Earlier in July we headed up to Lummi Island to celebrate my birthday. Aside from the natural beauty of the island the main reason for the trip was a visit to Willows Inn restaurant run by Chef Blaine Wetzel. Over the past few years Chef Wetzel has been gathering several accolades:
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]In 2011, the New York Times declared Willows Inn on Lummi Island “One of the 10 Restaurants (in the world) Worth a Plane Ride.” Chef Blaine was listed by Food & Wine magazine as the Best New Chef of 2012 and in 2013 he became a James Beard Award finalist for the first time. Just this year, he was awarded the James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year award.[/mk_blockquote]
Even more importantly before Willows Inn Chef Blain Wetzel worked as chef-de-partie at Noma in Copenhagen that repeatedly garnered recognition as the best restaurant in the world.
What’s the verdict?
To me it was totally worth it. For me most dishes scored high both in terms of style, creativity, and flavor. The smoked salmon was impeccably executed, the grilled cabbage with the herring roe was genius. Only couple of lowlights: the flower dish felt a bit gimmicky and the grassy icecream in the dessert was a bit of a creative reach.
Dinner will set you back a bit (I believe it’s 165/person+drinks+tip – I skipped the tasting wine menu because I felt it was a bit on the over-overpriced side of things at $85). But overall it’s a fantastic dining experience and most definitely worth the $ (and the drive up from Seattle).