There are very few restaurants that I’d be willing to drive 2 ½ hours to visit, but the Watershed Café in Leavenworth, WA is one of those. I’ve written about this amazing place before, but a recent re-visit has me re-inspired. Why this place has yet to be awarded several Michelin Stars is beyond me.
As their website attests, this café is all about “chef owned, farm to table Pacific Northwest inspired cuisine.” Because of this, their menu is ever-changing. If your (extremely recommended) reservation is early enough, you often find that the menu itself is still warm from the printing. But whatever you encounter there, you won’t be disappointed.
Every single dish that is brought out for your enjoyment is a work of art. You almost don’t want to eat it. But the aromas make you change your mind.
On this night, we started out with an appetizer of Hama Hama Savory Clams, with fennel, organic cherry tomatoes, dill, chardonnay, lemon, garlic and Anjou toast. Thank goodness we also ordered Cashmere’s Anjou Bakery Artisan Bread & Butter, because we wanted every bit of bread we could possibly get our hands on to soak up the amazing clam broth. Appetizers don’t normally make me swoon, but this one did.
For my entrée, I indulged in the ultimate comfort food: Watershed Million Dollar Meatloaf. It came with classic whipped potatoes, roasted cremini mushrooms, and cabernet green peppercorn herb gravy. I would have never guessed that meatloaf could be elevated to this degree, but I was grateful that they gave me a slight discount from the million dollar designation, because I would have been tempted to pay that amount, if I could find that many coins in my couch cushions. The mushrooms alone were worth the price of admission.
My husband had the Grape Leaf Wrapped Mary’s Chicken Breast, which came with organic stone ground polenta, crumbled feta, organic butternut squash ratatouille & arugula chimichurri, and roasted pepper coulis. He let me have a bite, and it was every bit as delicious as what I had chosen.
The other entrées on the menu that night included Dry-Rubbed Kurobuta Pork Loin, Sake Ginger Broiled Wild PNW Ling Cod, Roasted Garlic &Parmesan Rissotto, and Basil Pesto Broiled Wild PNW Rockfish. Holy cow, I wish I could have tried them all!
Did we have room for dessert? No. Did we have dessert? Yes. We reluctantly passed on the Warm Flourless Chocolate Cake and the Autumn Spiced Crème Brûlée, and settled on the Blueberry Lemon Custard Crisp with its streusel topping and Tillamook vanilla ice cream. The fresh blueberries burst in our mouths. It was the perfect way to end a perfect meal.
The Watershed Café is only open for dinner, and is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If you live anywhere within a 3 hour radius, it’s worth the drive. For those of you who, like me, were not up for the drive back while basking in the post-meal glow, or if eating at this fine establishment would be a bit more of a commute for you, I highly recommend a stay at the Blackbird Lodge right across the street. (More on that in a subsequent post.)