Meatless Mondays: Café Flora

Cafe Flora Polenta

This Cat enjoys a fancy feast and this Madison Park spot serves up vegan fare with refinement.

Take a seat, place a napkin in your lap and get ready to be dazzled. Café Flora has tricks up their socially, environmentally, flavorally-conscious sleeves. This spot’s spring menu has me sprung.

Cafe Flora's Polenta

I grew up with the notion that forks were optional, not even having a clue that tiny ones existed. My curiosity for the elite began quite late and when I discovered people ate things like escargot or pate, I wasn’t all that interested in joining that high-class train. Café Flora’s Pate Platter (9) was a whole lotta prim. The spread was elegant and colorful, when seeing it all in front of you you ask yourself, “Damn. Where do I start?!” The lentil pecan pate had a light and nutty texture, a great addition to the rosemary croccantini displayed proudly on the platter. Every intended partner for that crispy cracker—apples, marinated olives, red onion confit—was perfectly juicy. Time for a tasteful little orgy.

Cafe Flora Pate Platter & Spring Wontons

Café Flora pays attention to ingredients. I have a bit of ADD and when this shiny ball of a sandwich bounced in my face, I took notice. The Portobello French Dip (12) is an elevated favorite, but this time for the Vegs. Sometimes when a classic is redone for a sophisticated clientele, more “stuff” is just added. Café Flora focused solely on the goods. The meaty portobello and caramelized onions melded perfectly with the seeded baguette. Dip that sangwich into the mushroom jus and ooohweee! Choose between yam fries and organic wild greens as a side and either way, you’re winning.

Cafe Flora Portobello French Dip

I don’t think I could have a bigger sweet tooth so when a restaurant offers more than just sorbet as a vegan option, I’ll sacrifice for a cavity. (Oh and celiacs, listen up. This dessert is also gluten free.) Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp (8.5) Warm, magically flourless crumbles and strawberry rhubarb goobles meet cold vegan vanilla ice cream. ain’t got nothin on Café Flora. This ramekin was full of not-too-sweet succulence and I scooped out every crumb and gooble.

Cafe Flora Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Café Flora’s rich cup of gravy should be put on a pedestal. Tastiness is in season here. Come hither, patrons.

Read their truly inspiring story on their site to understand Café Flora’s many philosophies. A little sample: Proceeds from one of their cocktails are donated to a non-profit summer camp for gay youth. Careful, Café Flora’s philanthropy is showing and no one should be lookin’ away.

Café Flora | 2901 E. Madison St,  Seattle  |  206-325-9100