Restaurant Name: Preservation Kitchen
Location: Bothell, Washington
While shopping at our local Yakima Fruit Market one day with Steve, our resident foodie, we ran across chef Ivan. When he told us that he was opening a new restaurant next door at the ex-Villa Cosenza restaurant, the old Kaysner home, I was really excited. He described his style as Midwest country meets northern Italian trattoria. I thought that sounded pretty good, but as they say, the proof is in the proverbial pudding right?
Amy and I finally got a chance to go when her parents said they would babysit for us. Our first outing since the birth of our new baby! I must say it was much appreciated by us to get to go out for the first time in a while, and to a new place like Preservation Kitchen, what a treat!
We were greeted by quite friendly staff and as we were walked to our table I definitely noticed that new restaurant feel. New carpet and a remodeled interior were all evident and pleasantly refined, contributing to the quality feel of the restaurant. However, as we sat down I was assaulted by probably my biggest complaint of the night. From where I was sitting I could constantly see the TV in the bar out of the corner of my eye. It was very distracting and took away from the pleasant atmosphere they worked so hard to create in the dining room. The dining room should be partitioned from the bar area if you are going to have the TV on.
On to the food! I must start by saying the ingredients were all very fresh and tasted great. We started with some shared appetizers, polenta tots and crab stuffed calamari. The polenta tots were excellent when paired with the aioli and the calamari was excellent, I recommend both of these appetizers to anyone. For my salad I chose the semi-traditional caprese. It was plated very creatively; however I prefer my caprese more normal I guess. That is, no onions or crusty bread, but I still give Ivan points for doing something creative with an old standard.
I had a really difficult time choosing my main course. There were just too many good things to choose from on the menu. I really wanted the halibut cheeks as those were highly recommended, but they couldn’t get them at the time for some reason and if it’s not fresh they don’t serve it. So I opted for the seared duck breast. I am glad I did too, what a whimsical dish! Anyone who can take the ingredients and plate them like a smiley-face and still have a quality air about the food gets my vote. The duck was cooked perfectly and the stone fruits paired nicely. This dish was a lot of food; I would only order this if you’re definitely hungry. This paired wonderfully with a Henry Estate Pinot from their sufficient, but not overwhelming northwest wine list.
For dessert I, of course, ordered the chocolate custard cake. It was a good dessert, although I know he can do better. At this point in the meal though, I couldn’t eat another bite, as you can see it was quite a full meal so it didn't bother me too much.
My overall impression of Preservation Kitchen is a very good one. The attentive service, decent atmosphere (turn off the TV!), quality ingredients, and solid preparation make for a great place to eat. I’ll even tell you a secret, the prices are definitely lower than they could be. The level chef Ivan is cooking at, combined with the quality of ingredients he is using could easily demand a higher price. You would be doing yourself a favor to go try preservation kitchen before Chef Ivan figures that out.