Monday, July 25, 2011
The Arrowleaf Bistro (an Escape to the Methow Valley)
Summer getaways are so much fun! Bob and I are sans children for a week (Sam and Isaac are being spoiled by their grandparents in Boston) so we took a few days and slipped out of town to explore the Methow Valley. Our destination was the picturesque town of Winthrop, a four hour drive from Seattle on the eastern side of the beautiful Cascade Mountains. A close friend of ours has a house in Winthrop, so the plan was to meet up and spend some time together.
I was instantly smitten by Winthrop’s wooden sidewalks and old Western-style facades on the storefronts. The town is nestled at the base of snow-capped mountains along a river and offers stunning views in every direction you turn. After checking into the Sun Mountain Lodge (a lovely oasis!), we met our friends at the Arrowleaf Bistro for dinner. A charming wood frame house is the setting for this delightful restaurant sitting on the river’s edge. Arrowleaf Bistro is known for its creative, seasonally inspired cuisine and Chef Jon did not disappoint. Such a joy to discover a talented young chef putting his heart into this small community by serving quality, locally grown food! It’s no surprise that the Arrowleaf Bistro is popular with tourists and town residents alike.
We began our meal with hand cut fries and roasted garlic aioli plus a plate of local cheeses served with Fallot Dijon mustard (must locate some of this!) and homemade fruit preserves. Bob and I savored a wild mushroom and bleu cheese strudel drizzled with a balsamic honey glaze and a roasted beet salad with feta and fresh local greens. I’d like to recreate this strudel at home and will let you know if I succeed. The quinoa linguine we ordered was tossed with broccoli raab, crisp snap peas, toasted pecans, sundried tomatoes, chilies and house made pesto. The combination was unique and full of flavor. Exceptionally delicious food and big sighs of happiness from me! The meal paired quite well with a white wine from the Saint Laurent Winery in the nearby Wenatchee Valley. As always, it is special to share a meal with people you enjoy. What a pleasure!
Our time in Winthrop was filled with relaxing breakfasts at the Sun Mountain Lodge, gazing at the majestic mountains, exploring the town’s cute shops (bookstore, bakery, ice cream and fudge, pottery, glass blowing), walking in the gorgeous hills and sitting outside under millions of stars around an open fire. We also rafted down the Methow River towards the next town of Twisp (isn’t that a marvelous name?). For three hours we floated around the river bends, past mellow folks fly fishing, curious deer and camping families. Bob and I marveled at the abundance of wildlife (including marmots which are new to me), and the air was filled with the songs of a variety of birds. I felt so connected to the land and nature.
I look forward to returning to the Methow Valley and soaking up more of its magical beauty. (Lest I forget, it warmed my heart to see all the chickens, cows and horses, too. Again, my fantasy of a small farm emerged. Perhaps someday ... who knows what excitement the future holds?). In any case, I'm sure it holds another visit to the Arrowleaf Bistro!