Aviateur French Diner opened last week, bringing French bistro fare to a downtown dining space in the Umpqua Bank building thats been empty more than its been occupied. Aviateur is owned by Bertrand Young, who also operates the French bistro La Creme Brulee in Steilacoom. Posted below are dinner menus, as well as directions for finding the restaurants front door a tricky endeavor.
Finding the door: I dont think theres a restaurant storefront in Tacoma with a more confusing front entrance. Diners wont find a street-level entry off Pacific, despite the Pacific Avenue address. Rather, climb the sidewalk on 15th from Pacific Avenue up the hill and enter at the top of Commerce. The entrance is beyond the outdoor patio seating.
Part of the where is it? problem is that no noticeable sign marks Aviateur save for a small printed sign tucked inside one of the restaurants second-story windows. Young said by phone last week hes working on a sign.
The decor: Walking into the restaurant will remind diners of Zara Mediterranean because nothing physically has changed since that restaurant served its Eastern Mediterranean fare in that space from 2011-2012. The same fabric adorned the booths; the same chairs; the same carpet. That delightfully curved, round bar remained untouched. So did the compass rose on the bar ceiling.
Its an attractive restaurant, but the modern decor with a nod to fine dining felt at odds with the informal, bistro-focused French menu. Young said in a phone interview last week that diners should expect a makeover of the restaurant, but did not offer details on when that would be or what it would look like.