Seattle, like most major cities, has a constantly changing food scene. New restaurants come and go; a chef that is the talk of the town one day becomes passé the next. There’s nothing more delicious for diners and food critics alike than discovering a new restaurant darling.
Which is why when one hears about a restaurant tucked away on Bainbridge Island, a 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle that for the last two-and-a-half years has been quietly serving locally inspired cuisine punctuated by homemade pasta, house-smoked charcuterie, and craft cocktails, it is wise to pay a visit.
Located on the five-mile-wide and 10-mile-long Bainbridge Island, one of the larger islands in the Central Puget Sound Basin, is Hitchcock restaurant. Just up the hill from the ferry terminal are shops and eateries and a short walk east is downtown Winslow, which is home to the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum , Kids’ Discovery Museum, and Waterfront Park, but the not-to-be-missed destination is Hitchcock.
From the outside, Hitchcock doesn’t look like anything special, with incongruously dingy curtains hanging from the window, as though intentionally keeping those unworthy of its fresh and innovative creations out. Nestled on a working farm, the orchard provides fruit and other treats for the daily-changing menu. Inside, 100-year-old floors serve as the backdrop to the bustling creations of chef Brendan S. McGill, whose menu features simple yet iconic Northwest fare, brought to life with clever and unexpected flavor combinations such as Matsutake crudo with Hitchcock ricotta, Lágrima olive oil, and lemon zest.
By far, the best part of Hitchcock is the chef’s menu, which gives guests the nearly unprecedented invitation to "name your price" and "we’ll cook for you;" $50 or $60 will leave you blissfully eating for hours, and the option to add wine to each course at the bartender’s discretion is worth the peace of mind knowing each pairing will further elevate the experience.
While Hitchcock is admittedly not the least expensive or the most convenient joint in town, it should quickly skip to the front of the line for restaurants that are truly worth trying during a trip to Seattle.
Erina Malarkey is the Seattle Travel city editor for The Daily Meal. Please visit her at www.TheAttainableGourmet.com.