Unless you spend a chunk of time shopping for toddler-size Adidas track suits, you may not have noticed Cafe Nordstrom, tucked into the rear of the kids' department. It would be a shame if you didn't, though. An ideal spot for ladies who lunch and
shop, it's a smart combination of quickie mall food court and "would you like a glass of wine while you browse?" Nordstrom chic.
The S-shape counter is peopled with a number of stations that serve designer lunch fare, cafeteria-style. I felt downright swank as I ordered a salmon nicoise salad, whose impressive-sounding ingredients included French green beans and red bliss potatoes. But before I uttered my final decision I paced the area a few times, equally swayed by the smoked turkey and asparagus sandwich with lemon tarragon aioli and the proscuitto and four cheese pizza (not to mention the as-tempting-as-the-shoe-department sweets). In keeping with the chi-chi experience, my wallet remained as stuffed as it tends to get, as dishes run a slender $8-$10.
The seating area offers a good deal of tables and booths, attended to by a waitstaff who runs hot dishes, offers beverage refills and brings a chocolate mint and thank you card to the table as you finish. The only thing that seemed to be missing was a martini menu, but perhaps that's a good thing. A few of those, and an afternoon earmarked for shopping would quickly get eaten up. And wouldn't that be a tragedy?
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Kate Schwartz