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May 29, 2012 05:27 PM

Bellingham with the grandparents?

We will be there for graduation weekend. Have a reservation at Fork, but I'm trying to figure out where else to go in the area. The better-sounding places for food either have reviews talking about terrible service (Le Chat Noir) or they don't take reservations (D'Annas) . When you're 92 this just doesn't work! All suggestions gratefully welcomed.

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  1. I don't have a restaurant suggestion, but if there's a restaurant you think you'll all enjoy that does not take reservations, perhaps call? Speak to a manager and let him/her know that you know that you've heard such good things about their restaurant and your 92-year old grandparents have their hearts set on going (a little flattery never hurts anything). Ask if there's a time the wait isn't so long on a busy weekend like graduation (it seems the older my family gets the earlier they eat, so this may be ok all around), or if they allow customers to call ahead to put their party on a list. Some do for special circumstances.

    I hope you get lots of good recommendations for alternative restaurants! Congratulations on the upcoming graduation :)

    1. Hmmm, what kind of food do the grandparents like to eat? What price range? There are some classic type places that might appeal to them.
      Anthony's is a local fav for special occasions (not my fav, but popular and a great water view) or Anthony's Hearthfire Grill ( also offers the same water view. I think they both take reservations.
      Or, Chuckanut Manor?
      Those are the typical extended family celebration type destinations that might be appropriate for less adventurous eaters. There are a few steakhouses in town, but I don't know a thing about them because I don't eat meat.
      Then there are lots of more casual and affordable options, but probably many of them are in the no reservations category.
      I like SAHCook's suggestion about buttering up the staff to have a table held at your restaurant of choice. Who is going to make 92-year-old grandparents wait for a table? That's just wrong.

      5 Replies
      1. re: laurachow

        I second Anthony's or its more casual spin-off, the Hearthfire Grill. And Giuseppe's (not been myself).

        On the other side of the parking lot from Anthony's & Giuseppe's is Bayside Cafe, a casual spot with family-friendly familiar comfort foods. Reasonable prices, but not foodie destination. Not to generalize, it's very friendly to kids and seniors, and a great panoramic waterfront & marina view to boot:

        And lots of before-/after-dinner strolling options along the boardwalk.

        1. re: laurachow

          Thanks for the ideas. Chuckanut looks like a wonderful location--near where we took a great hike the last time we visited. In the meantime I made a reservation at Giuseppe's just to be on the safe side. The grandparents are adventurous eaters, and not afraid to spend a little more for a good meal, but their patience has waned over the years!

          1. re: luciemom

            Just FYI, I was pleasantly surprised by Giuseppe's. A friend took us there shortly after we returned from a very food-oriented trip to Italy. We were ready to discreetly roll our eyes at each other. But the food was really quite good. It's a pleasant atmosphere, considering it is one of those largish, thematic, waterfront restaurants. We only had one meal there, but I wouldn't hesitate to bring family there for dinner. If your event is in Bellingham proper, it's quite a bit closer than Chuckanut; but if you don't mind the drive, it's lovely there.

            1. re: luciemom

              If they really want to drop some cash and you don't mind a drive, then check out The Oyster Bar:
              Or, if you want a drive and short ferry trip, The Willows on Lummi Island would be an amazing getaway. The chef here has been hauling in the prestigious awards and the restaurant is getting written up in national media as a top 10 destination in the U.S.:

          2. The Cliff House is an "old school" kind of place with a great view and familiar foods. White table cloths, etc. I bet your 90 something folks would really like it. Try the famous Whiskey Crab Soup and devils on horseback. Fun stuff. Not trendy in the LEAST (thank God).