Serendipity serves up comfort food in a warm, inviting space
Dining Deal review: Serendipity, a new neighborhood cafe in Magnolia, succeeds with a family-friendly atmosphere, great service and a mac-n-cheese dish to die for.
Seattle Times NW Ticket editor
3222 W. McGraw St., Seattle
Hours: 6 a.m.-10 p.m. (kitchen closes at
9 p.m.) Mondays-Saturdays and 6 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays.
Etc: Street parking, no obstacles to access, all major credit cards accepted. Don't be fooled by area sidewalk construction; Serendipity is open. Wine and beer available.
Prices: $ (breakfast meals $4-$9, sandwiches $7-$9, dinner entrees $9-$14).
Talk about thinking positively. In these trying economic times, two Magnolia families opened a cafe this summer, hoping to put good fortune right in the name — Serendipity.
The new restaurant — a family-friendly spot in a family-friendly Seattle nabe hungry for good restaurant options — just might have some good luck in store. Sisters-in-law and co-owners Jen Young and Nanette Baker spent the last year rehabbing the former Magnolia Tree gift and card store, before opening the warm, homey Serendipity in July.
The menu: It's in flux at the moment, as Young and Baker — who work in the front of the house and kitchen, respectively — add in some family recipes and autumny fare such as chicken potpie and lasagna.
We stopped by to sample the dinner menu, which ranges from angel-hair pasta ($9) to a pork-chop dinner with garlic mashed potatoes ($14). A kids' dinner menu is basically child-size portions of several of the main menu's offerings, including the pasta, grilled cheese and meatloaf. And Serendipity just introduced a full breakfast menu, featuring biscuits and gravy, eggs Benedict, buttermilk pancakes and egg dishes.
What to write home about: The Grown-up Mac & Cheese ($9) was oh-so-good, a mix of creamy (cheeses like fontina, mozzarella, Romano and white Cheddar, and I don't even want to know how much heavy cream), crunchy (Parmesan-toasted fresh breadcrumbs), al dente (elbow mac that wasn't overcooked!) and divine (a touch of truffle oil). My kids chose the tyke-version angel-hair pasta ($4.75) and meatloaf ($5.50). The latter was a treat: a well-seasoned homemade loaf with garlicky mashed potatoes that my 6-year-old scarfed. (It also came with a spicy tomato cream sauce that he didn't care for but I loved; the cream sauce comes on the $12 adult version, too).
What to skip: The pasta. Overcooked and swimming in liquid (oil? undrained pasta-boiling water?), my picky-eating 8-year-old wasn't being picky by skipping this dish — just smart.
The setting: Serendipity is going for an inviting living-room feel, with a warm brown on the walls and a kids' play room at the back of the house. Kids will love it — especially the gelato bar near the play area. I got talked into a lemon gelato ($4.75 for a large) that was suck-in-your-cheeks tart and terrific.
Summing up: We topped off our meal for three with a house salad and a couple of sodas, checking out at $43.95 with tax and tip — a night worth the price. With good service, an inviting décor and a simple menu that seems to have something for everyone, I'm not betting against Serendipity.
Raina Wagner: 206-464-8147
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.
I've been fortunate to have traveled the world: Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia. Exotic islands, too. Wherever I go, I'm struck by one undeniable trut...
Post a comment