Anniversary Weekend “Getaway”

We’ve got lots of celebrations this spring with both of us turning 30, celebrating the impending arrival of our baby via a few baby showers, and our fifth anniversary. This last weekend was focused on celebrating being married for five years. Our celebration led us to Woodinville, a nearby town, to stay the night at Willows Lodge and dine at the only five diamond restaurant in Washington, The Herbfarm.

I think that having a staycation or a local “getaway” can be just as much fun as hopping on a plane and going somewhere out of state. This experience proved that point quite nicely. Willows Lodge is an exceptional hotel – it’s a mountain modern style of architecture with very beautiful rooms, giant soaking tubs and gorgeous grounds to stroll through. The bonus is that it’s across the parking lot from The Herbfarm, so we didn’t have far to go after our nine-course dinner {I should also mention that a wine pairing is included too! Of course I had the non-alcoholic pairing option.}.

{Our lovely little place setting...}

{Our lovely little place setting…}

The experience of our dinner was certainly a highlight. The service truly was impeccable. The restaurant had one seating, at 7 p.m., so all tables were seated at the exact same time. The servers had memorized which tables were for which groups and we had a cute little “happy anniversary” sign at our seat. I have a few dietary limitations and one of the owners came to discuss the menu with me to assure me that they were aware and had made other arrangements. Throughout the meal one of the servers was in charge of filling up water and she memorized which diners had a preference for ice and which did not. Another lovely touch was that they had thick, cozy wraps available on hand for if anyone got chilly, which I inevitably did. Other than the food, one of the best parts was that the restaurant wasn’t fancy – it felt like we were going over to grandma’s house for dinner. It was quite comfortable and we didn’t feel like we had to be prim and proper. We could relax and enjoy ourselves.

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Since its beginning in the late 1990s, the restaurant focused on very locally sourced and seasonal foods, which now is of course a trend, and almost a requirement here in the Seattle area, but they were well ahead of the curve. Each month the restaurant comes up with a different theme and the theme for our dinner was “Super Cattle” – perfect for us steak lovers! The whole menu was centered around cows…

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My personal favorites were the Japanese Waygu steak – it was absolute perfection. The steak tasted exactly how a steak should taste. It was really interesting comparing it side-by-side with an Oregon Waygu. Kind of similar to trying the same wine varietal but grown in a different region. Additionally, my other favorite was the pasta, which was the third course. Because of my shellfish allergy they omitted the clams and instead replaced them with pancetta and black truffles – pretty sure I was eating a bowl of pasta sent straight from heaven.

{This was "Tin of Tartar" which had a layer of beef tartare topped with foie gras, covered with these little bubbles of worcestershire sauce. Because I can't have raw meat or foie gras, I got a delicious bison slider with little baby pickles, my own worcestershire caviar and crunchy fried onions. So good!}

{This was “Tin of Tartar” which had a layer of beef tartare topped with foie gras, covered with these little bubbles of worcestershire sauce. Because I can’t have raw meat or foie gras, I got a delicious bison slider with little baby pickles, my own worcestershire caviar and crunchy fried onions. So good!}

At the end of the evening we waddled across the street to our hotel room with full, happy bellies, though not before being greeted at the door with my jacket and a little doggie bag of bread. Alex happened to mention how much he loved the bread so they sent us home with some to enjoy at a later time. The little details all evening were so lovely.

All in all, it was a most wonderful experience that we’ll both remember for a long time, I’m sure. After our wonderful breakfast at one of my favorite Woodinville restaurants, Barking Frog, we did some exploring and headed back home.