decker | Jan 2, 200201:21 AM     9

A friend and I had a lovely evening at Le Pichet on 1st and Virginia in Seattle over the holidays. The food was simple & "country" -- The Rillons Auvergnats (Crisp pork confit, preserved with cognac, served with pumpkin confiture and mustards) was excellent, as were the complementary slices of house-made sausage. My Grilled leg of lamb on a potato and Cautal cheese gratin was very good (although not the best lamb I have every had; I'm extremely picky about my lamb); the gratin was excellent: mild & a perfect accompaniment to the lamb. My companion's Penn Cove mussels sauteed with white vermouth, shallots, herbs and cream with a side of frites were outstanding. Wine was available by bottle, half-bottle or glass for most wine selections. A cheese board as well as desserts were available to finish the meal. Service was outstanding: warm & attentive without being pushy; & our waiter picked up on our desire to go "Dutch," tactfully confirmed our intent, & divided the one check himself (correctly) at the register.

The old San Francisco decor (mirrors along one wall, no tablecloths) added to the unpretentious and comfortable atmosphere. And to our delight, we could actually have a conversation. The check was extremely reasonable despite the fact that we were not watching what we spent. Reservations are a must, even for mid-week. I called a week in advance and they were already booked for my first time choice. However, we were on time and so was our table. We both agreed that we would go back.

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