Washington state is a foodie’s delight. With over 3,000 miles of coastline, over 8,000 lakes and hundreds of rivers, it is seafood heaven. Ranches in Eastern Washington provide beef, lamb, pork and poultry. Fruits and vegetables grow everywhere in abundance.
That means restaurants throughout the state have their pick of fresh ingredients. Here is a look at 11 restaurants that make the most of the state’s bounty.
The Herbfarm is the food destination in Washington. It offers themed dinners of nine courses, accompanied by five or six appropriate wines. The chefs make the most of seasonal produce, local meats and seafood and the best of nearby wineries. The restaurant has earned a host of top awards from Zagat, Fodor's, AAA, National Geographic Traveler and more.
May's Kitchen + Bar has a solid reputation for excellent Thai food and a wide assortment of wines and beers, both local and international. The food is authentic, offering a wide selection of dipping sauces that get rave reviews. Customers love the low-key ambience and friendly service. Awards include Open Table's Top 100 Restaurants in America.
The mission of How to Cook a Wolf is to use simple ingredients to create culinary splendor. The cuisine is Italian-inspired and the setting is rustic. Pasta dishes include a wonderful spaghetti, potato gnocchi and ramp and ricotta agnolotti. Plates include NY striploin carpaccio, steamed Manila clams, beet salad, polenta fritters and chicken liver mousse.
Salish Lodge is an institution. TheDining Room has excellent food with stunning view of Snoqualmie Falls. It is famous for its huge, four-course breakfasts, though a variety of brunch selections are offeredfor the less adventurous. The chefs use seasonal ingredients from around the Sound. It has received the Open Table Diner's Choice award as well as raves on TripAdvisor and other sites.
For the serious sandwich lover and the seriously hungry, nothing beats the 5th Avenue Sandwich Shop. The bread and ingredients are fresh and the portions are large. The shop also offers soups, salads and desserts. Sandwiches range from turkey cranberry and pastrami on rye to BBQ beef and the Hot Oly-beef, cheese and jalapeños. The pies and cookies are outstanding.
The Oak Table is famous for making food from scratch, using fresh ingredients from the Olympic Peninsula. Customers love the huge selection of breakfast and lunch dishes. Breakfast, served all day long, includes a variety of pancakes: apple, German, Swedish, flapjacks and blintzes. The lunch menu includes a wide choice of sandwiches, salads, chicken dishes and burgers. The seasonal quiche gets raves.
Diners at Mountain Home Lodge Restaurantget farm-to-table food and majestic mountain views. For people staying there, the lodge serves breakfast, lunch and evening wine and appetizers. Dinner on Saturday is open to the public, though reservations are necessary and the seating is small. Called the Chef's Dinner, it is a set menu that changes regularly. The cooking is flavorful and beautifully presented, using fresh ingredients. In fact, much of the organic produce is grown in the Lodge's own orchards and gardens. The restaurant often makes Top 10 lists for the state.
The excellent food at The Dining Room is complemented by the breathtaking views. The restaurant literally perches over the Methow Valley. The menu reflects the abundance from ranches, farms and wineries close by. Known for its unfussy dining experience, the restaurant offers creative cooking using local ingredients. For 25 years straight, it has received the Four Diamond Award from AAA.
For an eclectic blend of Greek and Italian food, try the Black Cypress in Pullman. The restaurant is a standout in an area that isn't notable for its eateries. Especially popular are the cheese dishes, like the Cypriot cheese sandwich and the cheese plate. The breads win raves, the shish kebabs are famous and the roast chicken is a favorite. The restaurant has a wide selection of wines and cocktails.
The Wild Sage Bistro serves up award-winning Northwest fare. They specialize in fresh, locally grown ingredients, and have a wide assortment of gluten-free foods. It has a relaxed setting, with the emphasis on enjoying the food. The cocktails are handcrafted, using fresh ingredients. They contain standards like fresh-squeezed grapefruit and lemon juices, as well as the unexpected, like roasted red pepper puree, which is part of a vodka concoction. The restaurant has been recognized by Epicurian, Local Eats, Urban Spoon and Talk of the Town.
The Brasserie Four in Walla Walla has superior French cuisine, along with pizza, soups and sandwiches. All get a European treatment. It has a wide assortment of cheeses and wines. The bouillabaisse and vichyssoise are amazing. The desserts, especially the chocolate mousse, are favorites.