Photo Credit Stevensondesign.co
When I think of Belltown, my mind automatically shifts to happy hour, and all the delicious haunts along 1st and 2nd Ave. I work downtown, and naturally want to hop around my own neighborhood on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, steering clear of the city weekend crowds. It takes a seriously sexy menu to lure me downtown on a Sunday morning, and I’m happy I managed to crawl out of bed to sample this tasty Belltown spot. Seattle native Amy Beaumier is Bell + Whete‘s Chef de Cuisine, and self-taught in the kitchen, having fearlessly worked through the ranks to make a name for herself in the culinary realm.
Despite her lack of culinary school training, Beaumier’s resume reads like a playbook among the city’s finest, with stints at Local 360, BOKA Restaurant + Bar, Altura, and Dragonfish Asian Cafe. Knowing there was a badass lady in the kitchen, a female working the bar, and a charismatic female manager, we were already sold on the restaurant, and anxious to see – at their invitation – if they’d live up to our perception.
Bell + Whete’s concept is inspired by the Normans, descendants of European Vikings, and the earliest epicureans of England and France. Similar to how the Normans picked up dishes along their quest of those they battled, Bell + Whete has reinvented traditional European recipes, adding their own twist to create flavorful unique dishes.
We started off with a trio of mini 8 oz Bloody Marys (above), which are reason alone to add this to your fantasy brunch lineup. There are six on the menu, each boasting imaginative ingredients you don’t often find in many Marys. The Archbishop is a spin on a traditional Mary, with a subtle tang, garnished with savory Landjäger sausage. The Ottoman Mary, made with red peppers and kale had an earthy body and an unassuming kick with a hint of harissa spice. The standout in my opinion was the bacon Mary aka the Foreman, featuring a smoked tomato and porter base, and of course BACON.
If you’re a bubbles gal, and have an aching sweet tooth, you’ll love the Morningstar, a sparkling gingery cocktail with punchy peach notes.
The mimosa was a delightful crisp prelude to our hearty feast ahead. We devoured the sour cream doughnuts dusted with cinnamon sugar, a popular starter item among the brunch crowd, for good reason. These pillowy babies would even be a nice way to finish your meal- a light sugary snack with a steamy cup of coffee.
I highly recommend the Benedict with fresh dungeness crab, which sits atop a griddled flaky homemade english muffin. I’m impartial to Benedicts on any menu, however, we popped our photographer’s Benedict cherry with this bad boy, and she was sold on the silky hollandaise.
If you’re looking for a mammoth sandwich to satisfy your hunger, the Madame – a ham and comte cheese sandwich, topped with a poached egg, and of course a glutinous portion of mornay sauce – is worthy of a taste. The sandwich comes with savory, thick-cut, double-fried Belgian fries – which even overshadowed the sandwich for me. I would order a giant side of these with just about anything!
We finished with the fig and chocolate hazelnut crepes, lightly drizzled with a chocolate hazelnut sauce and dusted with powdered sugar and whole hazelnuts. This dish is creamy and more than decadent, a perfect way for someone to justify dessert for breakfast!