At Tilikum Place Cafe, breakfast is great and so is dinner.

Welcome to Nosh Pit’s week of unsung heroes, in which we gently remind you of some fine establishments that sometimes get overlooked for newer spots.

Tilikum Place Cafe
Open since: 2008

For years this Belltown charmer has been bringing in brunchers but Kathryn Robinson reminds us Tilikum is certainly worth an evening visit (especially when it’s topped off with dessert):

One drizzly Wednesday we found ourselves before a cup of celeriac puree, velvety with cream, and finished with a sweet crown of caramelized pear. A bacon, potato, and Gruyere tart arrived on a plate beside a generous toss of greens, lacquered in a gentle herbal vinaigrette. And the crust! A flaky testimonial to the miracle of butter. Perfect.

By the time our entrees rolled around, we’d gone wordless. The pork chop over the sagey polenta cake was thick and meaty, its smokiness brightly balanced by braised greens and lush grilled figs. A house specialty, pan-seared chicken, was expertly crisped on the outside and served with a poppy-seed dumpling and big rustic hunks of onion and sweet pepper in a feisty paprikash.

The chicken was so rich we “couldn’t possibly touch dessert” (read: ordered just one) and it was as moist and flavorful an amaretto bread pudding as the consummate Boat Street Café version.

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