On Thursday afternoon we left Anacortes and headed for Lummi Island for Kevin's birthday dinner at The Willows Inn. We did not take the boat since the weather was marginal and the mooring buoys out front are not really a very well-protected anchorage. We drove the truck the hour and a half or so from Anacortes to Bellingham, and then took the Lummi Island ferry across to the island.
This is the ferry:
This video below will give you an idea of what I mean by the term "marginal" when referring to boating conditions:
The ferry didn't seem to have any issues with it, but it was definitely a woolly ride. A little bit fun, a little bit scary (but not really). Glad it was a short one though! (You'll hear me gasp early on in the video.)
Arriving at The Willows:
We were SO looking forward to dinner again here. I thought the last time we'd been was July 2014, but I was wrong. I brought Kevin here for his birthday last December. We just didn't do a whole post about it filled with food photos because it was so dark. But that time in July? That one has a lot of photos.
Anyway, they've changed the check-in area and process. You now check in where the little breakfast cafe used to be (a far better use of this space, if you ask me).
We'd reserved the Sucia room, but they wanted to upgrade us to the Haven room if we liked, so we did. Sweet! It was a gorgeous room with a giant bathtub and a beautiful steam shower, and a water view over the top of the Inn:
We hung out in the room for a bit and then got ready and headed down for dinner, which was spectacular. These photos are all candle lit, taken with my iPhone (mostly just so I could remember each dish), but I'll share a few of them here even though they aren't that great. The food was WAY better than these photos, just so you know.
We got to revisit some of our favorites from the past few times we've been here, along with quite a few completely new dishes.
These are savory black cod donuts:
Rose hip jam:
Roasted delicata squash with black truffle underneath and shaved white truffles on top:
And this one surprised me and was one of my favorites of the night — fresh red sea urchin with rutabaga puree underneath:
This dish I was really happy to have again: venison tartare with rye crackers and wild greens:
The service here is always spot on. It's nice too, because you have multiple servers over the course of the evening. We chatted quite a bit (and exchanged info) with one of our servers, Rob Mendoza, who happens to know friends of ours here in Portland, and seems to be quite the chef himself.
Breakfast the next morning was also delicious. They started us with a little pumpkin crepe/tiny pancake with something creamy and yummy on top and some tiny leaves that I don't remember what they were (looks like sage), but it was heavenly:
The main breakfast: soft boiled local duck eggs, sauteed swiss chard from the garden, pumpkin and (some herb I don't remember) scones, a delicious amazingly-textured porridge, house-made yogurt, smoked salmon, salumi, cheese, some apple slices, fresh plum nectar juice, and french press coffee. Everything = delicious.
We picked up Blaine Wetzel's cookbook before we left, called Sea & Smoke. There are recipes in there for some of my favorite things! How fun!
The ferry ride back to the mainland was FAR calmer than the previous day. Whew!