Willows Inn – Round 2!

18 Aug

B and I recently celebrated our four-year wedding anniversary and, as has become tradition, we try to get away for a day or two to indulge in some good food and a bit of R&R. Last year, we visited Willows Inn for the first time and had such a blast that we decided to return again this year.

P1080804

I am saving myself the effort of re-writing my glowing review and instead will direct you to my post from last year. You’ll notice that there were a number of dishes that were the same as last year’s menu but those were the snacks, not the main courses – most of the mains were new dishes (except for the mind-blowing smoked salmon and the blueberry dessert). Once again, my favourite snacks were the kale and black truffle, the drippings with local bread, and the crispy crepe with steelhead roe.

Although our experience last year was fantastic, I did notice two areas where they have made improvements. The first was the pre-dinner service. Last year we found it difficult to place our drink order and to get our drinks before we were taken to our table. This year, we had no issues at all and they are now offering pre-dinner snacks to all guests whilst you wait to be seated. Secondly, you are now able to eat breakfast in the Inn the morning after your dinner (see pics below). That wasn’t an option for us last year and I think it really added to our experience as there isn’t much else available on the island (plus, everything else is a let-down after Willows).

Again, I wasn’t super impressed with the wine tasting menu. Next time (oh yes!), we will just order a few bottles for the table as I didn’t think the wine elevated any of the dishes for us.

P1080808

Pre-dinner snacks on the patio.

P1080810

More pre-dinner snacks…sauerkraut brine oysters.

P1080898

P1080896

The dining room.

P1080818

Smoked Samish Bay Mussel.

P1080819

Squash blossoms & edible nasturtium with nasturtium paste.

P1080823

Crispy crepe with steelhead roe.

Kale with black truffles.

P1080829

Local albacore with smoked bones.

P1080831

Shiitake roasted over fire.

P1080832

Puffed halibut skin.

P1080836

Lopez Island smelt.

P1080841

Salt-baked beets with dill flowers.

P1080851

Aged venison tartare and purslane.

P1080853

Oh, smoked salmon…I need you in my life, always.

Just-dug potatoes with watercress and herring roe.

P1080864

Pan dripping and bread made from local grains.

P1080865

Local black cod steamed with lovage and cherry tomato.

P1080869

Sunset interval.

P1080881-001

Slow-roasted lamb with sour cherries.

P1080887

Wild chamomile and wood sorrel in blackberries.

P1080895

Blueberries with woodruff and malt.P1080900

Breakfast Plate

P1080902

Breakfast of house-made muffins, egg, and zucchini chilli jam.

I absolutely adore Willows Inn and highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for something a little different to other dining experiences. There is a reason why chef Blaine Wetzel won the James Beard Rising Star Chef Award this year. Get there if you can!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: