Seattle has no shortage of restaurants offering the freshest, localest (I’m making this a word for today) products that nature has to provide. Which is really the coolest thing and I endorse it 500 billion percent. The problem with it however, is that it makes choosing a restaurant to eat at extremely, almost impossibly difficult. Where do you go? All of the menus are just so enticing. And when you are only in the city for one or two days, you want to make each and every meal count. You don’t want any place to be a dud.
So how exactly did I decide on Re:public? Well the whole process was a bit of a fluke. I picked up the restaurant guide at our hotel and it was the first page I flipped to. I did go through the rest of the pamphlet and cross-checked everything with the according online menu. At the end of it all I came full circle back to Re:public. Perhaps it was meant to be.
Re:public is half restaurant, half bar. The space is very open, basically a giant warehouse. It is loud, but from what I’ve seen, so is every other place in Seattle. The food is very reasonably priced, especially for plates filled with local produce and protein.
We ordered a variety of smaller plates to share, which is always nice because you get to taste a little bit of everything. To start, we went with the cheese plate. My favorite was a toss up between a mild blue and a super oozy, stinky, I’m-not-exactly-sure-what-it-was. The three cheeses were accompanied by sliced nectarines, crackers, Marcona almonds and dried cherry mustarda.
Next came a trio of snacks with salted Marcona almonds, marinated olives and pickled beans. The beans were on the sweeter side and not jarringly acidic, so no coughing fits were induced (always a bonus).
I had a chioggia (candy cane) beet salad with fresh cherries and a Spanish goat's milk cheese (called Garroxta I believe). I loved the concept of the dish but it needed at least one more element. Something extra for crunch or at least more of a vinaigrette for the beets. Sure they tasted great on their own but the kitchen could have done more to make it something I couldn’t have made at home.
Other dishes included sautéed Swiss Chard with baby turnips and elephant garlic (pleasantly acidic), a burger with bacon and cheddar and not to be forgotten, the French fries. Hand-cut and fried in non-GMO canola oil (from Canada even). I don’t eat fries on principle (I haven’t had one in years and now I can’t bring myself to break the streak) but everyone else at the table gobbled them up.
We skipped dessert but I’m sure it would have passed the bar too. So I guess the morale of the story here is that when in Seattle (or any other city with a prominent culinary culture), don’t spend too much time stressing out over where to eat. Just pick and place and go with it, you probably can’t go wrong.