REVIEW: Archery Bistro Hits The Target With Neighborhood Warmth, Uptown Style And Devotion

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by Kelly Johnson

There is no question Seattle is an amazing city for food, drink and great places to go out, get out, hang out and hang loose. But here’s the drawback:

What happens if you don’t live in the city?

Fortunately, Dan Thiessan of Bellevue’s 08 Seafood Grill and Twisted Cork Wine bar was wondering much the same thing, so he brought a bit of neighborhood warmth, uptown style and devotion to dining out fundamentals — such as making people happy — to those of us here in the south end.

Archery Bistro Owner/Chef Dan Thiessan

I had the privilege of spending last Thursday night at Archery Bistro (formerly Cafe Mia). I didn’t know what to expect really. “Ooh. Ahh. A new place in Normandy Park,” I thought. I am now amending my original thought by adding a few more “h’s” after that initial ooh and ahh.

I don’t care if you’re a smalltown to downtown meat & potatoes lover, a seafood fan only interested in the market list or the “go out of your way to try the one thing you haven’t seen on a menu elsewhere” type. The diverse but unpretentious menu here gives a nod to them all. While Archery doesn’t skimp when it comes to a solid array of beer, traditional as well as upscale soft drinks and liquor, it is the wine that will win you over. There’s a wine list designed to pair well with whatever might be on your plate. But if you don’t know what to choose, that’s not a problem. Feel free to leave the Sommelier lingo at the door if it’s not your mother tongue. Dan and his staff have you covered there. Just tell them what you like. The wine list is extensive yet unintimidating with price point being under twelve dollars by the glass and bottles in the $24 to $50 range.

The kitchen shared generously with us that night. High points go to the “crab no cake” crab cakes with the ribbon-thin drizzle of apple aioli giving the sweet densely packed meat perfect tang. This isn’t the Panko proffered version you might be used to. It’s just densely-packed loveliness encased in a golden brown sear from the pan. Oh and for those of you who don’t like greenery, you’re missing a bet if you don’t eat the Fuji apple and watercress slaw that comes with it. This is one time no one is going to have to make you eat your vegetables.

Seared beef tenderloin with Asian cocktail sauce and dikon-carrot salad.

The Cowboy Beef Tenderloin — emphasis on the word tender — had a dry rub that could very well make our counterparts south of the Mason-Dixon Line want to sit up and take note! The tenderloin was carefully prepared, juicy and darkly flavorful. The coffee ground rub put a confident spin on what is sure to be a crowd favorite.

My guest and I also got to try the artfully brined cedar-planked Salmon that flaked perfectly, along with the Apple wood Smoked Pork with the Mushroom Forest Hash (the Pork Chops and applesauce Bobby Brady would only hope to try) and a Squash Soup whose flavor embodies winter time cozy and a texture that could only be described as velveteen.

If you can pull yourself away from focusing on your meal, you’ll note the tribute the décor pays to Glen St. Charles of Northwest Archery fame. Warmly hued wood, subtle touches from the St. Charles’ museum and a beautifully executed wine rack display instantly lend itself the overall dining experience.

The restaurant hasn’t even been open a month, but I noticed staff and patrons are already exchanging first names in greeting, good byes and all that’s in between. Keep an eye out for this place. The commitment to community, its customers and high quality cuisine is quite a gift to us here in the south end this holiday season.

See what happens when you make it onto Santa’s “nice” list?

Here’s a Photo Slideshow of the Archery Bistro by Michael Brunk:

Click to View Michael Brunk’s Photo Slideshow

Archery Bistro is located in the Normandy Park Town Centre at 19803 1st Ave. South, Suite 104 in Normandy Park.

Their hours are:

  • Lunch: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Dinner: Nightly, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Happy Hour: Daily, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.; 9 p.m. – Close
  • Bar: Daily, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Their phone number is 206.429.3145.

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6 Responses to “REVIEW: Archery Bistro Hits The Target With Neighborhood Warmth, Uptown Style And Devotion”
  1. Rich B. says:

    I was surprised to learn that Dan Thiesen was the owner of the Archery Bistro. I thought, from his radio show, that he was an experienced restaurateur. The new Archery Bistro proved to me that he is not — at least he has not demonstrated expertise at this location. The service was amateurish, the food was spendy and average at-best, and the ambiance resembles a scout-camp mess hall.

    Don’t sit near the front door if it’s cold outside lest you will be chilled every time they open the door.

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  2. Nati says:

    Sounds like Rich B has some sort of grudge.

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  3. Mike C. says:

    Doesn’t sound like a grudge – sounds more like Rich B. is a decent reviewer of restaurants. His observations save me the trouble of 1.) picking the wrong table, and 2.) even going there in the first place. I’ll wait a little while – let Archery Bistro tighten up their act – then go there myself. Then I’ll write a note here about it.

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  4. Nati says:

    Read the reviews on Open Table, not from an ex-employee.

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  5. Bill Edleman says:

    My wife and I have been in several times for lunch, dinner and happy hour. I was there with friends watching the basketball game last night.
    Many great items on the menu with lower prices I noticed recently to reflect the times we’re all challenged by.
    Great food from apps. to entres. Wonderful hardworking staff who are very attentive.
    We had a great time as usual (except for the game).
    A warm comfortable restaurant that has been needed in the Des Moines Normandy Park area for some time.

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  6. Bill Edleman says:

    I would like to make one correction before its put out there?

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