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lumni island and willows inn

santa barbara
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lumni island and willows inn

Hi everyone! I am planning on coming to seattle for 3 nights in late January for my 30th birthday with my husband. I am a big foodie (love seafood and creative, fun delicious food) and love good beer, wine and cocktails too. I also love nature and would love to take in some of the more beautiful sights (although i expect i will find all the greenery everywhere in seattle beautiful). I would love to spend one day/night just walking/driving around seattle sampling great food, beer, cocktails, taking in some sights, and maybe listening to some live music in the evening. I would also like one night to be a special splurge dinner (i was thinking willows inn). So my questions are: Is willows inn worth the trip? If so what is a good route to take to get there?Is the drive pretty, are there intersting stops along the way (any breweries)?If you dont think willows inn is worth the trip, where would you suggest (canlis, herbfarm)? Also any great bars, breweries, restaurants you would suggest in seattle (i was thinking walrus and the carpenter, bastille (for drinks), mat at the market, spur gastropub, how to cook a wolf)? ill being coming from sb (flying out of lax) staying in la the night before so wont be driving to la and flying the same day. Was thinking of renting a car and doing willows inn first night then last two nights back in seattle. any comments or suggestions greatly appreciated, especially with regards to willows inn. Thank you!

Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: lumni island and willows inn

Hi, I can't help with Lummi Island since I have not been there yet but in terms of Seattle restaurants you definitely need to do the Walrus and the Carpenter for seafood. Other restaurants I would recommend are

Sitka and Spruce for NW food, Shiros(not sure if you have seen 'Jiro Dreams of Sushi' but the 2 main sushi chefs here apprenticed with Jiro for 5+ years) or Nishino for Sushi. I could go on and on depending on what type of food you would want to eat but since you only have 2-3 days don't want to overload you with info :)

Cris

western WA
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2. Re: lumni island and willows inn

Taking a full day to get to Bellingham / Willows Inn is a good idea. Have you checked on reservations yet?

Either one way or both, you should take the Chuckanut drive from Mt. Vernon to Bow to Fairhaven. Stop for a walk if it isn't raining at Larrabee State Park (must pay to park, fyi). Don't drive it in the dark, which in January is at 4:30 or 5pm.

You can also take the very scenic route and go through Whidbey Island, taking the ferry at Mukilteo. That way you could stop at Deception Pass and Fort Casey, and possibly get a meal at one of the places in Langley.

I-5 goes straight to Bellingham if you are in a hurry or are traveling at night.

There are other foodie destinations that don't involve a long drive, such as the Herbfarm in Woodinville.

santa barbara
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3. Re: lumni island and willows inn

thanks for the suggestions! I definitely came across sitka and spruce during my research seems to be very well liked. ill have to look into the menu! I also love sushi so i will take a look at shiros too.

santa barbara
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4. Re: lumni island and willows inn

Thanks ainwa! Have you been to both willows inn and herbfarm and if so which do you prefer? Also do you know how long the drive would take to willows inn if we took the scenic route through whidbey island?

Seattle, Wa
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5. Re: lumni island and willows inn

You need to call the Willows Inn and see if the restaurant will be open. The restaurant has always been closed in past winters, though the hotel and casual cafe remain open. It does look like they have some special events so perhaps they are not closed the entire time, but don't assume they are open in January until you talk to them. WIllows Inn blows Herbarm, which is long past it's prime, out of the water. There is no comparison.

The main route up Whidbey isn't really scenic--you need to have destinations in mind and detour off it for scenery.

Seattle, Washington
11 posts
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6. Re: lumni island and willows inn

I agree with Christy about the Herbfarm, we ended up spending about $300 for 2 people and it felt mass-produced. Was definitely not impressed.

Edited: 15 November 2013, 22:39
santa barbara
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7. Re: lumni island and willows inn

So it turns out willows inn is closed, and it sounds like herbfarm isnt worth the money. So any other suggestions for a splurge meal? id prefer a tasting menu especially one that focuses on highlighting fresh veggies and fish in a creative and delicious way (not sure if anything fits the bill- canlis, somewhere else). Thanks again for all the feedback and the heads up about willows inn.

Seattle, Washington
11 posts
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8. Re: lumni island and willows inn

How about Canlis, its a Seattle institution, beautiful view, great service and food. If you like steak El Gaucho is a good option.

Seattle, Wa
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9. Re: lumni island and willows inn

Canlis for the veg tasting menu, but it's January! Not the time of year to be looking for local, seasonal veggies. Canlis will do fish well but they try to walk the line between old school and creative. It's not going to be like Willows Inn, which blows me away with the creativity.

Given everything you have said in both posts I really don't think Seattle in January is going to make you happy. I'll say it again, it would be worth it to postpone and come for Willows when it's open.

santa barbara
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10. Re: lumni island and willows inn

my 30th is in january though and it seems anticlimactic to celebrate 2 months later. Do you think all the food is significantly worse in january? In santa barbara you can definitely still find great food in january but maybe seattle is more seasonal?