Fall Comforts: Bastille’s Mussels And Fries

Photo by Charlie

Ballard’s Parisian eatery draws crowds with amiable atmosphere — and a private bar.

Mussels steamed in Rockridge Hard Cider, Young Ginger and Fennel Pollen, and served with fries. Photo by Charlie Ainslie.

The Scoop: In an area saturated with Mediterranean fare, the self-proclaimed “damn good French food” at Bastille Cafe & Bar is one of the few alternatives. Ballard residents may regard their neighborhood as a charming ‘burb of a big tech city, so it only makes sense that a Parisian cafe stands in the heart of the district.

Located in the midst of the Sunday Farmer’s Market, Bastille is committed to sustainability, locality and authenticity. The restaurant’s roof is home to a 4,500-square-foot garden of raised-bed planter boxes that grow house lettuces and herbs.

Crave Factor: Nothing says autumn like cider. For the growing population of gluten-intolerant boozers out there, the market for cider selections is booming — and Bastille’s regional source is Enumclaw’s own Rockridge Orchards & Cidery. Hard cider is a key ingredient in Bastille’s Moules-frites, or Mussels and Fries ($19); the seasonal mollusk is simmered in the delectable fall beverage, along with young ginger and fennel pollen. Naturally, the dish is accompanied by a plate of golden fries.

The dish is brought to the masses by Chef Jason Stoneburner, a Ballard native and former pastry chef who studied under renowned Seattle restauranteur Ethan Stowell. As for the mollusks: they are provided by Taylor Shellfish Farms, a Shelton-based company named for a local family that has collected oysters, mussels, clams and geoducks in the Puget Sound for more than 100 years.

Fun Fact: The piece that adorns the private back bar was made in Washington by a French craftsman at the turn of the 20th century.

Bastille Cafe & Bar | 5307 Ballard Ave. NW, Seattle | (206) 453-5014