L'Oursin

4.7
87 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary French
L'Oursin ("the urchin" en français) is a French restaurant and bar serving natural wine and aperitif cocktails in Seattle's Central District neighborhood near Seattle University. Our a la carte menu is available seven days a week, with a 5-7 course tasting menu available Tuesday-Saturday.
What 87 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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D
New York Area
34 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 3

I brought my mom there for her birthday. There was no one in the restaurant—the tables were completely empty. Emptiness aside, the space is quite pleasant.

I cannot say the same for the food. While the appetizers were good, the main course was a hard fail. We both ordered fish and it arrived lukewarm, with little flavor. My mom, well taken care of by a hard drink, said nothing, so I decided not to complain. But lord was it unenjoyable.

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OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Food was great, wonderful ambiance and service with a casual but professional feel. Some dishes were very French as in not a lot of filler which is nice. Oysters were really fresh and good but I would like some horseradish or vinegar as a garnish. Definitely would go again.

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AS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Been here many times now, with parents/friends/special occasions. Highly recommended for not boring, high value finer dining.

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LC
Seattle
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is the third time we have been there and never disappointed with the food, wine, and service.

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PS
9 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Three out of our four meals were excellent. Our server was fantastic.

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KG
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

So fantastic. Really brilliant sauces and service was on point!

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KH
Boise
4 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is an amazing restaurant! They specialize in French food, but with a NW flavor. The staff is wonderful, efficient, genuine and friendly! We always have a great meal and great time when we eat here.

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BB
Seattle
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I can’t praise L’Oursine’s experience enough! The food was creative and novel and delicious. And the wine! The wine was spectacular! All of this was topped only by the friendliness of the staff,and the knowledge of the entire crew.JJ,chef and owner was a warm and genuine delight!

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V
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My friend and I have birthdays close together, it usually takes a couple months before we can make it happen but we always treat ourselves to a great meal to celebrate. We used to have a regular spot but she has to eat gluten-free so we had to find something new. Decided to try L’Oursin last year and loved it so much we came back again this year. “Two Menus Degustation, please!” So great, no time wasted perusing the menu and the staff is wonderful about accommodating her gluten-free needs. Excellent wine pairings, nice cocktail list and the food preparations are creative and so delicious. Service is excellent (although a little soft spoken). Bonus: they carry wine produced by a friend of ours! We will definitely see you next year!

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SF
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

I never write reviews, but we were pretty disappointed about this place! The service was kind of weird and clueless in the way that it tends to be when the tip is included and you don’t have one person who’s actually responsible for your table. The server who brought our food didn’t seem to know what it was even though there were that many items on the menu. The rockfish was a little over cooked and rubbery, and chocolate mousse...didn’t seem to have chocolate in it? Definitely overpriced for what the meal was.

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CE
Seattle
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great food, great service. The menu allows you to stick to the staples or try something new.

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CF
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is great. The food is nice and fresh. The wines are great. The staff feel passionate about what they are serving. It’s a great place to sit and have a good time and enjoy great food amd drinks. To put it simply this place its a gem.

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T
Tampa
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

L'Oursin came highly recommended by several friends and it did not disappoint. Dinner was one of the highlights of a recent trip to Seattle. The menu hews close to the territory of TWW, but the flavors are a little brighter, the compositions a bit more daring.

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AR
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wow. This was an experience, not just a meal. It was beautiful.

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NB
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Small but varied menu which would be difficult for some picky eaters, french in inspiration, a bit too much raw fish but wonderful flavors.

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p
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

It's a little bit away from the familiar center of the restaurant zone, but worth the extra time with a map to locate this stylish restaurant with a friendly vibe. The snails on flat bread got a rave review; the half roasted chicken less enthusiasm, but still tasty and filling. All in all, a pleasant, if slightly pricey, evening.

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JR
Seattle
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was the first time that we had been to L'Oursin, and we will definitely be back. And we want everyone to know what a great find it is. The food was delightful and unique, the cocktails specially crafted, the wine list "all natural" and very good, and the staff was very personable and knowledgeable. You can feel the hands on touch of the owners, as they make the rounds and talk to people they know. This is now one of our very favorite places.

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KF
Seattle
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite neighborhood bistro—a wonderful walk-in spot with outstanding food, service and ambiance. Looking forward to another visit!

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LH
Seattle
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

An unexpected treat. French inspired fare with a Northwest twist. Rational portions, beautifully plated (without being fussy) and equally delicious. Some of the best affordable French wines I've seen in the United States. Dynamite, original cocktails.
Easy parking, too. Recommended.

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o
Seattle
48 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

L'Oursin is a very special neighborhood place. We loved everything about it, from the warm welcome, to the knowledgeable and friendly staff (Megan), the authentic French cuisine, the spacing of the tables for a quiet conversation, the small yet diverse craft cocktails & wine list, and of course, the GREAT food. We had the pate (the addition of apricots to the pate was a spectacular surprise), Bayonne ham with mushrooms, beet & sweet corn salad, ling cod, the leg of duck and the chocolate mousse for dessert. We chose a 2014 Chateauneuf du Pape that was ready to drink and reminded me of a fragrant cedar drawer. We see a return visit in our near future.

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j
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Grilled herring with fresh pear - raw scallops crowned with thin, fragrant slices of Maitake mushrooms and purple grapes - these are two of the dishes that wowed is this week at L’Oursin! The chef selects the freshest local ingredients and brings highly creative flavor relationships that work magically, if unexpectedly. The ingredients dictate -just harvested sea urchins are presented unadorned in their shell - pristine and pure. Order the bread and butter ($5.) - a Jenga stack of a variety of their wonderful homemade breads with luscious local butter.
The wine list is uniquely focused on natural wines - organically grown grapes fermented with natural yeasts, without preservatives. Katherine is the sommelier who has chosen these wines. Read her fascinating descriptions on the wine list - then talk with her - she is passionate and very knowledgeable and will guide you to something delicious.
Service is perfect. At our second dinner we felt like Norm at “Cheers” - we were welcomed by name and a big smile by our server, Tom, and warmly and professionally taken care of.
Highest accolades!

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k
Seattle
45 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Lovely atmosphere. Interesting craft cocktails- waitress was very helpulnin describing. Food was interesting but somewhat bland. Had the salmon that was served in a broth - so watered the salmon down. Prices seemed higher than expected.

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JG
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Food presentation was excellent but the flavors were really lacking with the exception of the bone marrow, the ravioli, and the bread and butter. The salmon just wasn't very tasty. The salad looked promising but was blah. We had a nice waitress but timing was off in getting drinks to the table in time for the food....it was extremely slow. Seats were bare wood, hard, and so this is just not the place to sit and savor a nice dinner as it gets uncomfortable after a while. It was my birthday so we ordered two desserts, both of which were absolutely tiny, but again, just had no flavor at all. My daughters and husband felt the same way. Very disappointing.

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M
Seattle
14 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 2

Not much. Badic, nothing special. And they cook with suvee. Chicken tasted like rubber.

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NH
Seattle
10 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

There is great thought out into the food, the drinks, and the service. This has been my favorite Seattle restaurant since my first time there. And ask my family and friends I have brought have also enjoyed it.

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EW
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

This was a restaurant that was recommended by two other fine dining restaurants. This was a casual dining facility and the was just as casual as their decor not noteworthy.
I was touring from CA. Wine country and was a bit disappointed.

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EM
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Food was OK, but not inspired. Flavors were muted, not fully-developed, nor accented in memorable ways. Pours from the bar were generous. Service was fine. Ambience and decor were OK - not imaginative. Overall, we were disappointed.

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IG
Seattle
13 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A Central District gem. The poached salmon is a signature Seattle dish. The roast chicken was as good as any in town, They have interesting wine, but we usually BYOB ($30/bottle). Having Machine House Brewing next door makes this the almost perfect pair for an evening :)

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OT
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely delicious!

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C
Seattle
11 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

The restaurant was fantastic for getting together with an old friend. The food was varied and delicious. We shared heirloom tomatoes, raw scallops, chicken, pate and crab with lentils. You won't get many of these dishes anywhere else! The restaurant was quiet. The value was excellent. My only complaint was the lack of comfortable seating. The bench where we sat could use a cushion! I will bring one next time we dine there, and we will certainly go again.

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a
Seattle
9 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every time we’ve eaten at L’Oursin, we wonder why we don’t visit more often. It is among the best dinner choices in town. The tasting menu is always excellent and the wine pairings are often surprising. The service? Suffice it to say that we’ve been going almost since they opened and we usually get the same servers. They are knowledgeable, they pay attention but they are never intrusive — I wish I could say the same for most restaurants in the US.

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J
Seattle
87 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of the best restaurants in Seattle. They have everything French that we love, and seasonally, they have sea urchin. The salmon was perfectly prepared and the 1/2 chicken was a fresh and moist as if we were in Paris. Great service; great atmosphere; great tomato salad; great in-house breads; great mixed drinks and wine selection. Don’t miss this place.

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AO
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really fantastic restaurant. Best non-alcoholic cocktails around. Great service. Great food.

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OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely lovely place, with tasty, unique food and creative cocktails.

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SF
Columbus
4 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Spectacular food. Had the tasting menu. Wonderful wine pairings. Highly recommend.

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B
Seattle
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

Waited 45 minutes with bread/butter. When asked, the waitress told us she was trying to pace our meal.

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SP
1 review
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

I much preferred the small plates to the dinners (quail and rockfish.) The dinner options included so many I have at home, as one of us is an excellent cook ;-). We'll be back for my husband's birthday in November. my brother and sister-in-law enjoyed it all, but politely did not critique it, as we hadn't been together for over a year.

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JS
St. Louis
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I sampled 3 of their small plates, the raw scallops, the pate de campagne, and grilled herring. All absolutely excellent. Scallops were the best of the best, but the beets accompanying the herring was a revelation. Before that I had the chicken liver mousse as an appetizer and it was good, but a little dull for my taste. Dessert was a grapefruit sorbet that i really enjoyed. They have their own cocktails, but thats not really my thing. Instead I ordered some excellent champagne and a nice crisp cider. Finished it all off with a glass of Calvados. Can't say enough about the quality of the meal, really really enjoyed it. No complaints about the service or the ambiance, but the food is really the star here and the reason to come in my opinion.

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JP
Seattle
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Very welcoming, wonderful staff, and delicious fresh food.

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FS
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Second time for us; we were not disappointed. We ordered 5 dishes off the a la carte menu - each plate was unique and delightful. The wine list is interesting; these are natural wines from all over, and definitely not available everywhere. Service was well paced, and our servers were friendly, knowledgeable and kind.

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