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17121 Bothell Way NE Send to Phone

Dinner Tues.-Sun.

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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Hillside Bar & Grill Restaurant Review

: Long known as Gerard’s Relais de Lyons, this once elegant bastion of haute cuisine became simply Relais in 1996 when French-trained chef Eric Eisenberg took over as its owner. Eisenberg introduced a bistro menu in 1998, hoping to attract a wider clientele with a more relaxed, less expensive dining experience. Now the French accent has faded, and the sign on the highway below the old mansion on the hill reads Hillside Bar & Grill. Sounds like a roadhouse, but the trappings still feel rather formal. This is a drop-in sort of place, though, and diners are a casually-dressed cross-section of suburbia. Despite the name, there’s no actual bar, though you can get a cocktail---which you might enjoy fireside in the magenta-hued lounge, decorated in a mode reminiscent of your grandmother’s living room with a sofa, chairs and a few small tables. In the dining room, glass tops protect forest green tablecloths, and butter arrives in foil-wrapped squares, but rolls are warm and made in-house. Some of the menu is familiar from the brief bistro fling, including a few of our favorites: crispy duck confit with shallot marmalade; braised lamb shank with a stew of flageolet beans in garlic and tomato; and baked macaroni with wood-smoked bacon, gruyere and cream. The rest comes mostly from the grill. Though we thought the giant prawns were tough and overdone, burgers, steaks, and chops are commendable. Instead of the bland, overcooked artichoke, begin with crab cakes, crunchy fried oysters or Belgian endive in a mild blue cheese dressing. Desserts are uninspired, as is the mostly American wine list.


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