Everything here is very creative, from their cocktails to their entrees; there is a little twist on each menu item. It’s a husband and wife team at this very chef driven restaurant. Chef and owner Jacob Wiegner, and his lovey wife Ginger have been together for 20 years and have 3 kids; 13, 10 and 15. Jacob says the oldest one cooks at home. Jacob is very much in love with Ginger you can see it in his eyes. He towers over her, but she gazes back with a ton of affection. Together they have one great establishment.
Blackboard Bistro was very crowded with West Seattle folks. The interior has café tables, with grey carpet, banquette booths, and specials written on the blackboard. It is a very casual French bistro, with all of the black and white striped décor, a very laid back ambiance. Blackboard Bistro has a real neighborhood feel, charming, and people are very nice. The music they play is predominately classic rock, like: The Eagles, Led Zeppelin, which added to the overall cool vibe.
Chef Jacob says, “5 years ago it was a quiet little neighborhood, 5 years ago it was empty at 9pm” This little sleepy neighborhood has really changed now, it’s getting very popular and very hip. Before West Seattle only had old retired people, now there is a boom with affordable real estate prices.
My server was Lee, and he added just the right amount of knowledge to my wonderful dinner. There is a small bar, lots of laughter fills the room. It’s a varied crowd; ladies having dinners, anniversaries, people celebrating birthdays, and special occasions, but not a special occasion restaurant. Chef Jacob says “Come, as you are, no pretense, that’s what we do.”
Here’s what I tried:
Vodka Martini with olives, my favorite cocktail and this one did not disappoint.
Vesper – Vodka, Lillet, twist, this cocktail had great balance, a nice departure for my typical cocktail choices.
House made rustic bread with brown butter, olive oil, toasted pumpkin, oregano, so creative.
Salad of Grilled Romaine, avocado, olives, oven roasted tomato, pickled red onions, crispy cannellini beans, and red wine vinaigrette. The beans are crunchy, crispy seeing that they are deep fried, very interesting salad.
Lemon grass, tumeric and ginger caramel pork, crepe, cucumber, green onion. Super great, kind of done like a Mu Shu style with the soft wrap and the sauce, very inventive.
House made gnocchi, eggplant ragu, crispy eggplant, pesto, another very pleasing dish, and the eggplant is deep fried as well.
Duck confit, roast baby squash, fingerling potatoes, and lemon/Parmesan vinaigrette. The duck is cooked to perfection, crispy skin and very tender inside.
Stir fried lamb with snap peas, chanterelle mushrooms, chili oil, and cashews. Kind of spicy, but amazing flavor.
Goat cheese, morel mushrooms, crispy garlic, soft polenta, bagna caulda. This was by far my favorite dish, with local morels, what an accomplishment.
Dungeness crab salad, shrimp, basil, mint, candied ginger, pecan brittle, done like a pickled Japanese carrot and radish salad, but another winner.
Heirloom tomato gazpacho with geoduck, the clam is very fresh and had great texture, along side the gazpacho, a truly fantastic soup.
Chocolate caramel sea salt tart, how can you go wrong with caramel, chocolate and sea salt.
House Sorbet, lime Fromage Blanc, very refreshing after my delightful meal.
2014 Sauvignon Blanc, Dama Wines, WA. This wine has some nice fruit forward flavors; it went great with the gazpacho.
2012 Roussanne, Chateau Trillol, France. A nice floral feel, it went great with the Dungeness crab salad, it balanced out the acidic quality of the salad.
2012 Alberino, Parejas Cellars, WA, I would do this wine with the salad of grilled romaine; it doesn’t over power any part of this dish.
2014 Pinot Gris, Sweet Cheeks, OR. Kind of a stretch but I liked it with the ginger caramel pork.
2013 Nebbiolo, Wil-Ridge, Wahluke Slope, WA. This wine went perfect with the stir-fried lamb; it hit all the right notes.
2009 Tempranillo, Kana Winery, WA. Got to do this one with the duck confit, it has enough of a backbone to add enough lovely jammy flavors to this dish.
At Blackboard Bistro they are all about the food, simplicity, technique and flavor, food that is nostalgic to chef/owner Jacob Wiegner. The menu reflects the nomadic life that he has lived, experience the ever-changing menu at the Blackboard Bistro.
I was very happy to get an invite from their publicity team, really it is hard to find good down home cuisine that has such a special creative edge. It’s worth a trip to West Seattle when you’re in Washington!
There is humor in the air here, on the actual blackboard it says, “Eating raw or under cooked food can make you sick or even kill you, but so would crossing the street.”
3247 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116
Phone: (206) 257 4832
Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday evenings from 5pm-9pm,
Friday and Saturday 5pm-10pm