I Take It Back: There Is A Good Restaurant on Mercer Island

Yes, I’ve said to my friends: “I love Mercer Island, but keep driving if you’re looking for a place to eat. We’ve got a great Thai restaurant for take-out, but when we eat out, we go to the city or Bellevue.”

I take it back. Last night we tried Bennett’s Pure Food Bistro on 27th. It’s good.

They call it pure food because they serve organic and free range. Makes sense to me- we mostly do the same at home. There must be a come-uppance somewhere, health-wise or karma-wise, for eating birds kept in a box their whole lives. I suspect the health effects will come out sooner than the karma effects.

Food that is both delicious and well documented.

The interior reminds me a little of Purple Cafe. The cheese plate is excellent.

Cheeses: not enough stinky ones for my taste, but good creamy ones.

I had the pan-seared halibut, which was good, but next time I’d make sure to ask for it rare. I’d assumed it would be. Also tried my husband’s tomato soup and mac & cheese, and I’d go back for those alone.

What else to do on a rainy summer night? And what’s with the rainy summer nights, anyway?


11 responses to “I Take It Back: There Is A Good Restaurant on Mercer Island

  1. Hey, we were there last night too! Great food.

    Also, Yuzen is quite delicious…..

  2. mercerislandblogger

    Nice tip. I’ll check it out, thanks Ken.

  3. Try these:

    – I Love Pho: try the steak cube rice plate “special” or the rare beef pho… it’s actually pretty awesome
    – Roanoke Inn: for beer, burgers, and the atmosphere
    – Lil Toyko: recent ownership change, but the Kal Bi is still decent and the bento boxes are ok
    – Islander Pub: try the steak salad or the $10 steak special on Wed nights; they used to have a great weekend breakfast menu
    – Toni Maroni’s

    Those are all staples for us, as are Pon Proem, Yuzen, and Bennett’s. Yuzen used to have $1 salmon and tuna sashimi when they opened — not sure if they’re still doing that.

    Let’s all just hope they open some more good restaurants in the new condo/retail buildings being put up.

  4. mercerislandblogger

    Thanks for the tips, Mike. We’ll try some of those- I posted on the Roanoke a while back-

    I love the place for beers and nachos, but the rest of the food is only ok. But it’s got such a nice lawn it’s worth it.

  5. Ha! I love the big ole pile of nuts and fruit in the middle. Sometimes people try a little too hard to be fancy. Looks great overall!

  6. My wife and I have been to Bennetts many times since the second day it opened. It raised the bar significantly for MI restaurants. I even bring friends from out of town there. Unfortunately, they’ve found their “level” for prices and several items have gone up since opening. Also, they regretfully took off the menu the Rockfish which was the best I’ve had since Alaska. I hope we get a few more of these after all the downtown building gets finished. This will raise a question – is MI ready for visitors? Can’t say I’ve seen demonstrated that MI residents want off-islanders here for any reason whatsoever, but someone has to maintain all the new upscale retail space being built, and I’m not sure MI will do it alone. Are we ready for filled parking spaces and wandering tourists in the downtown?

  7. mercerislandblogger

    Good question, John. Interesting, we took friends to Bennett’s too. At first they were grumpy to eat on the Island but they were happy when they left.

    Yes, some of the prices are high-ish and could be better. Wine is too expensive, even though it’s a big pour. I would pay almost anything for the mushroom tart, though.

  8. I love Bennett’s too! Especially their breakfast. The french toast with Beechers cheese is soooo tasty!!
    I like mine with a side of latke (shredded potato).

  9. Eada Logan

    Terrible servers. They act like their doing you a favor. Most of them seem like they hate their job. They grumble, give you a look of insult if you ask to have a slight change like “easy on the salt please”. Now I ask you, “is that too much to ask for?” They make you wait even though there are plenty of tables. Terrible hostess manners. When you confront them and threaten to leave, all of a sudden they have a table. What’s up with that. The servers keep your change even if it is well over 20% and just assume they are entitled to it. When you confront them they practically throw your change at you and give you a dirty look. Also don’t try to use a gift card because they evidently have a register that does not accept gift cards. It’s embarrassing when you are with friends. If they are aware of this then FIX IT. I live within walking distance and always like to support the merchants but something needs to change. The food is good for the most part and its convenient to have a higher end restaurant nearby. They need to hire nicer people and people who appreciate having a job.

  10. What Mercer Island needs badly is a good breakfast place. Stopsky’s doesn’t make it. There are a lot of elderly people on the island and I know they love to get together for breakfasts and talk. Terrible that we have to go off island on a saturday or sunday for a breakfast place.

  11. mercerislandblogger

    John, I agree. Stopsky’s was a great addition– it was even worse before it opened– but we could use more gathering places like that. Maybe in the new retail space?

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