into the diminutive space. The warm orange-red walls, multiple chandeliers, and small pottery-feeling plates are exceedingly un-fussy, and the rough-edged menu chalk boards hold just enough items to make you feel like you have options but aren’t overwhelmed by the possibilities.
A first perusal of the menu turned up the requisite pork belly – so popular in Seattle these days – and a pig head terrine, so I knew immediately that we were in for a dinner more on the foodie end of the spectrum. What I didn’t expect was that each dish we tried, one after the other all the way through dessert, was a complete composition of flavor and texture. It was as though each plate could stand entirely on its own, while at the same time complementing the dishes served before and after.
Take that pork belly, for example, wonderfully fatty and flavorful and served alongside a slightly crunchy cauliflower and treviso bitter enough to balance the pork. Or the hamachi crudo, with its tiny dice of green apple, creamy swath of avocado, and zing of chilis. The crispy capers were the texture counterpoint in the roasted kale and quinoa salad, the poached egg served atop the salad making everything deliciously creamy once we smashed the yolk about. My favorite savory of the night was the perfectly cooked, brightly pink duck breast, the rice beans nicely firm against the softness of the dates.
I say my favorite savory, because the dessert was among the best I’ve had in a long while. Maybe it’s because birthday boy Aran is a huge chocolate fan so this was right up his alley. The chocolate cremeux with Moroccan sea salt arrived in two large dollops, something like a fudge-y version of chocolate mousse that went down way too quickly.
I’d return for that dessert in a heartbeat, or for another round of whatever Blind Pig Bistro has on the menu that day. When we were first seated our server said that if we were really ambitious and stuck to the smaller versions of things we could work our way through the entire menu. That didn’t happen this time around, but I won’t say it’s an impossibility for our next visit.