My husband and I had the great pleasure of dining at The Herbfarm last night - and for those not familiar with this amazing establishment, it's a culinary feast, where the entire menu is cultivated around a seasonal theme that rotates every month or so.
And the theme for May?
Salmon Nation *click to see the menu in full description
Hands down, this was one of the most spectacular meals I've ever had - and I think it may have just bumped itself up to my #1 all-time top dining experience. Ever.
Yes, it was that good. And why exactly?
First, the food: 4.5 hours and six amazing courses, each featuring a different preparation of salmon, accompanied by two dessert courses - and all paired with hand selected wines from around the world. The head chef, Chris Weber, who at 27 years old, is the youngest chef overseeing any of America's 42 5-Diamond restaurants - and he's absolutely amazing. He even came out and spoke to each table after dinner...and I couldn't help it when I told him what an honor it was to be in the presence of someone who is doing what they're truly meant to be doing...I didn't know how else to describe it, but to see how much passion he had with all the little details, it was just crazy.
Second, the wine: My husband and I are still learning all the ropes around great wines, so this was a wonderful opportunity for us to talk to their sommelier, ask questions, and learn how the perfect pairing can make any meal a stand out dish. And after six glasses? Well, it was a good thing my husband was driving us home!
Third, the story: It all started when Lola Zimmerman grew too many chives in her garden and decided to sell them on the side of the road. Eventually it grew into a business that her son, Ron, along with his wife, Carrie, now oversee. Carrie even starts the night off with a retelling of the back-story and a short tour of the property, along with a quick Herb Lesson 101 - then she and Ron even work the floor throughout the entire night, helping to serve the food and just make sure all of the guests are enjoying themselves.
Really, the beginning and how it all started is such a wonderful story and you can read all about it here.
Fourth, the staff / service: In addition to Ron, Carrie, and Chris - the ENTIRE staff at The Herbfarm was impeccable and the service, unparalleled. Every single detail was thought of, right down to our car waiting for us as soon as we walked out the door (without even telling them which one was ours!).
AAA 5-DIAMOND AWARD (HIGHEST RATING: 1 OF 42 IN AMERICA)
MOBIL TRAVEL GUIDE FODOR'S BEST
HIGHEST RATING: BEST PLACES SEATTLE BEST PLACES NORTHWEST
HIGHEST RATING: THE SEATTLE TIMES
HIGHEST RATING: SEATTLE PI
FROMMER’S WASHINGTON STATE (HIGHEST RATING)
Of course, I had to snap pictures of everything, including each course:
Collage details: Top picture: part of The Herbfarm gardens, 1: Skin 'n' Bones, Roe 'n' Mo', 2: Belly Up!, 3: Headin' Down, 4: Folly of Red Salmon, Basil the Pig (he's their composter, not part of dinner!) 5: Behold, The Copper King, 6: Cheese, Please, Our table setting, 7: When Lilacs Bloom, 8: Twinkie and Daiquiri and my husband, Neal. *A BIG thanks to Bridgid Gallagher for recommending PicMonkey.com to do my great picture collage - and sharing a wonderful tutorial video over on her blog today! Seriously, folks, it's like Instagram. On steroids. No joke!!!
Net / net: I can't recommend The Herbfarm enough and can tell you, Neal and I will DEFINITELY be going back. So if you're ever in Seattle, it's definitely a must - and you know you'd best promise to let me know you'll be around my neck of the woods, too!