Lummi Island, WA & Seattle – 5/29/17 – Willows Inn and Sitka & Spruce

Willows Inn
Not at all surprising that the family style breakfast at Willows was just perfect.

Sitka & Spruce
It was difficult to find something open on Memorial Day but luckily Sitka & Spruce was.  It was even better than my first visit here and a great ending to a holiday weekend.

castelvetrano olives

Columbia City baguette with whipped butter and sea salt

raw halibut, shaved radishes, citrus, a radish green broth & herbs

a selection of pickled & fermented vegetables with a pickled egg

grilled quail & asparagus, lovage, labneh & a spruce tip vinegar

crispy potatoes, taramasalata, berebere, aleppo chili & pickled ramps

clams steamed in ‘nduja cream, sherry & cilantro on fried toast

Seattle & Lummi Island, WA – 5/28/17 – Westward and Willows Inn

An absolutely perfect spot for a sunny Seattle day.  I loved Westward on my last trip to Seattle and so happy to get back here.



wood oven baked gigante beans, tomato, feta, breadcrumbs & marjoram

smoked arctic char salad, grilled asparagus, lentils, pan fried croutons, poached eggs

Willows Inn
It is certainly a trek to get to Willows Inn which kept me from going for quite a while but I am so glad that I finally made the effort (with a gentle push from some friends). If you stay at the inn, dinner feels like the best dinner party you have probably been to. It started with the first snacks on the patio, moved to the dining room and ended with a perfect sunset at dessert. While 2017 is not over yet, this will easily be one of my most memorable experiences of the year.

Afternoon snacks

toasted kale leaves

pink singing scallops

sidestripe prawns

rhubarb in angelica

savory doughnut

oysters and wildcress

lightly-cured rockfish in a broth of grilled bones

grilled geoduck clam

smoked mussels

reefnet caught smoked sockeye

grilled and fermented green garlic

aged venison leg

dungeness crab soaked in pine nuts

herb tostada

bread from heirloom wheat and crab brain

black cod and currant leaves

toasted birch branches

woodruff and nettles

quince and candied rosemary

pears, black walnuts, flax seeds

Seattle – 5/27/17 – JuneBaby, Canon, and Canlis

I had high hopes but this was unfortunately the most disappointing meal of the trip.  The pickles were a solid start and it’s difficult to go wrong with pimento cheese (until the crackers were much too thin to support it).  The mac & cheese unfortunately was just not good and the shrimp & grits entirely flavorless.

mixed pickles

pimento cheese, pickles & saltine crackers

cast iron macaroni & cheese

gulf shrimps with Geechie boy grits & red sauce

buttermilk biscuits

I will leave this one with a Toby Keith lyric.
“I love this bar.”

As I have said before, it is always good to take a break from chasing the newest and visit a classic.  The building that houses Canlis is fabulous but I am a sucker for mid-century modern.  Truly an awesome setting worth a visit alone.  Service was perfect and every course quite quite good.  We were even fortunate enough to enjoy a tour after dinner even though it was exceptionally late and we were the last guests to leave.

Seattle – 5/26/17 – Bateau

Somehow I did not take any photos of my actual steak, but Bateau is actually a steakhouse via Renee Erickson whose other Seattle spots I love.  Ordering can be a bit daunting as chalkboards list all of the selections of the day and there are so so many choices of cuts and often the same cuts from different farms.  Many cuts I knew but perhaps even more that I did not.  And while it is tempting when faced with such a large menu to pick a tried-and-true cut, it is really the perfect opportunity to try something you may not have elsewhere.  The steak was delicious, as was the tartare but the side of english peas stole the show.
steak tartare – beet green sauerkraut, dill, cured yolk, rye toast

asparagus – nettles, egg yolk, salmon roe

english peas – burnt lemon, macron almonds, tarragon and fresh cheese

Seattle – 5/24/17 – Barnacle and Walrus and the Carpenter

When you find yourself with a few hours to kill in Seattle, always spend it at Walrus & the Carpenter, with a drink at Barnacle while waiting.  I love this place so so much.


Walrus and the Carpenter

marinated olives

oysters (of course)

baby bibb lettuces, radish, english peas, lemon yoghurt, poppy seed

steak tartare, egg yolk, rye toast

Seattle – 12/13/14 – Sitka & Spruce and Westward

Sitka & Spruce
On a surprisingly warm and beautiful December day Sitka & Spruce was a lovely walk from my hotel. It makes up one part of a large space which houses several other concepts and for a moment it was a bit difficult to tell where exactly it was. The room is bright and perfect for brunch which is when I happened to visit. While my salad perhaps wasn’t the most exciting, it was well made and the fantastic soft scrambled eggs have me hooked to return for dinner.

A salad of young lettuces, ash roasted shallot and hazelnut

Seared halloumi, soft scrambled eggs, brussles & chili vinegar


My photos do not even begin to do justice to the incredible diorama that makes up the back of the bar. Unfortunately by sunset the day became a bit to chilly to sit outside although they do have blankets. But it seems that Westward may be Seattle’s even better version of my Chicago favorite Big Star, i.e. Perfect for Sunday Funday (and really any other day). I’m happy to say that this year’s Bon Appetit best new restaurants list hasn’t let me down yet! The gigantes beans are amazing and lamb with tzatziki may be my last meal so this dish was perfect.

Jar of house pickled fruits & vegetables

Wood baked gigantes beans, tomato, feta, marjoram

Braised Anderson Ranch Lamb Shoulder, herb & onion salad, pomegranate, tzatziki, pita

House made sorbet



Seattle – 12/12/14 – Barnacle, the Walrus & the Carpenter and Canon

What an absolutely lovely spot to enjoy a cocktail while waiting for a seat at the Walrus & the Carpenter. I only regret not returning after dinner for another drink with so many amaros to choose from.

Cobble hill variation – fernet branca, carpano antica, bitter lemon soda


The Walrus & the Carpenter
I had wanted to visit for what seems like ages but a trip to Seattle just never materialized. So when I found myself needing a few thousand more miles before the end of the year it was the perfect excuse. An absolutely perfect meal and a waldorf salad that I could eat every single day (and my mother will attest that I actually hate waldorf salad).

Carrots,meta, caraway, mint

Waldorf salad, cabbage, hazelnuts, pear, dill

Scallop crudo, radish, smoked almond tarator, olio nuovo

Steelhead salmon tartare, horseradish creme fraiche, rye

Maple bread pudding, espresso butter sauce, whipped cream


I was exceptionally lucky to almost immediately get a seat at the bar on a Friday night, especially after being quoted a 30 min wait. Canon truly is a whisky and bitters emporium and so many bottles made for a lovely view. I loved the bottled sparkling last word as a slight variation on one of my all time favorite cocktails.


Sparkling last word

Angostura-bourbon nuts


And my favorite quote of the day: