We are foodies, no bones about it. I’m a pretty good cook but Graham is so much better and while I can make some good chow, he can serve a dinner that many homestyle restaurants can’t. So when we travel, we enjoy discovering places that offer well prepared meals.
I thought I would present a few here that we have experienced, so if you are in those areas, you can share in our delight.
The Brooklyn Seafood, Steak and Oyster House, located at 1212 2nd Avenue in Seattle, Washington was recommended by the concierge at Graham’s hotel when I joined him for one of his professional conferences. Located in downtown Seattle, it provides one of the widest selection of oysters in a seafood rich city and has been recognized by the locals in the areas as one of the premiere restaurants in the city. Flights of small samples of 3,4 or 5 different items are offered for red wine, white wine, white wine with oyster pairings, micro-brews, beers and oyster pairings, vodka, vodka and oysters with caviar, scotch, vodka, tequila, port, and dessert wines. They are strong on Washington wine offerings. Menu options are broad and well prepared.
On a trip to Newport, Oregon last spring I had searched the internet and thought I had found a great option for fresh seafood, but a chatty gentlemen at our bed & breakfast asked where we planned to eat and quickly persuaded us to change our plan. I had not found the place he suggested because it was not listed as a restaurant, but as a fish market. Local Ocean Seafood is located at 213 SE Bay Boulevard, Newport, OR at the harbor where the fishing fleet is docked. Fish in the display case for purchase to take home indicate not only what the fish is, but whose boat and how it was caught. The market has a small open concept kitchen and tables for about 20 people. To say we ate fresh seafood is to simply say grass is green, the sky is blue. But you know that day when the sky was such a beautiful shade of blue you always compare to it now? And the beginning of spring when you notice the grass is different? It’s that kind of fresh.
Heading across country we can highly recommend Cafe Cimino in the tiny town of Sutton, West Virginia to be on your own foodie magnet radar. I’ve written about this wonderful world class restaurant and bed and breakfast in this blog before and it is well worth it to press the point again. Chef Tim Urbanik uses the freshest and most local ingredients he can find to prepare menus that tease your snobbery down to real eating. We have gotten to know Tim and Melody well and I assure you that together they will provide an escape from the routine.
Located in beautiful Lancaster County in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, Lily’s on Main has captured the concept well. Designed with an art deco theme to coordinate with the reclaimed and renovated theater next door, the restaurant at 124 East Main Street offers a wide variety of well prepared seasonal dishes.
One place that ended up a great surprise was a small corner bistro in the Bolton Hill neighborhood in Baltimore located at 1501 Bolton Street. We asked the woman at our b&b where to eat and she said “Oh, the place down the block is pretty good.” Well, B is a gem! It was a beautiful summer evening and we sat outside. Service was warm and friendly, the food was flavorful. Using local ingredients from their own farm source and preparing all recipes from scratch makes a difference few people experience. And the people in Baltimore who have been there agree and have awarded it prize after prize.
One thing that all these restaurants have in common is that they use local ingredients as much as possible. Not only are local ingredients fresher and higher in nutritional content that anything that has to be shipped hundreds and thousands of miles, a kitchen that takes the time to use high quality foods to prepare dishes will provide a taste to the diner that few ever experience. Go…eat…enjoy!