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The Willows Inn

2579 W. Shore Dr. (Melcher Rd.) Send to Phone
360-758-2620; 888-294-2620
The Willows Inn on serene Lummi Island brings a new culinary vision to the Pacific Northwest.
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Local Deals: 120 * 90

Dinner Wed.-Sun.

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Dining room at The Willows Inn, Lummi Island, WA

The Willows Inn Restaurant Review

: Resident chef Blaine Wetzel, an alumnus of Copenhagen's Noma, presides at this restaurant two hours north of Seattle on remote Lummi Island. His culinary vision with "food telling a story of the land" breaks new ground via a three-hour dinner. Presented in a charming Craftsman-style structure with a simple dining room with dark wood tones that looks out to tranquil views of Rosario Strait, the meal is like taking a culinary hike with tastes of the local landscape. Inventive combinations, unconventional flavors, unexpected textures, vivid colors and out-of-the-box platings, such as a single oyster on a bed of sea rocks, make for an innovative meal. The prix-fixe menu ($150 per person) is seasonal with almost everything locally fished, foraged and farmed. Dinners typically include five “main” courses and ten to 15 “surprise snacks,” which are like a never-ending series of amuse-bouche. Open the lid of a small wooden box and inside are 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 $65 (a selection of noteworthy wines is also available by the bottle). A juice pairing is offered for $40. Most guests of the 12-table restaurant also stay at The Willows Inn, although there is a midnight ferry back to the mainland.

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