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“A revelation”

Willows Inn Restaurant
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
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.
Fullerton, California
Level 6 Contributor
156 reviews
106 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“A revelation”
Reviewed September 13, 2013

This was such a fine and inventive meal. There is a single seating, timed for the gorgeous sunset. The dining room is tiny--maybe 30 people max, but there is a tension and excitement as all enjoy the meal in a staggered way. Even though it is billed as a five-course meal, there are about 5-6 more components called "snacks". Linger for 2-3 hours, but children under 12 are not allowed in the dining room. The ingredients are simple and adherent to the FLOSS philosophy: Fresh, Local, Organic, Seasonal and Sustainable. For me and my husband, the foraged greens were the most unique. We tried both the wine and the juice pairing. The detail to which each plate is prepared is stunning. The beauty of each innovative portion of the meal was almost beyond description. The featured smoked salmon is even caught in the traditional island manner (reef netted), as a nod to the local culture. It is difficult to compare to other fabulous meals, but on the level of our French Laundry and Alinea experiences. It is just different but just as special and spectacular. It is not a meal for the small-minded, and you will really appreciate all the hands that are involved in preparing your food when you see the kitchen staff arriving at 9 or 10 am for a 6:30 pm meal. Not a meal to be missed if you call yourself a foodie or wish to gather with other food nerds.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank AuntieJoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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155 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Bellevue, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
96 reviews
56 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Fine dining in casual atmosphere”
Reviewed September 5, 2013

If you want to dine here, it is wise to make reservations weeks or months in advance. But, you can dress casual.

Ultra-fresh, Local fare, prepared expertly. Almost very course was an innovation to some degree.

Twice as many courses as advertised (12), so plan on 2-3 hours for a relaxed diner. Not one course was not unique in some significant way and all dishes were excellent.


Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Gary J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
87 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Delicious island dinner”
Reviewed August 29, 2013

We started with cocktails in the deck overlooking the water then moved into a beautiful dining room.The food was perfectly prepared and very imaginatively presented.The bread with chicken drippings was different and yummy.We did the wine pairings and it was nice to only have 1 red as none of us are big red drinkers.The only disappointment was dessert ,the flavours just didn't wow me.The staff were friendly and competent,didn't see the chef or the owners which was slightly disappointing-the personal touch is always nice,especially when you travel so far to eat somewhere.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Barbara H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bend, Oregon
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Top 5 restaurants I've eaten at”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

This restaurant is amazing. The whole ambiance is incredible. You are out on an island that you take a ferry to and stay in a quiet Inn. Then you have the most amazing multi-course meal, feasting on many foods foraged from the island. We ate local moss! And line caught salmon smoked for 10 hours that day. Best smoked salmon I have ever eaten. I would love to go back again and sincerely hope I can while Chef Wetzel is still there. He is such an amazing chef and also a very nice an humble guy.

This meal ranks with the other top meals of my life- El Bulli, Alinea, and Castagna. Beats the pants off French Laundry. You should make every effort to go. You will be blown away.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank aimeeclimbs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Quite remarkable!”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

One sitting - 7:00 pm - be prepared to have a leisurely small bites meal over the next three hours. Presentation is beautiful - sometimes on stones, small plates or baskets. Everything is local and/or foraged.

If you like different foods, this is the place to taste them in small quantities. It's an experience not to be missed.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank anglogirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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