written by Guest Blogger and Awesome friend: Dr. Lisa Thoms
Dr. John Heldridge, Oral Surgeon in Edmonds, says Cafe Juanita is the best restaurant in Kirkland (actually, in all of Seattle) if you want a perfect meal. During their year long remodel, Cafe Juanita relocated to downtown Seattle continuing their tradition of perfect meals with all of the same staff. Dr. Heldridge also said he had the best meal of his life while they were in their temporary digs. We went with him to check out the remodel and see if Holly Smith and her team were maintaining their traditional excellence. The remodel is clean, simple and modern.
The restaurant is expanded and every seat was full both visits. They have opened a patio downstairs if you would like to enjoy the outdoors and a rosé or tea. We were greeted by friendly staff at the front door and this warmth and friendliness continued throughout the meal. The cod was "amazing" and "perfect" according to my two dinner companions. I had the lamb which was beautifully and surgically dissected and scrumptious. I was impressed by the vegan, dairy free and gluten free menus.
Also, Molly never forgot I was lactose intolerant throughout the entire meal. John had gluten free bread with butter, Britt had good old fashioned bread and butter and I had bread with delicious olive oil.
Molly, our sommelier, was impressed with John's choice of wine, Arzigh Roero Arneis, and told us the heartwarming story of the son who took over his parent's vineyard in Italy. She is fortunate that she is able to visit Italy twice a year to maintain her expertise and maintain relationships with the winemakers.
I would definitely recommend the Belgian endive salad with mint and fennel for a starter. It was the best Belgian END-ive salad I have ever tasted. Or, I could say, it was perfect.