Willows Inn Blaine Wetzel The Willows Inn

The Willows Inn

2579 W. Shore Dr.
Lummi Island, WA 98262
360-758-2620; 888-294-2620
Modern Pacific Northwest cuisine infused with local ingredients presented in a wooded haven on Lummi Island.
Open Schedule varies seasonally
The Willows Inn, Lummi Island, WA

The Willows Inn Restaurant Review:

About the restaurant and décor: Chef Blaine Wetzel, who apprenticed 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" is expressed 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.

About the food: Inventive combinations, unconventional flavors, unexpected textures, vivid colors, and out-of-the-box presentations create innovative repasts. The tasting menu ($225 per person) is seasonal with almost everything locally fished, foraged and farmed. A stark wooden plank holds a piece of alderwood smoked salmon brushed with brown sugar butter. Another of the more memorable embodiments of the aforementioned ideology is the “herb tostada,” a colorful bouquet of edible plants found around the island. Other striking courses have included seared aged venison leg served on a metal skewer, and porcini stuffed with sword lettuce and accompanied by housemade bread from heirloom wheat. For dessert, perhaps you’ll encounter strawberries with wild chamomile cream and anise hyssop ice cream and lavender. A set breakfast of local eggs, cured meats, cheeses and farm fruits and vegetables is offered on mornings after dinner service. Midday snacks and drinks are served on the front deck on days the restaurant is open for dinner.

About the wine: Wine pairings are expertly chosen and well worth it (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.

Best Rosé Wines

For refreshing wines perfect for a hot day, take a look at GAYOT's Best Rosé Wines. See the list.