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The Willows Inn

2579 W. Shore Dr. (Melcher Rd.) Send to Phone
360-758-2620; 888-294-2620
Modern Pacific Northwest cuisine infused with local ingredients presented in a wooded haven on Lummi Island.
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Local Deals: 120 * 90

Dinner Wed.-Sun.

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The Willows Inn, Lummi Island, WA

The Willows Inn Restaurant Review

: Chef Blaine Wetzel, previously at Copenhagen's Noma, brings Scandinavian elegance and refined, precise technique to a remote outpost on Lummi Island, located two hours north of Seattle. His vision of "food telling a story of the land" breaks new ground in celebratory three-hour dinners. Presented in a charming Craftsman-style structure with a simple dining room with dark tones and tranquil views of Rosario Strait, a meal is like taking a culinary hike through the local landscape. Inventive combinations, unconventional flavors, unexpected textures, vivid colors, and out-of-the-box presentations, such as a single oyster on a bed of sea rocks, create innovative repasts. The prix-fixe menu ($175 per person) is seasonal with almost everything locally fished, foraged and farmed. Dinners typically include five "main" courses with ten to 15 "surprise snacks," which are like a never-ending series of amuse-bouche. Open the lid of a small wooden box and discover two baked sunflower roots nestled on a bed of warm smoldering moss. A stark wooden plank holds a piece of alderwood smoked salmon, while tiny crêpes are filled with salmon roe. Other plates may offer tissue paper-thin halibut skin topped with clams. Baskets of baby lettuces are served with miniature terracotta pots holding an herbal emulsion. Duck may be complemented by red currants and beets. For dessert, a bright strawberry sorbet is accented with crystallized chamomile and lavender. Wine pairings are expertly chosen and well worth $90 (a selection of noteworthy wines is available by the bottle, too). Most guests at the 12-table restaurant also stay at The Willows Inn, although there is a midnight ferry back to the mainland.

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