Copine exemplifies what 5-star dining in Seattle is like: 1) decor is understated, maybe too understated. Like you're in a Dansk showroom, all nordic simplicity. Your eyes need a few more focal points for a multi-hour dining experience. There are few interesting vases to ponder.
2) The crowd is without a doubt serious foodies who come to have their taste buds delighted. They are dressed in tee shirts and shorts, ready to dig in, with no muss or fuss. For a place you'll drop $75-100 per person, it is very unpretentious.
3) The food is the STAR here, no question. They're so serious about the food, they DON'T want you to order appetizers first while perusing the entrees entrees. No no, they want you to order everything at the same time so that they can properly space it out, with an amuse bouche thrown in. Definitely order a starter or two. The foie gras is an art piece. Seriously, you will want to take photos of it, it's so beautifully composed. A line of black sesame, cubes of foie gras, dashi and edible flowers, with tiny, beautifully flayed out peaches. But gorgeous would mean nothing if the flavors don't match, and heavens, this foie gras does! It's a delightful symphony for your mouth. The night we were there, they had a special starter of wagyu beef tartare. Also excellent. The pork belly is nearly entree-sized and a very good value if you have a big appetite.
4) The entrees change a little with the seasons. But the duck seems to always be there. It's wonderful, served in a flaky pastry crust, and because it's summer, garnished with cherries dipped in pistachios. My husband had the scallops, and although there were only 3 scallops, a bed of sweet corn and peppers kept it lively and also more filling.
5) There are 4 desserts to choose from, including a seasonal deconstructed strawberry shortcake. The chocolate mouse was the winner at our table. Served with peanut butter ice cream.
6) There are cocktails to choose from, but as mentioned, most diners come for the food, so the preferred accompaniment is wine. They have a good wine list, both white & red, as well as sparklers. Although there's no sommelier, the servers are good about recommending wines that go well with what you order. Actual espresso or french press coffee for afterwards.
Because Copine has no view and no sumptuous atmosphere, this is not necessarily the place to take high-end business clients or people who need to be impressed. It's not the place to dress to the nine's. But, it IS the place to impress the hard-to-please foodie and the person who's well-traveled and appreciates the finer points of fine dining. The food is actually better than Canlis and a much better value.
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