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Pair - Seattle, WA - Reviews page 1 - Judysbook

Pair

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5501 30th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98105
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(206) 526-7655
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Pair - Seattle, WA

Reviews

( 9 )
( 10 )
( 1 )
( 2 )
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Best

This ambiance of Pair has a warmth and charm that always melts away the stress and worries of my day. The small dishes are lovingly crafted with high quality ingredients in someti...

Worst

I'll admit to high expectations of this shabby chic European style cafe tucked into the Bryant neighborhood. What a disappointment. The service was so sharp and cold that it su...

Pair! 8/31/2006

Wonderful food! Wonderfully prepared! Wonderful atmosphere! more

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A Northwest Neighborhood Delight 4/21/2006

Tried the restaurant Pair on a whim and was pleasantly surprised at the incredible flavor and preparation of food. And when they call it "pair", they must have done so because each one of their dishes always has a perfectly matched partner. Wait, let me back up. Pair is an adorably decorated, small restaurant on the corner of the U-district and Ravenna. There's just the right amount of French country nicknacks and French country flair (water served in chilled pop-top bottles) to make you feel comfy and ready to eat as you walk in the door. My date and I sat at the bar, which is always my favorite place to sit, and let the very capable bartender help us through our menu anxiety. Everything looked delicious, mouth-water even, trumped only the special which was pan-seared scallops. YIKES! It's all moderately priced and nothing is more that $13 for a plate. Generous portions as well. It's easy to run up a tab here, because you want to order some cheese, then a yummy raddichio salad, oooh then the crabcakes, oh and what about the salmon toasts - Know what I mean? But, it's also easy to stop in for a cheese place, charceuterie and a glass of wine on the cheap. Either way, an extremely comfy, delicious example of chefs putting the wonderful Northwest food to good use. more

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Cozy atmosphere, comforting food 4/19/2006

We live in this neighborhood, and we were dying to find a good, solid restaurant whenever we were in a lovey dovey mood. So it's not very surprising we liked Pair, since it fit the bill quite nicely. People are right - yeah, it's not spectacular, jaw-dropping food, maybe the maitre d can be friendlier, but that didn't discourage us and we'll be back for more. The place is cozy with nice warm ambiance - candles, dim lighting, mixed wooden benches and antique kitchen tools. The red French Toile curtain into the kitchen is a nice touch. We sat at the bar, which is highly recommended if you are a couple - the server/bartender was very friendly and knowledgeable, and you don't have to wait for your server to come around to ask questions or place additional order. The wine selection is sensible and appropriate for the kind of laid back food they have. This is not to say their food is not worth nice wines, but they wouldn't go with pretentious wines. Besides, new studies indicate that having cheese with wine numbs the part of your taste buds that decipher subtleties in the wine taste. So if you are having their yummy Cambozola Fondue with apples, pears and bread (highly recommended), their reasonable wines are just fine. Their bread is a good traditional bread with good creamy soft butter. This is important to me, since one of my pet peeves is fancy restaurants serving too cold, not-serving-temperature generic butter. This shows they care about the food. Their warmed olives were nicely flavored, although it may have needed a bit more warming (the big ones were a bit cold on the inside). The special of the night, rack of lamb with fingerling potatoes, were nothing but excellent with I think apple and dates chutney. I'm not usually into too much lamb except in Indian food, but this was very good. We were also very happy that the Sautéed Vegetables had Swiss Chard in it - good nutritional value, and the earthy flavor compliments their down-to-earth cuisine. We wanted to try more things, but run out of room in our stomachs. Nothing was disappointing. I don't remember the exact name of the dish, but the dessert we had was a pot of chocolate/coffee creme, which was excellent with one of the dessert wines (again don't remember the name - sorry - but it's the one from Australia). The server/bartender let us taste a couple of ports and dessert wines to see which one may go with the dessert best, which was very nice. We spent about $75 with wines and food, and were comfortably full. We observed that some single customers would wander in from the neighborhood, sit at the bar, and enjoy their meal with newspaper or a book. This is always a good sign - that people don't need social excuses to come here and enjoy food - they just come because they wanted to eat. We decided this is a solid, good comfort food restaurant which we would come back to again when we want something pleasant and one notch up from our home cuisine (meaning food with more preparation and ingredients than we care to do or stock in our kitchen). As others mention they don't take reservations for parties under 6, so there would be a little wait if you don't go early, but you can sip wines and chat - don't go there starving, and it'll be worth the wait. more

Good Service Nice atmosphere but Good Food Not Amazing! 4/16/2006

Maybe I had really high expectations of this place since everyone has been raving of it but the food was just OK. I think LARK has much better food than Pair. I do have to say that this place is very cozy and the service is great. We were a bigger group and we tried 16 things on the menu my favorite was the asparagus, lamb, pork and the lemon crème brulee. Don’t take me wrong the food was not bad at all and I would go back it just wasn’t amazing. And if you are looking for this kind of food I would recommend Lark instead. Lark is just more flavorful. more

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Unique Dining Experience 4/13/2006

In my opinion, this is a great place to bring a small group of close friends. The menu encourages sharing; the portions are small and a definitely double or so the number of people menu options should be chosen. Though the portions are small, the quality of the food is really emphasized. Very interesting flavors for a small neighborhood restaurant. If I could suggest anything it would be the fondue. Nothing like chatting with old friends over a warm fondue. The service was fair enough-- the restaurant was maxed out with people the night we were there and the no-reservation policy left some people lingering unhappily on the street corner for awhile. Get there early or get there in the later hours 8-9 to guarantee the quickest seating. Enjoy! more

Really like the ambiance here 2/17/2006

Went there on a bustling Thursday night and it was crowded, warm + fun. Bar was full and all tables max'd out. Manny's and Pilsner Urquell on tap and some good wines on the list. The small plates / tapas like menu and sharing is not everyone's favorite way to dine, but if you're with a group it works and the food is good at Pair. But mainly liked it for the ambiance. Would go again. more

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Pair was Just Fair 2/10/2006

I'll admit to high expectations of this shabby chic European style cafe tucked into the Bryant neighborhood. What a disappointment. The service was so sharp and cold that it sucked the lemon right out of my creme brulee. The wine was a measley pour and the barkeep insisted on correcting our (poor, but earnest) pronounciations of the wine brands. Taking itself entirely too seriously on such small plates, Pair still packs the house. If service doesn't matter to you - and small portions help you stay slim (I know, I know...it's intentional..."tapas" style for sharing) - enjoy the creative and delicious food. As for me, I'll find a stool at a more friendly, heaping bar. more

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Small Plates in a Neighborhood Setting 1/30/2006

Pair is one of our favorites. It's a neighborhood place near U Village. Specializes in small plates. If you just want a light bite order a couple plates to share. If you're really hungry order multiple plates and keep one or two to yourself. Our favorites are the "cheese puffs" (I can never pronounce or spell it, but you'll see what I mean on the menu), the gnocchi, and the smoked salmon. Mac and cheese is a nice change from gnocchi. If you like your greens go for the spinich salad or the green beans. Wine list is nice and approachable. Staff if quite knowledgeable and will spend the time to talk with you about the wine or help you do a pairing. Only cautions - it gets crowded around 7 pm and they only take reservations for 6+ so you could wait a while for a table (never trust the owner's time estimates about wait time). Personally I don't mind much because you can get a glass of wine or a beer. And it does get noisy when it fills up. Otherwise it's good food and a nice atmosphere. more

Yum, Yummy, Yummier~ 10/21/2005

Loved Pair! Enough said! OK OK I will elaborate. It is a great place to go with a few friends or on a double date. Great little dishes that are affordable and fun to eat and share. It is a quaint little place (near University Village) and the service is great! I reccomend ordering about 4-6 dishes per pair and then share! It is very romantic, however I would not reccomend it for a first day, maybe a third, or forth, or fifth though! more

Share at Pair 8/19/2005

Pair is a fun little restaurant. It's fairly new and located just north of University Village. This is a perfect restaurant for those of you who like to share. The portions are small. Order 4-5 per couple. Even though the portions are small the food leaves nothing to be desired, except maybe more. The fondue is divine. The wait staff are very attentive and are very knowledgeable when it came to wine. In addition, when asked to recommend a bottle they didn't go to the most expensive bottle. I think that says a lot about an establishment. All in all a great, interactive experience. more

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Small Dishes - like a French Cuisine Tapas bar! 8/17/2005

Pair has an excellent mac and cheese dish! Actually, all of their dishes are wonderful. My boyfriend and I like to go here with other couples or a group and share a variety of their little plate dishes. If you went with 8 people, you could almost order one of everything and then you'd all get to try a little of each. Save room for the deserts though because they have a very tasty Lemon Creme Brulée. You must try an order of the Gougéres! Pair doesn't take reservations for groups under 6 people, so if you have fewer, don't show up starving since you probably have to wait 45 minutes for a table. Just have a seat and gaze at the menu or have a drink at the bar, and enjoy the peaceful and romantic setting. They only have a limited number of each dish for the evening, so get there early if you want your pick of the menu. And they're closed on Monday and some holidays, so you might want to call and make sure they're open. We assumed they'd be open on Valentines Day and ended up disappointed. more

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Classy but comfy 8/3/2005

This Excellent French gem of a restaurant is north near the university district. You can order several small dishes and then everyone at the table shares. They have excellent options every night, alhtough they change slightly with the seasons. The homemade gnocci was excellent as was the fondue and their goat-cheese tasted really fresh. The wine list at pair is quite good, and the beer list looked ok, although short. The servers were all friendly and well-trained. great dinner if you are the type of person who always wants to try everything on the menu. each plate is usually less than 10 dollars, but you will need more than 1 dish to get full. The atmosphere was not stuffy, but not too casual either. more

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Pair in Bryant is good, not great 2/22/2005

I had very high hopes for Pair - a new restaurant in the Bryant neighborood north of U Village - and perhaps too high. Several friends had recently given it high marks, and I'm generally a sucker for cute neighborhood restaurants with a "labor of love" vibe about them. Having just returned from a dinner for 5 - with comprehensive sharing of the tapas-style plates around the table - I have to admit that the experience fell slightly short of my hopes. I'm sure I'll be bombarded with disapproving mail for this, but it's always frustrating to see a place come so close to delivering on the promise of a good (not great, but good) local restaurant, yet fall short in a sufficient number of small ways so as to undermine the overall experience. First off, it may be that we arrived before the evening was really underway (a little after 6 pm), but the host cannot be said to have radiated friendly neighborhood bonhomie. With a no-reservations policy, this job is a tough one - managing customer expectations in an inherently unpredictable situation - but the greatest asset in this case is a strong dose of empathy. Even allowing for the challenging position, our party's reception could more accurately be described as polite indifference. Things improved dramatically upon being seated. Our server was engaging, the menu offered a nice range of options, our drinks arrived speedily, and our questions were fielded with intelligence and good humor. We ordered the breadth of the menu, including lamb, chicken and beef mains, several sides (including cauliflower, beets, and a salad), plus a range of desserts. After considerable plate-passing and related commentary, the overall assessment of the table was: no standouts (with the possible exception of the chocolate pot de creme), mostly solid executions (the pan roated chicken and green salad being particularly strong), and a few disappointments (most notably the hanger steak - tough and overdone, and the beets - somwhat undercooked and not terribly flavorful). The coffee was good, the wine & beer options limited but well-chosen. In summary, Pair delivers a good dining experience on most fronts - a creditable showing for any restaurant, and particulary for a neighborhood location with very fair prices. I'll certainly visit Pair again, and I encourage other Seattleites to do the same, if only to tell me where I went wrong. We need every thoughtful neighborhood restaurant we have, and Pair absolutely deserves a spot on that list. more

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Little dishes served in cozy spot make a nice combo. 9/24/2004

I'm always torn about tapas and "small plates"- will I get to eat enough? Will it be too expensive and I won't really have tried much of anything? I went to Pair for the first time last night with 3 friends (all foodies) and we did just fine. The restaurant-while oft compared to Lark- has a really inviting setting (soft lighting, benches at many tables, shared tables) and is tucked away in Ravenna. The menu offers so many great choices that we almost wished we had come in a bigger group so we could have ordered more. Highlights: cambazola fondue (with apples,pears and bread for dipping), pork tenderloin braised in balsamic/date/olive reduction served on toasts, brisket with horseradish sauce (this was terrific), spinach with carmelized shallots and garlic and oh yes- the fontina dressed mac and cheese with bread crumbs. Quite nice and the portions worked out just fine. At $30 a piece with a beverage, we felt happy,full and excited to come back and try more. more

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Little dishes served in cozy spot make a nice combo. 9/24/2004

I'm always torn about tapas and "small plates"- will I get to eat enough? Will it be too expensive and I won't really have tried much of anything? I went to Pair for the first time last night with 3 friends (all foodies) and we did just fine. The restaurant-while oft compared to Lark- has a really inviting setting (soft lighting, benches at many tables, shared tables) and is tucked away in Ravenna. The menu offers so many great choices that we almost wished we had come in a bigger group so we could have ordered more. Highlights: cambazola fondue (with apples,pears and bread for dipping), pork tenderloin braised in balsamic/date/olive reduction served on toasts, brisket with horseradish sauce (this was terrific), spinach with carmelized shallots and garlic. Quite nice and the portions worked out just fine. At $30 a piece with a beverage, we felt happy,full and excited to come back and try more. more
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Menu for Pair




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Editorial

  • The Scene
    Pair has a sweet, rustic charm with its gingham curtains and blond wood tables and benches. Spacious seating and big windows lend airiness, while candles create intimacy and...

  • 11/14/2005 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Tuesday-Saturday 5-10pm
  • Payments:

    Visa, Master Card
  • Neighborhoods:

    Northeast Seattle, Northeast, Ravenna

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