A Basque Feast at Piperade

Dungeness Crab Txangurro

Dungeness Crab Txangurro

My friend Tina celebrated her birthday recently and I was part of the task force to find a restaurant that could handle a table for 12. Finding a restaurant that’s open on a Monday and that can hold such a large group without charging a fixed price is almost impossible. I finally found the perfect restaurant, Piperade. Piperade gets MAJOR props for being so incredibly nice and accommodating. When I first made reservations, it was only going to be a group of 10. When I had to change the reservation to 12 people last minute, they were incredibly flexible. I even asked for a “nicer” table since we were celebrating Tina’s birthday and they made sure to give us a gorgeous, round table at the center of the restaurant. Piperade is a smaller, intimate restaurant that serves Basque food, influenced by Spanish and French regions.

Calamari "a la plancha"

Calamari "a la plancha"

Garlic Soup with Shrimp and Bacon

Garlic Soup with Shrimp and Bacon

Piperade

Piperade

Duck Filet with Huckleberry

Duck Filet with Huckleberry

Black Cod with Broccolini

Black Cod with Broccolini

Orange Blossom Beignets

Orange Blossom Beignets

Apple Tart

Apple Tart

Chocolate Cake with Creme Fraiche

Chocolate Cake with Creme Fraiche

So I need to preface this review and mention that I was not feeling well at all during this meal. I was fighting a cold and was super congested. It affected my sense of taste. As a result, I think my food was less flavorful. Nonetheless, there were a couple of standout dishes at Piperade. I loved the calamari “a la plancha” and the piperade. The calamari was cooked very well (didn’t have a tough, rubbery consistency) and I was loving the slightly tangy sauce on top. I had never had piperade before so I can’t vouch for it’s authenticity, but I can vouch for its tastiness! Piperade is a vegetarian stew with onions, green peppers and tomatoes and the restaurant topped it with bacon and a poached egg. It reminded me of ratatouille with a spicier kick. Out of all the desserts we tried, my favorite was the apple tart. The crust was flaky and buttery like a puff pastry and the apples and cream/custard were delightful. The caramel on top was the icing on the cake. I didn’t want to share.

My dungeness crab txangurro had a healthy amount of crab in it, but it tasted a little bland. My cod was cooked well, but I kind of wish there was more sauce or a broth to bring the dish all together. The dish almost seemed too simple. The orange blossom beignets failed to impress me too. I’m not a big fan of floral-flavored things (I hate rose water and lavender) so the orange blossom was not my cup of tea. I also wished that the beignets were a little lighter and had a creamy sauce like a creme anglaise to dip it in. Oh man, Grand Marnier creme anglaise would have been a life-changing addition.

Overall, the ambiance was warm and inviting with wooden tables and really comfortable chairs. Seriously, those chairs were a lifesaver because I was feeling so uncomfortable otherwise. I would totally recommend Piperade if you’re looking for a restaurant that can handle larger groups. And, parking is easy too! Glad we got to celebrate Tina’s birthday in style!

Happy Birthday, Tina!

Happy Birthday, Tina!

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