It's been a couple of years since I've been to the Wenatchee area. Any new & noteworthy restaurants to check out?
Yes - the Anjou Bakery in Monitor is a mandatory stop . . .
Our favorite restaurant in Leavenworth is South, a wonderful Mexican place. I can basically recommend everything on their menu, but especially the pork tacos, the roasted green beans with lime, and the mission-style burritos. Oh, and the Stinger cocktail, a personal favorite.
In Wenatchee we usually go to McGlinn's - not new, but they've been working on their menu and their pizza is now quite good. I thought their chicken burger was also unusually nice last time I ate there.
Anjou is doing so well with their cafe and crostini business they no longer reliably have bread to buy, which is disappointing. But the baguette sandwiches are really good.
Also, my father reports that there are some really good taco wagons in Wenatchee, I think clustered near the Staples? We've been meaning to go do a tour of them. And there's a good taqueria in Cashmere, somewhere off of Pioneer Hwy - again, just hearsay, but the reports are glowing. I'll try to get more detailed info.
Not sure what type of food you are looking for. I second the recommendation for South in Leavenworth.
In Wenatchee, these are a few of our favorites:
Windmill (certainly not new)
Smokehouse (now in Cashmere)
Casa Tapatia (in E. Wenatchee)
218 N Mission St, Wenatchee, WA 98801
1650 Grant Rd, East Wenatchee, WA 98802
Was searching around and came across this post. Since this thread probably won't be a hot topic I thought I'd add my 2 cents for posterity's sake.
Personally I've found McGlinn's and South to be overrated. The locals rave about both, but they would be considered middle of the road if they were located in a larger area. Both can have excruciatingly long wait times, as well as hit-or-miss service and food. Then again, sometimes both can be really on-point and you can luck out by hitting the trifecta of a short wait time, good service, and good food. Both have also grasped the importance of ambiance and decor, which seems to elude most other places in the area. Both also had live music at one point, but I'm not sure if that's a regular occurrence. McGlinn's is also known for their draft microbrews. I don't know if it's officially the largest selection in town, but they have some interesting offerings and rotate most of the taps seasonally.
Word on the street was that the 60+ year old Windmill was on the brink of failure, but the (new?) owners redid the menu in the last year or so. I haven't been in years, but the place seems to be hanging in there. With steaks in the $30+ range, it's the local destination for splurging or celebrating.
Iwa Sushi is decent. I've heard of occasional bad service (could happen anywhere, though). A new branch of the Fujiyama sushi chain opened about six months ago and is probably giving Iwa a run for their money. If you prefer local, then choose Iwa.
Fame- haven't been. Not much local buzz other than it's a good restaurant for a date. Same as Shakti's, which I have been to. It used to be one of the more interesting dining options but seems to have been coasting for the last few years. Perhaps trying to ride out the recession or just focusing on pleasing the core clientele. Another feature of Shakti's is a large outdoor patio.
Smokeblossom (not Smokehouse) was a pretty good place, but alas it closed over a year ago. The chef/owner did move the operation to Cashmere but as of now it's only a catering kitchen and not open to the public. Rumors keep popping up about the restaurant reopening, but that seems less and less likely as time goes on.
Casa Tapatia is ok, kinda generic Mexican (i.e. old-fashioned Tex-Mex). It's fine if you like that sort of thing, but if you expect top-of-the-line then definitely skip this one. Just about all of the "authentic" Mexican restaurants in Wenatchee are this style, so be forewarned. If you want to have Mexican in Wenatchee, try one of the many taco trucks located along both Wenatchee Avenue and Mission Street (both are parallel to each other). A new torta shop just opened up right near the bridge on the west side of the river. The sandwiches are gigantic and the flavors are great...I was there a couple of months ago when the weather was still cold and got one with pulled pork, melted cheese and a fried egg. It really hit the spot. The location seems to be cursed (nothing lasts longer than six months) so it may not be around very long. For a different take on Latin food there is an El Salvadorean place around the corner from the movie theater that makes pupusas from scratch. The place is kind of dive-y, but the food is terrific.
As for other options:
Visconti's- Standard Italian. There are two locations, one in Wenatchee and the other in Leavenworth. Both were "meh" for a long time, but I heard that the Leavenworth location recently hired a new chef who updated the menu of both locations. The Leavenworth spot also has a great salumi shop and an adjacent gelato place downstairs in the same building. Both get rave reviews for their wine lists as well.
Chateau Faire le Pont- A winery located in the north end of Wenatchee. Supposedly is high-end with prices and ambiance to match, but I've been told on several occasions that the food is disappointing. The menu used to be standard French but the current chef revamped it into Cajun cuisine.
Garlini's- This place began in East Wenatchee back in the early 80's and recently moved to Wenatchee about a year or two ago. The E Wen. location was totally old school New York style Italian (in a bad way) but the new version has updated decor and a new menu. I've heard a variety of comments on the food, but they seem to be trying to up their game. The wood-fired pizza and salads both get good reviews.
Tastebuds- A coffee and wine bar located in the same complex as Garlini's. They also have a small, but well chosen bottled beer selection. Food options are severely limited, something to nibble on like a cheese plate or charcuterie. They also do pizza, but I don't think that's a popular option. There is live music (usually mellow stuff like a jazz singer or classical guitarist) and have an adjacent patio shaded by a pergola awning. This is typically the hangout for a more mature crowd.
Caffe Mela- An upscale coffee shop on Wenatchee Avenue. They roast their own coffee beans and sell to several places around town. Within the last year they acquired a beer and wine license and are now open evenings. They feature basic coffeehouse pastries by day and run a small plates menu by night. A favorite of the local hipsters and wi-fi moochers.
VN Pho- located in a strip mall on the street behind Target. A small, unassuming shop that specializes in Pho (surprise!). Online reviews heap massive amounts of praise on this place, apparently their Pho is to die for. I have tried it, I thought it was good, but I'm not big on Asian cuisines and probably not the best judge. But when Yelp members from Seattle are saying that VN Pho can stand toe-to-toe with, or even surpass, anything over there I think that is a good benchmark.
Country Boys BBQ- Located in Cashmere. The northwest gets a bad rap for barbecue, but this place does some tasty food and does it the right way (their smoker is out back). Another favorite of the online community. They don't specialize in one regional style, so they've got a variety of options. If you're in town and have a barbecue craving, definitely stop by.
Eatery Park- Formerly known as Pretiola Bakery, it's located on the "Loop" trail in a park that runs along the Columbia River. This is a coffee shop/sandwich place/bakery that does EVERYTHING from scratch. They specialize in locally produced and organic products and have several vegan and gluten-free items. If you're into that sort of thing, this is your best bet.
Lemolo's Deli- A solid downtown spot. This is a lunch-only place with an eclectic hippie vibe. They feature the basics: soups, salads, sandwiches, and artisanal style pizzas, all made fresh.
The Wild Huckleberry- If you're wanting to go out for breakfast and can't fathom going to Denny's or Shari's, then this is your spot. They do a decent Eggs Benedict (in a variety of styles) and have pretty good omelets and other standard plates. Not mind blowing, but a safe bet for a local breakfast option. They also feature lunch and dinner, but I've heard zero feedback about those services. I think it's mostly the retired crowd that goes there after 12pm.
Lastly, I should mention Dizzy D's. Located in a strip mall near the community college. It's a typical local diner that does a great burger. Some say best burger in town, a title which it has won several years in a row (which contest I have no idea, but the sign out front said so). Thankfully it's not decked out in a 50's theme, the walls have pictures of aging military vets and school sports teams circa 1991 (no idea why, probably have significant meaning to the owners) and other random local memorabilia. The rest is standard diner fare, which I admit I haven't tried (just their burgers). Their hours are a bit odd- they close at 7pm on weekdays and don't open at all on Sundays, if I recall correctly. If you're on a burger mission for lunch, this is where you need to go.