Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Willows Inn. Lummi Island Washington. The best meal ever.

The Inn
Easily my best meal of 2011.
Kate, my wife, called it “the best meal ever”.
Simply Outstanding. Truly the best in farm to table dining.

All beach plants, wild herbs and fresh spring shoots were foraged on Lummi Island. The Asparagus, kohlrabi, peas, radishes, watercress, turnips, herbs and flowers were harvested from our own Nettles Farm, a five minute walk from the Inn.

Table Flower Arrangement

The Chef Blaine Wetzel, only 24 years old mind boggling in itself, apprenticed at Noma in Copenhagen—the best restaurant in the world, according to this year’s prestigious S. Pellegrino awards.

All this only an hour and a half from Vancouver, go, run don’t walk, go now!
Our Meal

Smoked King Salmon

Smoked King Salmon, troll caught locally by Jeremy Brown, and delivered straight to our kitchen from his boat, last night.
Based on a pacific northwest bent box, the salmon chunks are delivered with smoking cedar embers, perfuming the salmon and the air. The fish was smooth velvety on the inside with a smoky slightly leathery skin. Just give me 4 pounds of this stuff a bottle of Pinot and hide me under the stairs.

Black cod on potato with sauerkraut

Decedent creamy black cod set against the acidity of the sauerkraut and the crunch of potato chips.

Salad and Dip

Fun and Fresh. The "dirt" is toasted seasoned and flavoured rye bread crumbles.

Herb Toast with Brown Butter Emulsion

They need to jar the butter and sell it online. I'll take a tub.
Oysters Sorel and Tapioca Pearls

Loved the presentation, river rock frozen like a winter pond and two beautiful delicate oysters frozen in the wilderness.
The oysters are harvested from Penn Cove.

Razor Clams, frozen horseradish, pea shoots, potatoes
The horseradish melts in your mouth and the creamy clams are soft and cool and good.
Quinault tribal members harvested the razor clams.

Nettles farm asperagus with fresh cheese and pine
There was a tasty asparagus broth that brought everything together including and surprisingly the slightly resiny pine.

Wine Pairing: 2009 Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc ~ Marlborough

Local spot prawns with pickled kohlrabi
A work of art. The spot prawns are caught locally and and kept alive in the seafood tank just outside the kitchen.

Wine pairing: 2009 L'Ecole Estate 'Luminesce' Semillion Sauvignon Blanc ~ Walla Walla Valley.

Nettles farm peas with mint and whey
The chef likes broths and once again the pea mint broth kept everything together. The whey was interesting and a jelly like globby goodness.

Wine pairing: 2010 Tonado Torrontes, Chardonney ~ Mendoza.

Slow roasted lamb shoulder with morels and salmonberries
Another work of art. I think I ran past the lamb farm just down the road.

Paired with: 2007 Chehalen Steller Vinyard Pinot Noir ~ Williamette Valley

King salmon
This was Kate's veggie substitution salmon course from our fisherman friend Jeremy. I don’t know what chef Blaine did to this chunk of fish but it was outstandingly moist and salmony flavour cubed. I can't believe it myself but I think I preferred the Salmon to my lamb.

Lummi Island wildflowers with lemon verbina
For desert, a bit of molecular gastronomy, frozen wildflowers popping and melting in your mouth.

A pretty darn good meal. A nice relaxing weekend away. Nice.

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