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.
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!