"Eating is the best way to connect with people," says bin on the lake's Chef de Cuisine Dylan Giordan. "My favorite part about this profession is being able to create a community and camaraderie through thoughtfully prepared food."
"Thoughtful" is perhaps the most appropriate adjective to assign to Giordan's cuisine. The chef, who adheres to a cooking style described as "Northwest with a Mediterranean influence" practices what he has dubbed the "A Study Of..." program. This approach allows him to highlight a particular ingredient on the menu, such as pork, cheese, or lamb, and then whip up items that firmly affix that item, with all of its diverse flavors and uses, as the star of the dish. The focus could also turn to a particular style of cooking. For example, a recent menu included a section dedicated to the study of braising, yielding up hearty, warm, and comforting plates such as braised lacinato kale with garlic and chili, and tomato braised beef brisket with Greek creamed spinach.
To round out his cooking resume, Chef Giordan delights taste buds with contemporary offerings including white-truffle parmesan popcorn, rabbit meatballs, and Idaho trout. Of course, with such attention lavished upon the cuisine, the restaurant boasts an equally-thoughful wine list, with varietals available in 3- or 6 oz. pours, by the bottle, or, in rare cases, by the grape.
Most people like to have a say in what they’re eating—hence the popularity of buffets, build-your-own-burger joints, and smashed-open gumball machines. Fueled by an understanding of this fact, the Chilly Wave Yogurt staff rotate 15 flavors of self-serve soft-serves, including root-beer float, snickerdoodle cookie dough, and a tart peach mango. Guests can swirl their creations into cups and pile on more than 40 toppings, from Andes mints and marshmallow cream to mandarin oranges and trail mix.
The nonfat and low-fat yogurts are rich in calcium and loaded with probiotics to support healthy digestion, among other nutritional benefits. They contain between 100 million and 400 million live and active yogurt cultures per gram—and the National Yogurt Association only requires 10 million cultures per gram to earn its seal of approval. Except for a single flavor, the kosher-certified yogurts forgo high-fructose corn syrup, and many varieties are gluten-free.
It's not every day that an aroma can pose a question. Upon stepping into Plaza Garcia Family Mexican Restaurant, the smell of baking tortillas instantly compels diners to ask themselves: do I want to fill those steamy flour blankets with char-grilled beef, marinated chicken, or lime-infused shrimp? Wood-carved booths and colorful murals of adobe villages create an ideal backdrop for mulling over this important decision as diners snack on homemade chips and chunky pico de gallo. Once their gaze tapers off the lively décor and settles onto the menu, an overwhelming choice of enchiladas, fajitas, and other traditional entrees springs forth to lend a choice of beef, chicken, or seafood centerpieces. Meanwhile, margaritas splashed with racy tequilas mingle with other libations to give customers the courage to croon tortilla-themed love ballads during karaoke, which occurs every Saturday night at the Woodinville location.
Although it can't grant the power of flight or x-ray vision, açaí is still considered something of a super food. The fruit comes directly from the Brazilian rainforest and delivers loads of antioxidants, healthy omegas, and fiber to anyone who consumes it or sticks it into their ears. At Kitanda, açaí is just one of the many organic ingredients featured in a menu of healthy eats. The family-owned shop specializes in a wide range Brazilian snacks and drinks, including gluten-free breads and gourmet coffee brewed from 100-percent Brazilian beans.
A luxurious interior welcomes men to Weldon Barber, which blends a warm, modern aesthetic with rustic accents, such as a fireplace tucked into a stone wall. While waiting for a cut or shave, guests sink into plush leather chairs and sip complimentary coffee, cola, or bottled water while feasting eyes on a flat-screen TV or a selection of men's magazines.
During signature haircuts—the shop’s bread and butter—stylists commence to pamper with a shampoo and a scalp massage before snipping away extraneous strands to craft a custom haircut inspired by a favorite celebrity or janitorial mop. A delicate detailing of brows, ears, and the nose eliminates rogue facial hairs, and a hot face towel and neck shave leave visages smooth. Clients can pair cuts with a timesaver or a signature shave to quickly and comprehensively free jawlines of five o’clock shadows. Throughout the entire andro-aesthetic adventure, stylists lavish clients with Aveda, Jack Black, and American Crew products.
Owner Mike Salimi mans the counter at Nova Restaurant most days, opening and closing the cash-register drawer and handing over pizzas, homestyle burgers, sandwiches, and seafood to hungry customers. He has finely tuned his pizza recipe throughout the past 20 years, using trial and error to arrive at his current series of steps: hand-making pizza dough, homemade sauce, and toppings that are purchased each day. He also whips together an array of seafood dishes, including oysters, prawns, and Irish-style fish 'n' chips made with halibut or cod and coated in a specialty batter. He hangs colorful abstract paintings on the eatery's yellow walls, which is the closest humankind will ever get to decorating the sun.