There are a few hard and fast truths that we've learned in our years as venue vetters. A team of hospitality pros is a must. A flexible space that can accommodate groups of different sizes, and events of different types, is a bonus. And not all wine bars are created equal.
It's true – we're sometimes shocked at the types of establishments that deem themselves "wine bar." Spaces are often outdated and kitschy. Food offerings are minimal, and mediocre. And the wine lists themselves are easily bested by restaurants with the slightest interest in wine.
Not so at Purple Cafe and Wine Bar, a group of Seattle-area wine bars courtesy of the always excellent Heavy Restaurant Group. Here, the wine bar moniker is taken seriously — each location of Purple has a dedicated wine director, and a unique list of globally-sourced wines. Those lists feature 80+ wines by the glass, and 600 wines by the bottle.
Food isn't an afterthought at Purple, either. Thoughtful menus reflect a knowledge of wine-friendly food, and a decided use of local ingredients. Shredded brussels sprouts are studded with cheese curds from Beecher's; beef short ribs are braised in Malbec. Dungeness crab can be found at least twice on the menu, in crab cake and sandwich form. Menu items are often listed with suggested wine pairings, though you can count on the staff to fill in any gaps, or make suggestions tailored to your preferences.
Purple's private event offerings reflect this same attention to detail, and are flexible enough to suit events of all kinds of type and size. Purple Bellvue can accommodate groups from 20 to 250, with the unique option of semi-private spaces located in striking, modern art-esque iron spirals. Purple Seattle's second floor is perfect for cocktail parties, while Purple Woodinville strikes us as the perfect place for a large-scale dinner party.
But there's no better way to find inspiration than to visit Purple yourself. Have a glass of wine and a delicious dish to go with it, and think of how these spaces could suit your event. We have no doubt that you'll be well on your way to planning a top notch celebration by the time that glass is empty.
[Photo: Purple Cafe and Wine Bar]
Check out our other great Seattle-area venues here.