When it’s the middle of the week, and the days have been long, and you need to ditch reality for a few, go to Café Presse. Request to sit in the back, where the narrow bank of tables is beset by cascading, candle-lined windows. Order the whole roasted chicken for two. Order it as soon as you sit. Because, as is stated on the menu in underlined letters, it takes one hour to cook. To the weary traveler, this seems like a long time, almost not worth it.
But it is, and it’s not when you have a pichet of red wine, which can cost as little as $14, and a frisée salad with beets, bleu cheese, and pear. All finished? Ask for a demi-pichet, which starts at $7 and gets you two more (generous) glasses of wine, then nibble on the eye candy: a fashionably boho bunch of servers who wear Euro-waif in that only-in-Seattle way. If this tasty scene doesn’t, hearty baguettes will hold you over until the chicken finally arrives.
When it does, your server brings two ramekins filled with seasoned mayo. Ask for four. Gluttonous, yes, but also necessary to soften the salted crunch of pomme frites against the insanely tender chicken, which is conveniently apportioned for two, and, at $26, is a ridiculous deal.