One of the problems with Eness is that they pronounce it like "penis," or like the name of that one deputy from the Dukes of Hazzard. When I called for a reservation, that's how the guy said it. I should've known it was a bad omen.
Check out this delicious profiterole!
We started with the chevre salade chaud, which at $9.90 seemed like some twitchy dude with OCD came up with that price. Plus it had this bizarre presentation: atop a bed of mixed greens were three wavy discs of Granny Smith apple, sliced like a Ruffles potato chip, and topped with a crostini, which in turn was topped with a round of chevre. This looked retardedly dated, like something Jacques Pepin came up with while drunk in 1976. Then Jacques Pepin realized it was a dumb idea and threw the plate down on the floor and did the centipede over it.This salad was stupid. The vinaigrette was too sour, harshly overbalanced by balsamic vinegar. It was like licking a rusty machete. The apple slices were fine, but the crostini were burned. I get that you were supposed to cut through the cheese and into the bread and apple so you could get a bite of everything together, but that was difficult because the crostini were impossible to cut through. When you could actually get the cheese in with a bite of salad, it buffered the vinaigrette nicely, but that was tough to do with that fucking chastity belt crostini, which cock-blocked any attempt to mix the cheese in with the greens.
Bouillabaisse is normally $26.50 at Eness, but on Tuesdays it's on sale for $16. This is a great fucking deal because they give you a SHITLOAD: It comes in a gigantic earthenware cauldron, bubbling like a witch's brew but luckily containing less evil. They give you literally GALLONS of bouillabaisse. They give you as much bouillabaisse as your mom drinks in jizz in an average weekend. The broth was rich and peppery and tasted like what I wish Bloody Marys would taste like, but they never do.
A large fish filet was overcooked, as was the single sad scallop which made a half-hearted appearance, peeking sheepishly up from the surface of the stew as though it were embarrassed to show its face. A few shreds of carrot were okay, and there were a couple chunks of boiled potato too. If they served only the broth, with sliced bread and a ramekin of that pink, spicy paprika mayonnaise that always comes with bouillabaisse, this would have been damn tasty. But instead it tasted like politics: There was too much dumb shit going on.
The Roti de Veau Eness ($21.50) had an awesome old-school name, but sadly the awesomeness stopped there because it sucked. The veal was rubbery and spongy like a cheap dildo, doused in a sloppy sauce with medallions of sliced mushroom. A side of potatoes dauphinois was undercooked; the fucking potatoes were still crispy and the cheese was cold and clotted, with way too much black pepper on top.
I was instantly prepared to scoff at the little pile of green beans that came with it, but these were actually killer: They were blistered, caramelized in spots, sweet and smoky from the little charred bits everywhere, but still a little crisp in places. The less charitable would have said the green beans were unevenly cooked, but I rather liked them.
We finished with profiteroles ($6.90), which had a nice crusty pastry, but not NEARLY enough ice cream inside. I felt like a sad kid whose toys were just smashed by his drunken stepfather when I cut into those profiteroles. Plus they were doused in a gigantic oil slick of syrupy chocolate sauce. Those profiteroles were SWIMMING in chocolate--they looked like those sad motherfucking pelicans you keep seeing on the news in the wake of the BP oil spill.
Eness isn't that great. If French restaurants in Seattle were French historical periods, it would be the Vichy government. But at least it isn't another Applebee's. Jesus, I hate Applebee's.
Rating: 4.5 Applebee's out of 10
Eness is located at 3247 California Ave. For reservations, call 206-935-4791