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“Completely unique eating experience” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Willows Inn Restaurant

Willows Inn Restaurant
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Romantic, Scenic view
Dining options: Dinner, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: One seating at 6:30pm each night features a preset tasting menu that is entirely fished, foraged, and farmed from or around Lummi Island.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
65 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Completely unique eating experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2012

Lovely low-key island life- we arrived as foot passengers when the ferry was in dry dock and therefore relied on the inn to ferry us round by bus from our beach-side rooms to the inn, ferry and so on. Very relaxed approach to time which soon reminds you to slow down from city life! Our beach lodgings were simple but beautiful but as everyone else has pointed out, this place is really all about the food and wow, it really is a unique experience- we counted 17 different plates, all of them incredibly imaginative, delicious and beautifully served. Yes, it's expensive and not for anyone who's conservative about their eating habits but in my view, well worth the trip.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank Natalie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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150 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    134
    8
    6
    1
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Chicago
Level Contributor
71 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“One of the best in the U.S.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2012

We travel and eat out a lot. This was one of the most enjoyable experiences we've had in the past five years. The meal was a bit of a splurge, but certainly worth it. The chef has now been recognized as one of the top 10 up-and-coming chefs in the U.S. The restaurant is located in a relatively average B&B. However, this is all about the 24 course (each a tasting) meal that takes 3 hours. Everything served is distinctive -- roasted sunflower root, different kinds of oysters, salmon, mushroom, among other items. Most everything is local (there is a farm on site) and the preparation is distinctive. The service was attentive. Not something I would do every month, bt it's well worth the trip, ferry ride over the the island, and stay in the inn.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Philontheroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Simply incredible!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2012

Not much to say that hasn't already been covered by other reviewers, except to echo all of the accolades and adoration this restaurant has earned. The food was incredible- unique, super fresh, imaginative, and just really really good. The setting was very nice, although we were there on a warm day and it was pretty hot in the restaurant. Some cushions for those hard wooden chairs and a couple of ceiling fans would be a good investment on their part.

A note for people with food allergies- the restaurant was INCREDIBLY accomodating. They emailed me after I made my reservation to confirm our food limitations (shellfish for one diner, gluten intolerance for another) and assured us it would be no problem. The modifications to our courses and snacks were seamless and the alternatives we were given were delish. I coul have eaten the gluten free bread and chicken drippings all night! Definitely ask to see the kitchen- they really do love to talk to folks and show off their space and Blaine was very personable and humble for being such a foodie rock star!

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Rinnster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines, Washington
Level Contributor
79 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Most amazing meal ever!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2012

We had heard all the buzz about Blaine Wetzel here and made arrangements months in advance to make it happen. We were not dissappointed! Although the meal is billed as a 5 course meal, we had in fact 16 separate courses, most of which were labeled as "snacks" but are really beautiful, delicious, and original works of art. Each bite was a delight for the senses. And the plating was so orginal! We were enthralled with the use of beach rocks, both hot and cold, used to present many of the courses. The staff was extremely attentive and knowledgable. In fact, many of the sous chefs presesnted each course, and Chef Wetzel himself presented two of the courses to our table. They were also very accomodating to us in making substitutions for dietary restrictions. Overall, this was the meal of a lifetime. We have eaten at some of the best restaurants in the Northwest, including the Herbfarm, and this is clearly a cut above. But it IS expensive! Especially since you have to stay overnight at the B&B to make it happen, it's a pricey meal. But worth it!

  • Visited July 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank JMacMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Bitter Disappointment - Willows canceled <2 weeks notice”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2012

If you are making a special trip to Lummi Island to go to this restaurant, let the buyer beware: they might cancel your reservation.

After reading in the NY Times that Willows Inn Restaurant is one of "10 Restaurants Worth A Plane Ride," my husband decided to arrange just that for my 30th birthday. We both took time off from work, arranged for travel, and booked reservations at the Inn & Restaurant.

Imagine our utter disappointment when ** less than 2 weeks** before our stay, the hotel & restaurant phoned to say that the restaurant would be closed that day. For their mistake, Willows offered to cover some of the cost of the room. This was little solace since the Inn was 0% of the draw to Lummi Island.

Instead of getting to go to the Restaurant Worth A Plane Ride, we are now stuck with a vacation we can't cancel and nowhere to eat on my 30th birthday.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
15 Thank E P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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