SEAFOOD IS WHAT WE DO BEST. It’s our Iowa corn, our New York strip steak, our California avocado, our Georgia peach, our Texas barbeque. The dishes you see here are an array of favorites from some of the area’s most well-known restaurants. At some of them, what’s on your plate came from the very same waters you see out the window. So grab a fork, and savor the freshness of our spectacular seafood.
Insalata Di Salmone
Giuseppe’s Al Porto
21 Bellwether Way, Bellingham
Giuseppe’s Insalata Di Salmone is a light and refreshing salmon salad that pays homage to one of the region’s finest ingredients. The light lemon-basil vinaigrette brings out the flavorful fish and allows it to stand center stage. Accented with toasted pine nuts, avocado, radish, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives, the salad is filling enough for a full lunch but won’t leave you feeling stuffed. Salad is served over bibb lettuce and spinach for $19.50.
Shrimp Scampi Fettuccine
714 Lakeway Dr., Bellingham
Located in the Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Bellingham, Chinuk staff are dedicated to welcoming travelers by incorporating Northwest flavors into every bite. Whether you’re a visitor to the Bellingham area or a local, Chinuk offers a selection of fresh seafood worth a stopover. The scampi is served in a delicious, house-made alfredo sauce and served with shallots for $21.
Chuckanut Manor Seafood & Grill
3056 Chuckanut Dr., Bow
Every part of the palate is satisfied when savoring Sea Scallops ($33) at Chuckanut Manor. These delicate morsels are pan-seared and served atop a parsnip puree with brandied apples, foraged chanterelles, house made tasso ham, crispy fried polenta and bacon-hazelnut gremolata. Enjoy with an unobstructed view of Samish Bay.
The Vault Wine Bar
277 G St., Blaine
The Vault Wine Bar is a quaint gem in Blaine with a long list of wines, specializing in those of the Pacific Northwest region. In addition to a glass of wine (or two), explore the decadent menu. The seafood chowder is a favorite for our long winters and features clams, shrimp and crab in a cream base. The seafood is complemented by roasted corn, potatoes and carrots. Just $5 for a cup or $8 for a bowl.
Nell Thorn Waterfront Bistro & Bar
116 S. 1st St., La Conner
There are many ways to eat oysters—fried, fresh on the half shell, barbequed. Oyster Dinner ($26) at Nell Thorn really does these bivalves right. Pan-fried, Herb de Skagit-crusted Samish Bay oysters with buttermilk-mashed potatoes, glazed seasonal veggies and lemony aioli for dipping.
Fresh Local Dungeness Crab Salad
B-Town Kitchen & Raw Bar
714 Lakeway Dr., Bellingham
B-Town Kitchen has been winning the hearts of Whatcom County locals with fresh, local seafood since opening its doors. The menu is full of the best tastes of the region from oysters to crab to salmon. The fresh, local Dungeness crab salad incorporates watercress, shaved radish, fennel, green apple and, of course, fresh Dungeness crab, all topped with a cider gastrique for $15. The crunch of the radish and watercress perfectly partner with the plump Dungeness, and the cider gastrique finishes the salad superbly.
114 Prospect St., Bellingham
Saltine has made a splash in Bellingham with its nautical atmosphere and no-fuss menu that packs tons of interesting flavor into just a handful of dishes. The pan-seared cod ($23) is no exception. Each bite hosts a crispy crunch of cod, paired with the light piperade sauce and green olive relish. Cod just got a whole lot more interesting. Be sure to soak up the rest of that delicious sauce with Skagit County’s Bread Farm half baguette for $6.
1102 Harris Ave., Bellingham
Fairhaven Poke lets visitors customize their dish to their own delight with the build-your-own-bowl menu item. The bowl is priced by weight and comes with either a sushi rice or salad base, then customers can pick their fresh protein out of a variety of traditional Hawaiian recipes. Options include ahi tuna ginger shoyu, spicy mayo ahi tuna or organic tofu. The restaurant focuses on ahi tuna, but often rotates other fish like salmon, albacore and hamachi. Price varies.
100 N. Commercial St., Bellingham
Hundred North brings visitors fine-dining quality dishes in a relaxed and intimate environment situated in the heart of the arts district in downtown Bellingham. Located next to Mount Baker Theatre, the restaurant makes for a perfect place for dinner before catching a show or a late-night snack after-ward. The rockfish is delicious and light for $27. Roasted carrots, kale and confit mushrooms partner the fish and oregano finishes the simple, yet tasty entree.
Dungeness Crab Cakes
4260 Mitchell Way, Bellingham
Northwater has made seafood its specialty with unique recipes that take advantage of the region’s bounty. By incorporating the fresh catches of the Salish Sea, the restaurant, at the airport Holiday Inn & Suites, speaks to local flavors. The Dungeness crab cakes are light and delicious, served with two cakes topped with avocado salsa, mixed greens, and citrus vinaigrette for $14. It makes for a good starter or an entree with the addition of a salad.
Seafood Pasta Alfredo
Dirty Dan Harris Steakhouse
1211 11th St., Bellingham
Dirty Dan Harris Steakhouse has been serving up class in Bellingham’s Fairhaven district for nearly 44 years. The dark wood walls, brass fixtures and historic building brings visitors back to a heartier time when maritime law was the rule of the land. In addition to their famous natural beef, Dirty Dan’s does seafood right and the seafood pasta alfredo ($29) is no exception. Dungeness crab meat, scallops, seasonal fish, mushrooms, tomatoes, shallots and plenty of parmesan top this penne dish.
Golden Bridge Roll
Blue Fin Sushi
102 S. Samish Way, Bellingham
Blue Fin’s array of sushi and sashimi options will make dinner or lunch a tough choice. Although, remember—there are no bad choices. The golden bridge roll makes for a filling and delicious “beginner” roll that even sushi veterans will enjoy. The roll features crab, cucumber, avocado and scallops, all topped with a unique special sauce for $14. The lightness of the crab and cucumber pairs well with the fatty avocado and scallop, making them the perfect duo.
Fish & Chips
Nicki’s Bella Marina
2615 S. Harbor Loop Dr., Bellingham
There is good reason why Nicki’s keeps getting attention for its fish and chips—the dish is delicious and there is plenty of it. Following the tradition of batter-drenched seafood, Nicki’s fish and chips are dipped in their very-own tempura-style batter fresh to order. For $16.99, visitors will get two large pieces of cod, fresh steak fries and in-house made tartar sauce. Keep in mind, the size of this dish means you could easily share, although the flavorful crunchiness might make you want to keep it to yourself.
Oysters (In the Raw)
Rock and Rye Oyster House
1145 N. State St., Bellingham
If you visit Rock and Rye without exploring the Oysters in the Raw menu, you’ve done yourself a serious disservice. Rock and Rye prides itself on picking the freshest, most flavorful oysters from the region. Each of the local variety is sourced from Washington farms from the Puget Sound and offers its own unique flavor. Visitors will find kumamoto, shigoku, blue pool, Eld Inlet, rock point and North Bay varieties sold as either half a dozen or dozen. Price varies.
Bibimbap Bowl with Shrimp
Third Street Cafe
309 S. 3rd St., Mount Vernon
If you’ve never had bibimbap, you’re in for a treat. This hot, Korean rice dish is a flavor delight all its own. Third Street Cafe, the restaurant off-shoot of the Skagit Valley Co-op, has fancied it up a bit with house-made kimchi, organic wilted spinach, their own bibimbap sauce, organic rice, prawns and topped with a local fried egg ($12). Treat yourself the next time you’re shopping next door at the Skagit Valley Co-op.
Fresh Pacific Swordfish
Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill
7 Bellwether Way, Bellingham
Anthony’s Hearthfire Squalicum Harbor takes full advantage of the scenic location with spectacular views and a wide variety of seafood options. Sweeping views of sailboats and Bellingham Bay make a visit to Hearthfire an experience rather than just dinner. For an entree, treat yourself to the fresh pacific swordfish for $29.95. The fish is chargrilled with a flavorful citrus butter, topped with cranberry-lime relish and served with seasonal vegetables and homemade cornbread pudding.
Made-to-Order Clam Chowder
A’ Town Bistro
418 Commercial St., Anacortes
There’s clam chowder, and then there’s Made-To-Order Clam Chowder from A’Town Bistro ($17) It hasn’t been simmering in a large cauldron all day. It’s made as soon as you order it. Fresh, hot, delicious. Local clams, selected fresh twice a week from Taylor Shellfish, are cooked in the shell with house-cured bacon, cream, fumet, celery, onions, potatoes, black pepper and herbs from Dona Flora Herbs in La Conner. Naturally, it’s served with warm focaccia.
Dungeness Crab Tots
10 Front St., Friday Harbor
Can you imagine anything more fantastic than watching the state ferries come and go and seals playing in the harbor, all while you’re enjoying a plate of homemade Dungeness Crab Tots? Great news. It’s a reality at Downriggers, located just off the state ferry dock in Friday Harbor. These tasty morsels are made from fresh crab, shredded potato, herbs and served with house- made tartar sauce ($15). And, these are merely one highlight from an entire menu full of seafood delights.
Keenan’s at the Pier
804 10th St., Bellingham
Keenan’s at the Pier is located inside the iconic Chrysalis Inn & Spa in the historic Fairhaven neighborhood. The luxury inn sits on Bellingham Bay and offers spectacular views from both the guest rooms and Keenan’s. With Keenan’s Sea Scallops, enjoy a dinner plucked right from the waters in front of you. The generously sized scallops are served over a craisin-walnut risotto with braised greens and topped with a sherry gastrique for $35.
Northwest Seafood Alfredo
12885 Casino Dr., Anacortes
It has been said that “When the tide is out, the table is set.” That is true at 13moons restaurant, located at the Swinomish Casino & Lodge. Their Northwest Seafood Alfredo is a splendor of the freshest catch from the Salish Sea. Cucina Fresca linguine is tossed with Samish Bay Manila clams, Penn Cove mussels, scallops, seasonal fish, and Parmesan cream sauce ($34).
Vietnamese Duck and Prawn Platter
400 A St., Friday Harbor
If you’re looking for a seafood dish with an international twist, head to this off-the-beaten-path spot in Friday Harbor for the Vietnamese Duck and Prawn Platter ($32). Ingredients change seasonally, so in the winter you’ll enjoy a Crispy Duck Leg & Wild Prawn Skewer served on roasted yams, topped with a citrus hoisin sauce and served with local, seasonal vegetables. In summer, it has a totally different vibe when served with a watermelon salad and Thai basil. Either way, you can’t go wrong. (Reopens for season in March.)
Dungeness Crab Au Gratin
510 Commercial Ave., Anacortes
On a cold day, tuck into Adrift for their best appetizer—Dungeness Crab Au Gratin ($18). It’s everything you need to warm you inside and out—fresh Dungeness crab in a rich blend of cheeses, baked until bubbly hot. Smear it all over a toasted baguette and you’ll feel much better.
Cask & Schooner
1 Front St., Friday Harbor
Brodetto ($38) is hearty bowl of scal-lops, halibut and salmon in a spicy tomato saffron sauce. The flavors melt together, punctuating the fish and scallops. After devouring spoonfuls of the stew, use a crusty piece of bread to soak up sauce. Cask & Schooner is a laid-back, upscale pub, perfect for enjoying this hearty meal.
Friday Harbor House
130 West St., Friday Harbor
Perched atop a hill overlooking the bay, Friday Harbor House offers a fantastic view in which to enjoy this delicate halibut dish. Their Woodstone Halibut ($34) comes drizzled with burnt citrus oil and served with a yuzu beurre blanc, celeriac, sautéed chanterelles. The richness of the taste is only surpassed by the million-dollar view.
Cajun Mac & Cheese
Latitude Kitchen & Bar
1065 E. Sunset Dr., Bellingham
Looking to add a little spice to your childhood favorite? Latitude’s Cajun mac and cheese ($29) brings an added kick of creole flavor to everyone’s favorite comfort food—mac and cheese. The best part? This adult mac is piled high with seafood including prawns, Dungeness crab, and crawfish. The flavor doesn’t stop there either. On top of all that seafood, the dish features andouille sausage, onion, garlic, and red bell peppers, all served over cavatappi pasta.
Anthony’s at Cap Sante Marina
1207 Q Ave., Anacortes
What could be more Northwest than cioppino at Anthony’s? Located steps from the Cap Sante Marina, this bustling hub for seafood provides a great place to watch boats come and go. And, of course, there’s the star of the show, the cioppino. Fresh Northwest mussels, Manila clams, lingcod and salmon are simmered in a tomato-basil stew with garlic and fennel. Better get some extra bread to mop up all that delicious, brothy stew! (Market Price)
120 Nichols St., Friday Harbor
This sweet restaurant, just a few blocks’ walk from the ferry dock, showcases the best of the island. They source everything seasonally, so whatever their seafood, it’s fresh. In the fall and winter, the chef prepares prawns in a spicy tomato broth, topped with parmesan and herbs, and serves it with grilled crostini, because you’ll need something to dip in this incredible broth ($17).
Ahi Tuna Poke
Haven Kitchen & Bar
9 Old Post Rd., Lopez Island
Isn’t it great that restaurants are exploring poke bowls? The flavor meld of fish and spice and saltiness is perfection. Haven Kitchen & Bar on Lopez has their own take on this fantastic Asian delight. Their Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl ($28) is sushi rice topped with sushi grade raw ahi tuna, seaweed salad, shaved cucumber, avocado, wasabi butter, and drizzled with ponzu sauce. Crispy Wontons, Green Onions, Sesame Seeds top it off making this as artistic looking as it is delicious. Did I mention wasabi butter?
Saltwater Fish House and Oyster Bar
113 First St., Langley
Saltwater flies in its lobster live from Maine for this sublime dish (unlike salmon, when it comes to lobster, it’s OK to imbibe from the other coast). The restaurant’s best-selling dish, the lobster roll is tossed with celery, chives, and house-made mayo, then stuffed into a warm, lightly buttered brioche roll, also made on the premises. They don’t skimp on the lobster either: 3.5 ounces of the meaty shellfish, along with fries or freshly made coleslaw, make it a meal.
Brown Butter Scallops
50 Duck Soup Lane, Friday Harbor
The Brown Butter Scallops ($36) at this intimate, charming restaurant almost literally melt in your mouth. A healthy serving of perfectly seared scallops are set atop a creamy yam puree. With flavors of nutmeg and cinnamon in the purée, and the earthiness of the roasted Romanesco served alongside, you’ll find yourself savoring every last bite in a cozy dining room with a roaring fire.
165 West St., Friday Harbor
People visit Vinny’s exclusively for their calamari appetizer ($11.95). Naturally, you should too. It’s not just your standard calamari served with dipping sauce. It’s unique in that the calamari are breaded and pan seared, then tossed with welled raisins, tomatoes, pine nuts, garlic and chili flakes. A little salty, a little spicy, and a lot tasty. The calamari can also be served atop a Caesar salad.
Ling Cod with Potato Leek Chowder
Doe Bay Cafe
107 Doe Bay Rd., Orcas Island
As the weather turns colder, and potatoes and leeks start coming in from the garden, the chef likes to feature Ling Cod with Potato Leek Chowder ($28). The chowder is more sauce than soup, which makes this dish look quite elegant. It’s finished with a healthy amount of grated black truffle, because is there anything better than truffle?
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