The Willows Inn

Row 1

Details

There are restaurants at which you want to eat, there are restaurants situated in places you want to visit, and then there are restaurants at which you want to eat in places you never want to leave. The Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena (see #18) and Blackberry Farm (see No. 50) are perhaps the best examples on this list, but not far off is the Pacific Northwest version: Willows Inn on Lummi Island (No. 14 on The Daily Meal's list of America's Top 50 US Bed-and-Breakfasts for Food) a five-minute ferry ride from the Washington coast and about two to two-and-a-half hours from both Vancouver and Seattle. At the helm is Washington-raised chef Blaine Wetzel, former chef de partie at Rene Redzepi’s Noma in Copenhagen. Seatings start at 6:30 p.m., and Wetzel serves seasonal, local fare during a tasting-menu experience that lasts as long as three hours — plenty of time to remember that the last (cash-only) ferry is at 12:10 a.m. (unless you want to beg for one of the Inn's few rooms, costing at least $230 a night and booked many months in advance). The trip to this, one of The Daily Meal’s Best Bed-and-Breakfasts for Food, is worth it, of course (you can only make a reservation two weeks in advance, by the way, though inn patrons do get first crack). The promise of salmon caught around the corner and cooked in the restaurant’s specialty smokehouse, seaweed gathered from the beach, and berries picked from its fields is hard to resist. Don’t even try.

— Arthur Bovino, 101 Best Restaurants, April 1, 2015

Foursquare Tips

  • Delectable dishes like prawns with leeks, mussels and toasted bread (if youre so lucky, as it is seasonally available) draw diners out to this little island, where chef Blain Wetzel works his magic.
  • Absolutely amazing place. The set menu changes as everything is sourced and foraged, fished, and farmed locally. The presentation of the dishes are spectacular.
  • One of the best places to eat, and THE best place to have a wedding, ever! I was there for a wedding of 2 of my great friends and I did not want to leave. Absolutely beautiful and terribly romantic!
  • Former chef at Noma in Copenhagen runs this place - supposed to be extrodinary
  • If you stay here, HAVE DINNER. The food here is fantastic!!
  • Astoundingly good, food and service alike. I want to marry it and when WA gets true marriage equality I will propose.
  • Sunset room
  • Dinner and service is amazing. The "snacks", homemade bread, and smoked salmon are amazing.