99 Park – A Bellevue Dud

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Mediocre, or just below average? 1.5 stars.

We should’ve known better when we couldn’t find the front door, walked in, and saw that the place was empty except for two other tables and one person in the bar on a Friday night. How has this place stayed in business for the last two years?

dish

Photo courtesy of 99 Park

The restaurant itself has a nice feel, with lots of rustic, exposed wood, low lights, and an open kitchen. Beware the parking lot though. It’s basically the size of a postage stamp, and there are a few spaces along the back of the restaurant as well.

The food menu is eclectic, with 25% off small plates and sides during happy hour, and zero drink specials. That’s right, ZERO drink specials for happy hour. What kind of shenanigans is that? There’s literally no draw to even come here at this point.

Since we were here for dinner, we decided on the 36 hour sous vide short rib with pumpkin gnocchi, sage crema, cranberry jus, and frites, along with the painted hills new york, which was accompanied by cauliflower, smoked onion, foraged mushroom, and demi. We also shared an order of the mac & cheese to round out our meal.

Photos by: foodolish.com

Oh god, here’s where it all went wrong. While plated beautifully, the “new york steak” had an obscene amount of fat on it, and was plated in a way that almost highlighted the thick layer of fat. Never in our lives have we been served a steak like this at a restaurant. After cutting off over half an inch of fat from both pieces, I was able to focus on actually eating it. The steak wasn’t cooked well, had no char, and no discernible flavor whatsoever. It was accompanied with cauliflower three ways; roasted, pickled, and pureed. The roasted cauliflower and foraged mushrooms were the best part of my entree, while the pickled cauliflower just threw everything off for me. The pureed version also just tasted like sweet cream, which was terrible, and there was no demi to be seen. For $43, I could’ve had a real steak at Daniel’s Broiler.

The short rib was equally awful, super dry, and had a strange flavor. After a 36 hour sous vide bath, we were expecting a short rib that would literally melt in our mouths, but we could barely choke it down. The pumpkin gnocchi were also overcooked, and the crema also didn’t bring much to the dish.

Oh, and lest I forget, that damn mac & cheese! How hard is it to f*ck up mac & cheese? Well, this place managed to do it. Like the short rib, this was the driest mac & cheese we’ve ever tasted. The pasta was overcooked, there was barely any sauce, and it wasn’t cheesy or gooey in any way. Even though it was made with Beecher’s flagship, it also had zero flavor and was dry as a bone. A blue box of Kraft would’ve tasted better. Ugh.

Overall, this meal was a complete disappointment. Portion sizes were weak, entrees had no flavor, and everything was just dry and underseasoned, like it had been sitting out and reheated before it was served to us. Bottom line, don’t waste your time or your money here.

99 Park | 99 102nd Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98004 | Open 7 days a week

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