Before the turkey, a trip to Epulo Bistro | Art & Appetite

By James Spangler | Nov 23, 2016
Photo by: Epulo Bistro Grouper is on the menu at Epulo Bistro in Edmonds.

Thanksgiving is creeping up on us.

Soon, we’ll all be lugging turkeys from the car, puzzling over the mathematics of cooking perfection, preparing a dozen or so side dishes – praying that they'll all be done at essentially the same moment – sometime before the guests are either too inebriated or too faint with hunger.

Although I love the challenge of throwing together a big meal, it's also nice to leave it all up to someone else from time to time. Having a reliable place you can go when you just don't feel up to getting out all the pots and pans.

For us, Epulo Bistro in downtown Edmonds has always been that kind of place. It’s familiar, comfortable, friendly, warm and cozy – we always feel welcome there.

When you visit, you'll have the option of sitting in a more social environment on the bar side or, if you prefer a little more intimacy, the booths on the dining side of the restaurant provide nice privacy.

For the best tables, try to avoid being seated close to the door or the bathroom. I suppose that can be said of almost any restaurant, but it’s certainly true here.

Except when very crowded, the service for us has always been exemplary. We like the way we don't feel rushed as we enjoy our meal. Epulo seems to have the pacing of a meal figured out.

A couple of menu favorites we've always enjoyed are the short ribs and the duck.

My philosophy when dining out at a good restaurant is to order something that you might not have the time, energy or desire to prepare at home. Duck and spare ribs both qualify in my book. I don't like cleaning duck grease off of my exhaust hood, and I never seem to have the foresight for spareribs.

At our recent visit, we both chose items from the featured seafood menu. It might have been our subconscious awareness that in the very near future we would be eating first turkey, then turkey sandwiches, followed by turkey tetrazzini, then turkey casserole, then turkey meatballs, and finally turkey soup, that informed our ordering choices.

My decision had been made up before I even walked in the door. Some clever staff member posted a spectacular picture of their wild-caught grouper on social media. It might have been the thick layer of Parmigiano Reggiano melted atop a nice hunk of fish on a bed of risotto that sealed the deal for me. It tasted as great as it looked.The capers and micro greens added nice finishing touches.

My dining companion’s rockfish was terrific as well, but what made this dish was the polenta. It was a creamy, saucy, garlic-forward polenta that disappeared immediately. Its only failing? That we could having eaten much, much more of it.

Epulo is a warm, charming place to meet friends or for a romantic evening. Not up for cooking tonight? Epulo might be the solution – I didn't see turkey on the menu!


Epulo Bistro

Where: 526 Main St., Edmonds
Rating: 4.8 out of 5
Entrees: $18-$32
Info: 425-678-8680,
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