It’s high time the folks in Bellingham discover what guests at the Four Points Sheraton already know—Chinuk Restaurant is well worth a visit. The executive chef Juao “Gio” d’Aquino is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and has been in the restaurant scene in Bellingham for the past 20 years. He was a sous-chef at the Nooksack River Casino, at The Steakhouse at the Silver Reef, and opened Black Forest before coming to Chinuk. All of that experience has served him well as executive chef—he serves up fresh, local ingredients with a Pacific Northwest inspired menu. “My favorite way to cook is grilling,” d’Aquino said. His skill with salmon is unbeatable.
In the past few years, there’s been a quiet, but complete, transformation in Bellingham. The Lakeway Best Western is now a Four Points Sheraton. The hotel has added amenities and features and upgrades throughout, through the keen eye of Colbie Cargill and under the guidance of the Starwood Hotels management. The Four Points Sheraton recently showcased their newly renovated ballroom at a James Bondthemed happy hour. The guest rooms, lobby, conference room, pool, and hair salon have all undergone major upgrades. Fortunately for local diners, Chinuk is part of this remodel. The tasteful upgrade at Chinuk incorporates clean lines and soothing dark wooden tones with contrasting white leather. Colbie Cargill of Colbie Cargill Interior Designs was the interior designer who masterminded the Four Points Sheraton renovation. Cargill incorporated the tones of driftwood, pottery, and other natural textures, adding warmth to the contemporary lines.
The menu’s specialties include fresh, delicious cuisine for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The all-day menu includes family favorites like burgers and classic fish-n-chips, with a few special items as well—the grilled king salmon is a favorite among diners, as is the Ahi tuna burger. These everyday items are not just typical, though—the burger is a tender, juicy, and perfectly crafted with crisp-fresh fixings and excellent fries. Chef d’Aquino also serves a fantastic farro salad with mango, goat cheese, and spinach. “I use as much local produce as possible and start with the freshest ingredients. I handle the food well.” Locals who make a regular appearance at Chinuk are Chuckanut Brewery, Mallard Ice Cream, and Avenue Bread. Not only is the food fresh, well prepared, and satisfying, the service is also top-notch.
Chinuk also has an excellent selection of wine, and local brews on tap. All of the items on the menu are available in Poppe’s 360 and on the outdoor patio. “We added some things to the bar menu, like the nachos,” said Douglas Metzger, Director of Food and Beverage. One order of nachos comfortably feeds a table of big eaters. In the coming months, Poppe’s 360 will also be remodeled and reconceived. Four Points is not only keeping the outdoor seating, there are plans to enhance it as well, giving the restaurant, bar, and patio a nicer flow.
Perhaps its biggest attribute is that Chinuk is versatile— perfect for a business breakfast, lunch with friends, or an intimate dinner out—the restaurant is dynamic and works well for all situations. The menu has options for all of these situations, and under the exquisite leadership of Chef d’Aquino, the food absolutely delivers.