I recently returned to Willows Inn for my third visit (spring 2009,and fall 2010 were my prior visits) and boy is it changing to be more upscale! This is due entirely to the arrival of wunderkind chef Blaine Wetzel last August, and to the many accolades he has received since then. It has obviously become a "destination restaurant" and deservedly so because Blaine is very talented/creative and the dinners are truly outstanding. The five-course prix-fixe dinner is preceded by 5 amuses, which Blaine calls "snacks."...and they are all a great prelude for what is to come, which is the highest quality cuisine with the very best of local ingredients, including many from Nettles Farm, which is a short walk up the hill.
However, all of this excellence comes at a price...literally, because room rates and dinner cost have both risen considerably. Dinner is now $85, and with a glass of wine, tax, tip that comes to about $120 per person. They now have a "sommelier" and he "encourages" the "wine pairing," which adds another $65 to the tab.
I think that Blaine's cooking justifies the cost, but The Willows is now a little too upscale for my tastes. I will return as long as Blaine is there, but not very often as it's now just too darn expensive.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Willows Inn on Lummi Island has become the Northwest's premiere destination for authentic farm to table dining. Come in and experience the culinary magic of our chef, Blaine Wetzel, and find out what eating from your landscape is all about. Savor wines from our extensive selection. Enjoy our elegantly comfortable accommodations. Drink in the views, watch whales, or relax with a cocktail by a blazing fire. Unplug, recharge and experience the Willows Inn--an authentic and affordable San Juan Islands adventure! Offering romantic beachside lodge rooms, cottage, and guest house accommodations and marine experiences. Organic food from Loganita Farm. A car ferry departs at least hourly for the five minute crossing to this scenic island retreat. Less than two hours from Seattle or Vancouver, BC. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Willows Hotel Lummi Island