Grab some friends or that special someone and enjoy a day of wine tasting in Bellevue. Whether you feel like sipping a few glasses or you prefer to pair your pick with some great eats, there is something for every wine aficionado in Bellevue!
One of the stops on your list should be a place named “Best Wine Bar” by Evening Magazine’s Best of Western Washington poll. Sip on a glass of wine at the Purple Café as you take in the ambiance and large menu selections. With everything from artisan cheese to pasta, you are sure to find the perfect pairing.Are you a red wine fan? White wine fan? Don’t worry, Purple Café offers an expansive wine selection that ranges from pinot gris to Müller-Thurgau.
Kick back and relax at Cypress Bellevue located in the lobby level of The Westin Bellevue. Not only can you order a premium glass of Northwest wine and enjoy dinner but you may be there just in time for live music or a wine event! Take in the local photography and other Northwest elements while you sit back and savor.
Make it a night to remember at El Gaucho. With tableside preparations and a fantastic wine list, what more could you ask for? Because the wide variety of wines is always changing, there is always a newbottle to try at El Gaucho even for the well seasoned connoisseur.
Pete’s Wine Shop
Planning an evening in? Pete’s Wine Shop has you covered! Explore the world of wine with wine tastings. Every tasting presents something different, from Washington wines to Italian vintages.You’ll be impressed not only by the diverse aromas and tones, but by how much you learn you learn.
End the month with a celebration of fashion and fun! Fashion Week at the Bellevue Collection happens now through Sunday, September 27. Ready for mornings, evenings, and even nights full of luxury? Unleash your inner and outer beauty during these high-style events and activities.
Get in the Party Mood
Start by indulging in the best cocktails and drinks around town. Whether you order whiskey at Bar Code or aged cocktails at Monsoon East, begin your night with delicious drinks at Bellevue’s hot spots.
Move onto the main course as The Melting Pot celebrates 40 years of fondue with a menu of melt-in-your mouth options. These special plates and drinks debuted just this week, so you’ll be among the first to enjoy items like re-created vintage cocktails and a special-edition surf & turf. Looking for more options? Find a local restaurant you haven’t tried before!
Complete your look with complimentary hair and makeup touchups and tips that take just five minutes. Stop by Bellevue Square Friday, September 25 or Saturday, September 26 between 12-5pm to learn quick beauty tips for showing off your features.
Find Designer Inspiration
Don’t miss one of the top highlights of fashion week—an appearance by Rachel Zoe on Saturday, September 26, at 1pm in the Bellevue Square Center Court. Along with stylist Cara Crowley, Rachel will be sharing what you need to know about Fall 2015 looks. Complimentary; limited seating available.
Even the tiniest fashion fans can be trend setters! Attend the complimentary Peek Kids Show at the Bellevue Square Center Court on Sunday, September 27, from 11am-12pm for a look at new styles little style devotes will love.
Ready for another look at the newest designer pieces? Attend Macy’s Presents: Fashion’s Front Row on Saturday, September 26 at 2pm. The free event also includes style advice and a mini makeover!
Prepare for the busy weekend by treating your mind and body with a visit to a Bellevue spa. Book an appointment for a refreshing facial, calming massage, or another luxe treatment that’ll have you feeling relaxed and ready for Fashion Week at Bellevue Collection.
Up the indulgence by splurging on a hotel for the ultimate celebrity experience! Choose from Hyatt Regency or Westin Fashion Week packages that keep you close to all the action in downtown Bellevue, and also include gift certificates for extra spending money.
What better way to spend your time than supporting a great cause? This weekend there are so many ways for you to show that you care around Bellevue!
1.) Susan G. Komen Seattle 3-Day for the Cure
Help promote awareness for breast cancer research and walk 60 miles with your fellow supporters. Not only are you promoting awareness but you are helping to raise funds for an amazing cause. Didn’t register for the walk? Don’t worry, you can show your support by cheering on each and every walker as a spectator! Pick a cheering station and show your support for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day and breast cancer research.
2.) The 3rd Annual LWSO Fundraiser
Part of Lake Washington Symphony Orchestra’s vision is to “Build awareness and appreciation of live symphonic music.” Join the LWSO this Saturday, September 19th for the 3rd Annual Fundraiser which includes an evening of wine tasting and an auction to help raise funds to support their vision. Enjoy tastings with Canlis’ Cellar Master & Sommelier Elton Nichols and an evening of music performed by the orchestra. Don’t have tickets? You can grab yours online or at the door!
3.) Cycle the WAVE Bicycle Ride for Women
Join Women Against Violence Everywhere this weekend for Cycle the WAVE. Have fun cycling in this non-competitive all women’s cycling event to help raise awareness of domestic violence and raise funds for domestic violence programs around the state. Have a blast while you cycle for a cause! Register early or on the day of the event, September 20th.
4.) Shop at Glassbaby in Old Bellevue to Support the Chelan Valley Fire Relief Fund
Glassybaby in Old Bellevue is giving you a chance to show your support for the Chelan Valley Fire Relief Fund. $10 from every purchase of the Mountain Lake glassybaby piece will be donated to the Chelan Valley Fire Relief fund to help with various efforts. Pick up your very own glassybaby and not only do you get a gorgeous piece but you’re contributing to a great cause!
What would the toys of our youth look like if they grew up with us? That’s what artist Nathan Vincent explores in his latest work displayed at BAM, Let’s Play War! After you and your date have contemplated our country’s shaky relationship with war, walk on over to Bake’s Place for dinner!
3. Dinner and music at Bake’s Place
Named the “Best new 2014 Restaurant” by 425 Magazine, Bake’s Place is a guaranteed great spot for dinner. With nightly live music and food made from fresh local ingredients, Bake’s Place is the perfect backdrop for a romantic dinner. If you’re in the mood for dessert, Jcoco Couture Chocolates is just down the road.
4. Fashionable food – jcoco couture chocolates
Described as a “remarkable new line of American couture chocolate,” jcoco’s chocolates don’t just taste good—you’ll look good eating them, too. Stop by their shop or order some online so you can have them ready for your journey to the other side of the lake.
5. Capture a skyline photo of Bellevue from across the Lake
Finally, end your night with a little bit of adventure. Pull out your camera (or camera phone) and try to find the best angle of the city that you can! Whether the sun is up, or if Bellevue’s lights are glowing in the night, you’ll be sure to capture some beautiful images. Better than that, you’ll have captured a beautiful night with your loved one.
By Naomi Tomky | This article originally appeared in the 2015 Bellevue Visitor’s Guide
An influx of new immigrants, toting pepper-spiked recipes and Old World techniques, is changing the culinary landscape of Bellevue. Since the ’90s the percentage of Bellevue’s foreign-born citizens has more than doubled and now exceeds 35 percent. The result? A spate of restaurants serving up authentic cuisine to immigrants missing their hometown fare and to eaters in search of authentic dining experiences alike.
Diners expecting deep-fried eggrolls risk a bit of shock at the Sichuan restaurant Spiced, where they are greeted by a case of cold appetizers near the front door. The dozen-plus options ($6 gets you three) include chicken feet with pickled chile and hot-and-sour seaweed. For those in search of tamer textures, chunks of delicate anchovy swim in “three spicy chilies,” while the deep-fry on the Chong Qing chicken will keep you crunching through the heat.
For a milder taste of China look to Shanghai or at least its food: Dough Zone kneads flour and water into beef-wrapped pancakes, noodles, and xiao long bao—dumplings with soup inside. (Nibble with caution: these babies steam.) Sit at the bar to watch dumpling pleaters expertly seal their plump packages and the cook who gently folds an egg into the street-food breakfast specialty jian bing.
With its dim lighting and upholstered banquettes, Anjappar sets a fancy table for Chettinad cuisine. Here is where Bellevue’s second-largest foreign-born immigrant population—Asian Indian—crowds in for paper-thin dosas, refreshing lassi drinks, and a rainbow of chutneys served alongside regional specialties such as chile prawns, kothu parotta (a popular minced-meat street food), or nattu koli (a masala game hen meal).
The heat merely simmers at Taqueria el Rinconsito, where the adoboada (spicy pork) holds the most spice, but a trip to the salsa bar allows everyone to customize their dish. Those who overdo it with the dark-red salsa counteract the pain with the balm of a freshly made tortilla. Tortas, burritos, and enchiladas are all on the menu, too, but for the true taste of Mexico, stop in on weekends for hearty sips of the traditional pork-filled hominy soup, posole.
Images courtesy of Visit Bellevue Washington and Taqueria el Rinconsito.
“We have one of the largest concentrations of fashion designers in the Puget Sound, but they have to leave here to grow their businesses,” says Jennifer Leavitt, vice president of marketing for the Bellevue Collection. “We believe that we can shed some light on the talent in this market, and provide a launch pad for designers to get noticed and connected. We hope that in the future, we can also have more of these designers present in our stores.”
The designers are chosen by a panel of fashion industry luminaries, and spend the six months leading up to the show in a mentor program. “From chic evening wear that sparkles to intricate bridal gowns to a fun spin on traditional business attire to traditional Mongolian inspired silhouettes with a twist, this year’s group continues to impress,” says Leavitt. “We are so excited to see their final looks on the runway.” Not only do the featured designers have a chance to win top honors at the show—or be selected “fan favorite”–many of them go on to experience great success locally.
In 2013, the show introduced knitwear designer Paychi Karen Guh, renowned for comfortable, versatile cashmere. Her luxurious line is a perfect fit for the Northwest because it is made up of lightweight, breathable, trans-seasonal pieces that are beautiful by themselves, but even cozier layered together. A veteran of Nordstrom, where she spent 15 years as a textile designer and design director, she is proud to be a part of our homegrown fashion industry. “Eastside shoppers are so supportive of the local community, and deserve to be introduced to the creations of local designers,” she says. Guh hosts seasonal trunk shows at Trillium Custom Tailoring in the Bellevue Collection. Sign up for her newsletter. Other highlights of the fashion-packed week include a guest appearance by designer, stylist and editor Rachel Zoe, who will host the Posh Party Trend Show on Sept. 25, and an appearance by fashion illustrator and artist Blair Breitenstein, a Northwest native who helped to create the event’s fall look book.
Chic Eastside boutique Jarbo shares the Bellevue Collection’s commitment to independence. In the spacious, modern shop on Main Street, sophisticated women of all ages wrap themselves in edgy, European-inspired, but highly wearable basics that combine luxury with ease. Nearly 25 percent of Jarbo’s products are handmade locally, and the brand is committed to showcasing innovative designers.
“Our work is personal and passionate,” says Natasha Felker, creative marketing director. “It’s not about speed, but about quality, design and relationships, both with the people who make our clothing and the people who wear it.” In addition to the Jarbo brand, shoppers will find gorgeous blouses, sweaters, coats and accessories from Italian labels Avant Toi, Herno, Why Ci and Lamberto Losani.
Just around the corner, La Ree Boutique also offers savvy shoppers an intimate, alternative retail experience. The sales associates, who fondly refer to their clients as “serial shoppers,” double as stylists, helping their customers put together highly personalized looks from brands like Ulla Johnson, Skin and Nili Lotan. The boutique also features necklaces, rings and earrings from local artisan jewelry designer Jamie Joseph.
Whether you’re shopping for a new fall wardrobe or getting a jump on your holiday gift list, you’ll find the best of both worlds in Bellevue: The latest looks from the brands you love—and stylish surprises from new designers you’ll love getting to know.
From top to bottom: Images courtesy of The Bellevue Collection, Shops at the Bravern, (The Independent Designer Runway Show) photography by Cindi Breen, and Jarbo Bellevue.
Where will you go after the last day of that big conference with your colleagues? How will you celebrate your friend’s birthday at an interesting venue that can accommodate her wide circle of friends? Coordinating a fun and relaxing social event for groups can be a little challenging. Running out of ideas? Picture this. A comfortable, yet sophisticated afternoon that a group of colleagues, friends, or family could all enjoy. A beautiful, spacious venue nestled in a European-esque location. Luxurious wines poured for every guest. That’s right, we mean wine tasting, and we know some perfect spots, tours, and itineraries that might just be the answer to your post-event group needs and special occasion plan-aheads.
Just over 20 minutes north of Bellevue are over 100 different wineries and tasting rooms all waiting to be explored in the picturesque Sammamish River Valley, collectively known as Woodinville Wine Country. As fall comes around, the air warmed by the summer months combined with gradually cooler nights ripen these local grapes to perfection. Fall also means that Crush has arrived: the most awaited time of year for wine makers and enthusiasts when the grapes are traditionally harvested. What better way to celebrate the turn of the season than with a visit to the wine country?
“Great, wine tasting would be nice,” you may think, “for a romantic date for two. But how would that work for my colleagues who just want to relax without crowding up to a counter where we rub shoulders left and right? Or for my private party that will without a doubt consist of over 10 people all wanting to be a part of the same conversation?”
Not to worry; help with planning for your next group rendezvous is only a phone call away.
For 50 dollars per person, Butler Seattle’s award winning tour team will first take your group on a relaxing and elegant trip to at least three of Woodinville’s finest tasting rooms via luxurious Mercedes Benz Sprinter. Then you will be returned to Purple Café and Wine Bar in Bellevue just in time for dinner. Purple Café and Wine Bar waives the corkage fee if you’d like to pour your favorite new bottle for dinner. To join Butler’s Wine Tour you can purchase tickets online at least 48 hours prior to a tour start time or call for availability at 206-233-9233. You and your party will be thoroughly spoiled for the evening, a welcome option for the busy meeting planner or multi-tasking maid of honor.
The All Day Wine & Dine Tour
You quite possibly saw the above Wine & Dine tour and thought, “I want that but I’d like to spend most of a day exploring Woodinville wineries.” Well, you’re in luck. Barrel Wine Tours offers a full day tour that includes luxury transportation, a knowledgeable guide to introduce you to the winemakers at four boutique wineries in Woodinville, all tasting fees, and a three course wine-paired meal. Now you’re really getting pampered. Tour length is 6 hours at $149 per person for 8 minimum guests, $139 per person for 12 guests, and $129 per person for 16.
The Connoisseur’s Wine Itineraries
Let’s be honest, you and your associates know your wines. You don’t really need a guided tour; what you’re looking for is some stellar suggestions that only a Woodinville wine scene insider would know. Then let us point you to Woodinville Wine Country’s unique wine tasting itineraries that include the area’s most historic spots and local favorites.
The One Stop Showstopper
If you’d rather unwind at a single location (rather than take a tour), then a group reservation at one of Woodinville’s favorite wineries such as Novelty Hill Januik Winery may be right up your alley. Novelty Hill Januik’s spacious and upscale tasting room will certainly wow your guests after a business meeting or as part of a girl’s day out.
A reservation for groups greater than 12 people consists of an hour and a half seated tasting at 20 dollars per person to sample one of three 5 wine menus: ‘Racy Whites’, ‘Big Reds’, or ‘Mixed Favorites’. These sensual menus introduce guests to a medley of complex blends and award-winning favorites. Add a fresh, handmade pizza to the mix if you visit on a weekend between 11am and 4:30pm. Make your group reservation by calling 425-481-5502 for availability.
The Distinctive Private Event:
Maybe a group reservation sounds like great fun, but you have a vision for your event. You can picture the details down to the lighting and the dessert menu. If this is the case, Novelty Hill Januik is an excellent choice, but contact them to reserve a space for your special event. They offer a range of private spaces, from their Board Room, to outdoor bocce ball, to a full winery buy out. Plus, Novelty Hill Januik’s experienced planners and in-house culinary team will be ready to pull out all the stops.
Whether it be a unique tour itinerary, a comfortable wine and dine tour, a casual afternoon tasting, or a spectacular private event, Woodinville Wine Country is a spot that has something for everyone in your group. So forget the stress of planning and micromanaging your next group event, and escape to the wine country this fall. Cheers!
From top to bottom: Images courtesy of Purple Cafe & Wine Bar, Butler Seattle, Woodinville Wine Country, Woodinville Wine Country, Benjamin Benschneider Photography, Novelety Hill, Visit Bellevue Washington.
Those of us who live in the Northwest have a little secret: Even as we bask in our sun-soaked summer, we’re counting the days until fall. We keep it to ourselves because we don’t want to seem ungrateful—anticipating autumn while paddling Puget Sound feels a little like dreaming of dessert in the middle of a mouthwatering main course.
But fall serves up on a colorful platter all the things we love about our region: Football and fashion, food and drink, outdoor adventures and indoor performances. Pardon the pun, but if you’re going to “fall” in love with the Northwest, it’s likely to happen this season. Below is just a sampling of what’s taking place. For a full lineup, visit our events calendar.
Fall is a particularly bountiful time for sports enthusiasts, with football, soccer, baseball and women’s basketball all on the menu. Football fans (known locally as “12s”) flock to Century Link Field to watch the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks, and tailgate at Husky Stadium hours before cheering on the UW Huskies.
Seattle Sounders FC will be battling to secure a spot in the MLS playoffs, and while the Seattle Mariners won’t be in a pennant race this year, their annual Oktoberfest game (Oct. 3) is always a fun way to wrap up the season at Safeco Field. Across town, the Seattle Storm will be closing out their season at Key Arena.
The world’s best squash players will convene in Bellevue for the Men’s World Squash Championship on Nov. 13-22, the first time the prestigious international tournament has been held in the United States. In Seattle, the region’s fastest residents—and thousands of recreational runners—will participate in the Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon.
As we slip off our flip-flops and pull on our boots, we also hit the local malls and boutiques to shop for fall fashion. The signature event for the stylish among us is Fashion Week at the Bellevue Collection, which celebrates its 10th anniversary Sept. 23-27. Among the highlights is an appearance by designer, stylist and TV celebrity Rachel Zoe.
For local wineries, fall also heralds the most important event of the year: Crush, when grapes are harvested from the vineyard. Though exact dates vary from year to year, most wineries in nearby Woodinville celebrate with dozens of events and tours.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Perhaps more than any time of year, in fall, nature calls. Parks, trails and forests are bursting with colorful foliage, and cooler days make for comfortable hikes. Just steps from downtown, the Bellevue Botanical Garden offers the best view of the changing season, with free guided tours Saturdays and Sunday at 2 p.m. through October.
From top to bottom: Images courtesy of the City of Bellevue, (12’s Windows) Microsoft, PSA World Squash Championship, The Bellevue Collection, Purple Cafe & Wine Bar, (Bellevue Botanical Garden) Kaitlyn Brajcich
Between wedding showers, bachelorette parties and girls’ nights out, you might think that women have a monopoly on single-gender get-togethers. But there are dozens of pursuits manlier in nature that can encourage a group of guys to get away. Call it the bro trip.
Whether you’re meeting up with college buddies for a football game, your brothers for a
family reunion or your best friends for a fishing trip or golf tournament, Bellevue offers plenty of opportunities for male bonding. And hotel room rates are often lower over the weekend, so if you’re in town for business, why not stay a few more days, and invite your mates to meet you?
Below are just a few activities that might mobilize the troops.
GET YOUR GAME ON
Located in north Bellevue, the Bellevue Golf Course is a public 18-hole, par 71 course for golfers of all levels. Guests of the posh Hotel Bellevue have access to the Bellevue Club’s spectacular athletic facilities, including the basketball courts in the modern, spacious gymnasium, and indoor tennis, racquetball and badminton courts.
If that’s not enough competition for one day, hit the showers, then bowl a few rounds or face off over a video game at Lucky Strike.
SUPPORT YOUR TEAM
Fall is a particularly bountiful time for sports enthusiasts, with football, soccer and baseball all on the menu. Football fans (known locally as “12s”) flock to Century Link Field to watch the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks, and tailgate at Husky Stadium hours before cheering on the UW Huskies. With back-to-back Super Bowl appearances under their belts, Seahawks tickets are hard to come by; your best bet is a reseller like NFL Ticket Exchange or StubHub.
As fall rolls on, Seattle Sounders FC will be battling to secure a spot in the MLS playoffs, while Seattle Reign FC will be embarking on post-season play in the National Women’s Soccer League. And while the Seattle Mariners won’t be in a pennant race, their annual Oktoberfest game (Oct. 3) is always a fun way to wrap up the season at Safeco Field. (The team’s “Girls Night Out” promotion is on the same date. Just sayin’.)
For an experience never before offered in the United States, check out the Men’s World Squash Championship at Meydenbauer Center on Nov. 13-22. The world’s best squash players will convene in Bellevue for the prestigious international tournament—the richest in the history of the game with a purse of $350,000.
No matter what sport gets you fired up, you’ll find a great seat at one of the friendly bars, restaurants and hotel lounges that make sports a priority. The brand-new Seattle Marriott Bellevue features a handsome, high-ceilinged lounge with more than a half-dozen big-screen TVs. Joey, Earl’s Kitchen + Bar, Tavern Hall and 520 Bar & Grill are a big hit with sports fans that like a little polish with their punt returns.
The fish are biting year-round in Lake Washington, and fall is no exception. You’re most likely to hook yellow perch and largemouth bass in September; smallmouth bass in September and October; and coastal cutthroat trout in October and November. Need a boat? As long as you’re at least 25-years-old, you can rent a boat from the Yarrow Bay Marina.
Local rivers, like the Snoqualmie, just a few miles east of Bellevue, also offer great—and often more challenging—opportunities. Consult the state Department of Fish & Wildlife’s Weekender Report, then stop by Orvis for tips from the pros, plus the best gear for current conditions.
Are we suggesting you trek en masse to the nearest massage table? Heck, no. You’re dudes. But before kickoff, or after tee-time, take time out for some grooming—particularly if your post-game celebration includes a night on the town. The Gene Juarez salon and spa in Bellevue has a dedicated area just for men, with treatments tailored to their specific grooming needs. At Recoop, you’ll also enjoy male-specific services, like the Dapper Facial.
EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY
Lucky you, three of the region’s best steakhouses are right here in Bellevue. John Howie Steak boasts not one, not two, but six tiers of the world’s best steaks, as well as an impressively deep wine list and two richly decorated private rooms for groups.
Just blocks away is Daniel’s Broiler, another superior local eatery known for the small flashlights carried by its wait staff to guarantee that your steak is perfectly cooked. After dinner, you’ll find swanky serenity at Daniel’s attractive Prime 21, a speakeasy-inspired bar-within-a bar that specializes in bourbon, scotch and rum.
El Gaucho established its reputation for impeccable tableside service in Seattle’s trendy Belltown neighborhood before opening its elegant Eastside outpost in Bellevue. Cap off your guys’ getaway with the restaurant’s wildly popular and mouthwatering Sunday prime rib dinner.
The tasting room at Woodinville Whiskey Co., is open daily (11-5), and offers free tours at 1 and 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Just be sure to make a reservation if there are 10 or more in your group. The $5 tasting fee is applied to any spirit purchase.
From top to bottom: Images courtesy of Visit Bellevue Washington, Adventura, Lucky Strike, Kaitlyn Brajcich, Tavern Hall, Bellevue Brewing Company, Peter Linton, John Howie Steak, Tap House Grill
Sure, you could stay in and watch Netflix this weekend…or you could gather your friends together for a fun outing in Bellevue! There’s plenty to do, but here are some of our suggestions.
1. Watch a Sounders game at Bellevue Brewing Co.
Every year, soccer becomes more and more popular in the States. Find out why by watching Seattle’s pride and joy, the Sounders, at Bellevue Brewing Co. Get into the team spirit with your buddies! You can find the Seattle Sounders schedule here.
2. Shop in the sun at Bravern
Fall is getting close, but Summer isn’t over yet. Pick a sunny day and head out to the Bravern! With the Bravern’s array of top-notch shops, a beautiful setting, and your crew by your side providing fashion advice, you’ll be spending your day in style.
3. Enjoy traditional Irish fare at Paddy Coyne’s
Gathering around the table for food and drink is an age-old tradition. Stop by Paddy Coyne’s for some traditional Irish fare and great conversation. Happy hour is from 3pm to 6pm and 10pm to midnight, daily. Outside seating available on sunny days!
4. Pete’s Wine Shop wine tastings
You know what they say: “friendship goes best with wine.” Well, not really, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. Wine snobs and non-wine snobs alike will delight at the carefully curated tastings of local wines, world wines, and organic wines of all flavors. Check out their wine tasting schedule to find a time and tasting that best suits your group’s needs.
5. Sushi at Flo Japanese Restaurant
Sushi shops are a dime a dozen, but Flo Japanese Restaurant is a step above the rest. They say it best themselves: “We offer the freshest and most carefully sourced and prepared Japanese food you’ll find in Bellevue.” One of the most memorable sushi experiences you and your friends will ever have.