Entries from August 2009 ↓

Fairhaven Fish & Chips

Think big red British bus with outdoor picnic tables and fresh fresh fresh fish served by Vicki and you’ve arrived at Jacci’s Fairhaven Fish & Chips in Bellingham, WA. Walk up to the bus window and place your order. It’s an easy menu: clam chowder (fresh daily) or salmon, halibut, cod or chicken with chips and cole slaw (fresh daily). They’ll call you when it’s ready – have a seat and soak up, hmm, depending on the time of year, sun or rain. Or you could get your order to go. She also serves over 24 flavors of soft ice cream, milkshakes and floats. Indulge!

I am a HUGE fish and chips fan (although I trade my chips  for slaw). Everywhere I go to eat I check the fish selection. In Fairhaven, Vicki serves the tastiest fish and chips. Just ask my daughter, it’s her favorite place for it, too.

Jacci’s Fairhaven Fish and Chips 1020 Harris Ave   Fairhaven WA  98225  M-Sat 11-7 Sun 12-5     360-733-5021

Photo delivered via Robin Dudes Flickr photostream

Photo delivered via Robin Dude's Flickr photostream

The Copper Hog, Bellingham

The Copper Hog is a gastropub. A gastropub is a British public house specializing in high quality food. The definition fits Copper Hog to a T. Tom and I have been a couple of times now and the food is SUPER. Stop laughing. There will be something for me to eat no matter what time of day or what kind of mood I’m in.

I’ve eaten the colcannon (Irish style mashed potatoes), diced Ahi sashimi in shoyu and sesame oil w/seaweed salad served on crispy wontons (awesome), sliders (kobe, battered cod, spiced hummus).

Pub Snacks to have while playing darts (curry chips or beans on toast or colcannon or french fries, gravy and cheese curd)

Pub Fare to have while at the looong bar watching futball on the tele (Omar’s fish & chips w/sweet pea puree, bangers & mash + gravy)

Small Plates to share at a dimly lit table away from the hub bub (Irish onion soup, rustic crouton & melted Irish cheddar or char broiled teriyaki bison flank steak salad or cold soba noodle salad or oysters on the half shell served with a pint of Murphy’s)

Big Plates to have and share seated in tall private cushy booths (cast iron seared lamb, summer green beans & colcannon or carmelized duck breast, potato cakes, wild summer mushrooms, cherry chutney and port/current reduction or apple cranberry dressing stuffed pork loin, homemade applesauce w/baby carrots). Now, by no means are these the only options on the menu. And, this is The Copper Hog’s summer menu.

But, wait. I haven’t mentioned the list. Of what? Of beer. Of scotch. So many delicious pairings for your gastro experience.  Samichlaus, Orval Trappist, Delirium Tremens  (Belgium), Dalwhinnie (scotch). And try a black and tan. Tom enjoyed his VERY much.

Copper Hog Bellingham

Copper Hog Bellingham

The Copper Hog 1327 N. State St Bellingham WA   360-927-7888

PS  Delicious fish & chips.

La Vita E Bella Seattle, WA

Life is beautiful in Seattle, WA. And all the more so when dining in Belltown at La Vita E Bella.

We ate the BEST Italian food EVER this evening. And this is to compare with Italian dining in NY and Northern NJ. So many Italians immigrated to the US in the last century that when I was a kid, I wasn’t alone being a first generation American. But I digress.

As the story goes…It was a very busy day. We all went to Seattle to visit the Seattle Aquarium. I know my last post raved about all you can do in Bellingham, but my kids NEED to experience CITY so they are not afraid of it. I think all the adventures are growing on them. They keep asking for more…

The Aquarium was great! We all had different favorites: river otters, jellyfish, harbor seals. My favorite was Buster the octopus. I wanted to see who took Omar’s place. Omar was the septopus from Bellingham (missing an arm). When he got too big for the aquarium at The Marine Life Center, he shipped out to Seattle. The guides at the Seattle Aquarium told me he had a good life there. They also taught exhibit viewers how to tell if an octopus is male or female. The end of all the arms on a female octopus will be the same, but on a male, one arm (3rd from the right?) will not have suction cups. There you have it. PS  The Aquarium Cafe has good food.

We ended our visit in time for dinner in Seattle (who wants to drive in the traffic?). Tom knew the exact place to go. No touristy pier restaurants for us! Oh, no! Please excuse me, but when you’ve been on your feet walking through exhibits for a few hours with a few kids, immediate gratification in the food department is in order. But, I gave way. It’s a good thing, too, because the evening turned out to be the all time BEST family meal ever shared. We took a poll.

La Vita E Bella is an Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria in Belltown (a few blocks from the Aquarium). Roberto was THE man of the night. His manners and patience were of the utmost. As was his NY way of standing proud. Tom and I took bets – what borough? As it turns out, the question should have been – what exit? Another boy from Long Island (like Tom). But then it got interesting. They grew up on Long Island AND they went to the same HS. Too much for me at this point. THEN, another couple came in to dine (regulars) and this man ALSO went to the same high school. You know what it’s like when they all have something like that in common? Everyone’s a bud talking out loud about shared places and peoples. The coincidences were beyond – there were more, but I want to tell about the AMAZING meal we ate.

Right off Roberto knew to feed the children first. Personal size margherita pizza for all. Out came warm crusty bread, ice clinked while water poured into tall glasses. A drink for the adults? YES! Red for him because he was eating the most delicious lasagna and white for me because the halibut had come into the kitchen just 4 minutes ago. The serving of fish was enough for the next day, broiled with baby asparagus and latkes. It was excellent. All diners were well fed. But, could we  see the dessert menu? Of course!

We had lemon sorbets (frozen in their fruit shells), tartufo (frozen truffle with zabaglione cream center covered w/chocolate gelato, carmelized hazelnuts and cocoa powder), torta fruiti di bosco (layers of short pastry filled with Chantilly cream and a berry assortment) and tiramisu (vanilla sponge layer w/coffee and cognac soaked lady fingers, marscapone cream filling, espresso cream dusted w/cocoa powder). Excellent!

La Vita E Bella  2411 2nd Ave Seattle WA  206-441-5322

We were entertained by the soft melody of a grandpa’s accordian. He now displays a caricature of himself on his tip glass courtesy of my daughter. She captured his hat, eyeglasses, curly mustache and suit perfectly. You should have seen his smile stretch from ear to ear.

Community Food Co-op BBQ & Bike

Bellingham Co-op Barbeque August 2009

Bellingham Co-op Barbeque August 2009

PR: wait… I: wait… L: wait… LD: wait… I: wait… wait… Rank: wait… Traffic: wait… Price: wait… C: wait…

Du Jour Bistro & The Vines

My new favorite place to dine. Don’t miss it! Du Jour Bistro is my friend Paula’s favorite. Now, I also highly recommend it.

The restaurant space serves as a wine store, too. So when you enter, you walk past walls of wine for sale and that are part of the decor of the restaurant. There are about a dozen tables; half with subdued lighting. It was very nice to get one of those in a corner with Tom. Our server was kind, courteous and knowledgable about wine.

The menu offers small plates, big plates and soups & salads. There is something for every one of my moods and desires. We each chose a small plate: Tom ordered the bison meatballs w/red wine tomato sauce and morels and I ate tomatillo chipotle chicken w/white cheddar and black bean polenta. The meal was excellent. Light, flavorful and perfect portion. Tom had a Louis Latour Pinot Noir and I loved my Borsao Grenache Tempranillo. I even took some home. They serve wine by the glass, or the bottle with a $5 corkage fee. The prices are very reasonable.

There were many delicious meal options. The Small Plate menu also had a vegetarian calzone w/soup or salad and prawn pesto artichoke pizza w/feta.

Soup & Salad offerings included organic greens w/sherry vinaigrette (small or large), spinach and roma tomato w/bermuda onion, house made ricotta and balsam vinaigrette, creamy poached garlic & leek soup or Bill’s soup du jour.

Big Plates were spaghetti w/Spanish meat sauce, slow roast leg of lamb garlic studded over fennel spiced white beans, tomato broth and a daily seafood special.

There were five desserts to pick from. Crumbles, sorbets. We shared a red wine infused dark chocolate granache w/berry topping and dollop of whipped heavy cream. Wonderful.

This is from their Summer menu. I look forward to sampling each seasons, along with the server’s recommended wine pairing.

1319 Cornwall Ave     714-1161     Bistro reservations recommended. Now added to the Bellingham Wine Shops page