Going to a new restaurant somehow feels like a blind date — lots of expectations but a hesitancy to emotionally invest.
Edmonds’ FIVE Restaurant | Bistro didn’t disappoint, from its atmosphere — a comfortable place where neighborhood people come to hang out — to its selection of appetizers that one can either share or pair with other menu items.
My lunch began with what I can only say truly was a surprise. Being mostly vegetarian my whole life (I do eat seafood), I was delighted with the fennel, fresh mozzarella, grape tomato, cucumber and romaine salad ($12).
Fennel is often the odd one out in salads, but it added a nice gastronomic twist here. The miso vinaigrette, which includes rice wine vinegar, wasabi and toasted sesame seeds, nicely complemented rather than competed for attention.
I ordered from the shared menu for my main dish, soft corn tortilla tacos with prawns ($13). The order came with three tacos, topped with avocado, pico de gallo and fresh cabbage.
I came with two family dining companions. My brother ordered a salad with roasted prawns, Penn Cove mussels, manila clams, field greens, romaine, garbanzo beans, tomato, red onion and provolone with raspberry vinaigrette ($18).
My sister-in-law opted for the tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil and tomato sauce pizza ($14). She gave it plus points for its fresh basil and tomatoes, but said she would have liked a tad more of the parmesan sprinkled on top. The edges perhaps were a little too oven-tinged in her view, but overall pleasing and filling.
The point of the lunch was to celebrate their birthdays, so when our server slid the desert menu toward us, we said “Yes!”
We opted for the tiramisu ($8) and there was more than enough to share amongst the three of us.
We all thought it exceeded our hopes for a celebratory dessert. It’s offered at the restaurant every three to four months for the whole month. Its prep includes espresso- and marsala wine-soaked lady fingers layered with a mixture of heavy whipping cream, marscapone cheese and amaretto, and dusted with ground cocoa.
My thing about desserts is they’re often loaded with enough sugar to fuel a trip to the moon — way too much of a good thing. But this dessert was just right.
Both by brother and sister-in-law have had tiramisu at other restaurants and gave it a big thumbs up. “The tiramisu was delectable — nice flavor, but not soaked in the marsala or soggy,” my brother said.
A couple of quick mentions on Five. We went for lunch. If you’re budget-minded, you can get a delightfully filling meal choosing from the shared menu, pizza, salads and sandwiches.
Some of the weekly entrees are pricier, such as the filet mignon and pesto prawns ($45) or the seafood cioppino ($29).
One more “props” for this place. The three of us wanted time to catch up, to just sit and talk and enjoy our time together. We never felt rushed, and that added to its welcoming ambiance.
That feeling of a relaxed neighborhood hangout was what one of its founders wanted to instill in the restaurant when it was founded eight years ago, said Sandra Stokes, the restaurant’s general manager.
“If you’re coming from the gym or dressed up going downtown, everyone’s welcome,” she said. “That’s definitely a neighborhood feeling — that’s what we go for.”
It is a popular restaurant, so reservations are recommended.
If it’s your first trip there and you’re coming from I-5 on Highway 104, it’s on the left-hand side of the street. Look for the Kebella’s Pizza sign to help direct you to the parking lot.
And before we finish, an explanation of the restaurant’s singular name. It came from the owners, Stokes said. They have three kids “and wanted it to be a local, family-run restaurant, so they named it after their family of five.”
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or email@example.com.
FIVE Restaurant | Bistro
The restaurant slash bistro is at 650 Edmonds Way, Edmonds.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 3 to 11 p.m. Saturday and 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Call 425-563-7117. Make online reservations through Open Table.