Category Archives: Reviews

Restaurant Reviewer Adds Agate Pass Cafe in Suquamish to the Local Best List

I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about the Agate Pass Café in Suquamish, and it seems the Kitsap Sun’s restaurant reviewer Bernard Jacobson is among them. In his review, which will come out in our A&E section on Friday, he says:

“Her offerings combine with co-owner Stacy Grega’s warmly welcoming front-of-house direction, service by the equally pleasant and efficient Rachael, attractive decor featuring red lamp-shades and some intriguing light-boxes, and unusually elegant menu cards to confirm a place among the top half-dozen fine-dining spots within an hour’s drive of Bremerton.”

It seems the North end has become an apparent epicenter of good eating in Kitsap. Poulsbo has Burrata Bistro. Bainbridge Island has its Four Swallows, which recieved very good to excellent ratings in the latest Zagat’s Seattle survey (25 for food, 21 for decor, 23 for service on a 0 to 30 scale, and managed to be the only place in Kitsap listed in the guide .) I’m also partial to Sawatdy’s Thai on Bainbridge, but that could be because I had one of my first real dates with my now-husband there. Also in Poulsbo-ish, Molly Ward Gardens, but again, I’m biased. I was married there.

I’m drooling. Just about a pool forming at the keyboard. It’s definitely time for dinner. I’ll be back later this week with some info on some food that’s not quite fine dining: the humble dog.

Restaurant View: Ajax Cafe in Port Hadlock

The Ajax Cafe is the kind of place you go with friends or people  you want to be friends with, unless you’re comfortable putting on a jester’s hat with any old person.


If you’ve never been, it’s a small, quirky place in Port Hadlock with hats for the borrowing hanging on the wall, posters, pictures and paintings of a hodgepodge of things including Shakespeare, Duncan Hines, Elvis. The poem “Purple” (also known as “Warning”) by Jenny Joseph hangs as though it’s a theme song for the restaurant:

“When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves …”

I visit the place at least once a year (with friends) and have written about it before, as have many other publications from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, when it was a newspaper, to guidebooks such as Frommers and online reviewers such as UrbanSpoon.

I went again recently and rather than give you a written out review of the place, I broke out the camera so you can see for yourself in this series of 10 photos:

The Ajax is on Water Street, across from the wooden boat school.
The Ajax is on Water Street, across from the wooden boat school.

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On Restaurant Reviewing and a Review: Burrata Bistro in Poulsbo

Local restaurant reviewer Bernard Jacobson recently gave high ratings to Burrata Bistro, an Italian-focused restaurant on Front Street in Poulsbo.

I tend to leave much of the local food reviewing to him or to you readers because as I’ve said before, I’m still learning about food and taking you along for the ride. It might be a little presumptuous of me for now. Plus, I’ve recently been reading a lot about restaurant reviewing ethics.

There’s rules to this thing, and recently a group of bloggers have set up — what else? — a blog about food reviewing ethics. Many newspaper and magazine restaurant reviewers, food journalists,” have adhered to most of these rules for a long time, both to be fair to the restaurants and fair to the readers.

The guidelines suggest that reviewers give new establishments at least a month (sometimes six months the Kitsap Sun and some other papers used to require six months) to refine their recipes, atmosphere and service before being judged. They also say reviewers should eat there several times and sample all or at least multiple items from the menu, which also can make the job a pretty expensive one.

Knowing some of Bernard Jacbson’s background and from the reviews I’ve read, I consider him to be a fairly knowledgeable and ethical source of food reviews for our local restaurants.

Who are some of your favorite food reviewers? Do you prefer sites with regular eater reviews, such as Yelp or UrbanSpoon?