Seattle Day Trip: Bellevue
Just one floating bridge east of Seattle, Bellevue is where the techie entrepreneurs buy their fancy homes. Upscale restaurants, high-end shopping malls, and an impressive range of ethnic eateries make it a worthwhile destination.

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Purple Café and Wine Bar (Bellevue, Kirkland, Seattle & Woodinville)

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Explore the world of wine at Purple, a great place for a little adventure with your partner, to celebrate, or to brighten a dark rainy winter evening.

The 68-page wine list is an education in and of itself, and is updated monthly. Best value is the Happy Hour appetizer & wine pairing menu. A delicious cheese or hors d’oeuvre is served with a complementing wine for $7. We enjoyed chicken liver mousse with Bacarles Gran Vino Sanson from Spain & Délice de Bourgogne cheese with a WA Cabernet Sauvignon.

For a pure wine-tasting experience, see the two pages each of white & red wine samplers (“flights”). Each flight includes 3-4 small glasses of related wine ($14-$26.) Sip with a swallow of water between to clear the palate. I loved Rosé Three Ways: Lillet, a bittersweet apéritif with herbs; Jaillance Cuvée de l’Abbaye Brut, a subtle dry blush; and Château de Pellehaut, dry, full-bodied, and fruity, all French.

A white flight called Indigenous Italy, featuring three local whites from that country, caught my eye. Next time!

The apéritif list includes several you may not know. How about Kopke Dry White Port (Portugal) or Chinati Vergano Luli (Italy)? Dessert wines include Madeira and Port from Portugal that bear no relation to the cheap imitations you may have had.

To offset the alcohol, try a sandwich such as the Lamb Burger or Grilled Flank Steak or a pizza like the Moroccan Lamb Sausage, all well done.

The lighting is low, décor stylish, & service excellent.

Photo: Bellevue

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