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Jul 9, 2006 05:11 PM

Recent trip to Central WA & SEA

Recently returned from a trip to the newly developing wine area in Central WA. Landed @ SeaTac & went straight to PikePlace Mkt., to find something to take with on the drive over the Cascades. Found great grilled to order sandwiches @ Beechers Handmade Cheese. Picked up some fresh locally made on-the-spot cheese as well as some of their delicious mac & cheese to go. Enjoyed it on the road. We stayed @ a place outside Quincy, CaveB Inn & Winery. The chef there has a cookbook in the Smithsonian focusing on Native American cooking, but the food was less than stellar. I purchased one of the cookbooks, and was surprised to see that not many of the recipes in the book were featured on the menu. Because of our disappointment, we only ate in the resturant one night and had a snack another night. One day we drove up to Lake Chelan to tour some wineries and has a delicious meal @ one of the wineries that included smoked ribs and smoked cedar plank salmon. Being from TX, I was a bit sceptical 'bout the ribs but they were very good. The best part of the meal was that it was outside underneath a great covered patio and the salmon and ribs were cooked on the grill right there and we enjoyed the pinot grigio that came off the vines 10 feet away from us. One interesting thing was that they served banana pudding. Not what I would have imagined in the great Pacific NW. The next day we had breakfast @ a great place that I discovered on Chowhound, called Anjou Bakery. The pastries were unbelievable, so good in fact, that we took the long way back to SEA a couple of days later, just so we could stop there again. Be sure to get some of the sea salt bread. The Anjou is located between Wenatchee and Leavenworth. In Wenatchee itself, we had dinner one night @ a place that had opened only two weeks prior,Smokeblossom. It is probably the best place in town. I had seen a posting that recommended Shakti's in Wenatchee, but while in town was told that Shakti's would be closing for good, soon, so we decided to skip it. The food @ Smokeblossom was innovative and 'big city', in terms of taste, use of ingredients and presentation. The servers were all excited about the new place and the service was excellent as a result. We were very pleasantly surprised.
Upon returning to SEA, we ate @ Earth & Ocean located in the W Hotel, downtown. The service was very attendant and accomodating. The wine list was very well defined and the food menu was precise in trying to fit both earth and ocean into the scheme. Great room. Oh yeah, the food just OK. The next day before leaving SEA, we drove over to Ballard, because we wanted to eat @ a place called Volterra in old downtown Ballard that I had read about. Unfortunately, they weren't open for lunch, so we chose a place a couple of streets over, that was located in an old firehouse. I actually think that it was called the Ballard Firehouse Brewpub and resturant. Apparently, it is part of a group of stores that are all over the SEA area. The food was good, the service pleasant and the ambience was kind of cool because of the firehouse thing.
Hope someone will find this post helpful. I really enjoyed my time in WA & look forward to my next visit.

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  1. Forgot to mention the name of the place in Lake Chelan where we had the barbeque. Lake Chelan Winery (imagine that).

    3 Replies
    1. re: brucem

      Thanks to your nice recap of your visit to NC WA. Smokeblossom in Wenatchee has become one of our new favorites, but I did not realize that Shakti's was closing. It will be missed. Sorry you did not have a stellar experience at Cave B. We have had enjoyable lunches there, but have never been for dinner. Anjou is a classic stop for us. Wenatchee, Leavenworth, and Chelan are full of wineries. The Lake Chelan Winery is a favorite of ours, as is Big Pine further up the road. There are several small, friendly wineries on Hiway 2 between Wenatchee and Leavenworth. Glad you had a good time, and let us know if you plan to come back. Jane

      1. re: Jane917

        Wow Bruce,
        You were right about the Smokeblossom,they are only open for dinner but what incredible food. This town's other restaurants should feel lucky this place is only open for dinner and seats about 40. Wine list is 85% local and go well with the bold and truly fresh food, we had swordfish here and it was better than anywhere we can recall on the coast. The chef actually showed us the fish before we ordered it, nice move chef.
        Desserts were actually made in-house, better than those preportioned gimmicks you get everywhere else. Best value, presentattion, service, and food within 100 miles (and if you were to compete with this place you would have to spend a long time in the car and maybe up the credit limit on your visa. 5 stars

        1. re: Jane917

          sadly- the big pine is now closed- it was a gem! i spent time with the owners everytime i went- they were wonderful people- and worked very hard

      2. Just dropping by to see if anyone had read my posting. Glad y'all enjoyed Smokeblossom. Jane, the dinner outside the winery was @ Lake Chelan Winery. We also made it on up the road to Big Pine, enjoyed it and the wine so much, we ordered a case of their "Kick Back" cab. Have been enjoying it every since then. One other place that we also enjoyed was St Laurent Winery on the west side of the river going south out of town. Great ambience and truly nice people.

        1. The place you're talking about in Ballard is the Hi-Life, part of the Chow Foods chain. The space is amazing, especially considering the remodel they had to go through before opening. It started out as a firehouse, but for years and years it was a rock club, and not very well taken care of.

          I took my parents and aunt and uncle to dinner there a year or so ago... they loved the food, but what they really loved was remininising about the bands that they'd seen play there ages ago.

          1. Yikes!!
            Sorry to randomly jump in here folks but I had to just let everyone know that my little restaurant, SHAKTI'S, is absolutely not closed or closing. In fact, I just opened up for dinner on Sundays so we are cooking 7 nights a week now and are busy as ever. Feel free to update yourself on what's happening at SHAKTI'S by checking out our website, ShaktisFineDining.com. Thanks for everyone's support over the last 6 years as we will be celebrating our 6th Anniversary this December 5, 2007!
            Warm Regards,

            1. I live 40 minutes from Wenatchee in a small town called Ephrata. The next time you are in Wenatchee, I would recommend a place called "The Windmill". My job requires me to eat at restaurants frequently, and I would put The Windmill in my top 5. Steaks, chops, chicken, etc., etc. Probably the best steak house in all of central and eastern WA. Reservations are a must. Also, for lunch, the WalkAbout Grill is great.