Arnies Restaurants keep their inspiration close. Stationed on the Washington shore for more than three decades each, the Edmonds and Mukilteo institutions overlook the Puget Sound's rolling waters like two trustworthy lighthouses. From Edmonds, a wall of windows looks out onto the Olympic Mountains. From Mukilteo, diners can peer across to Whidbey, Hat, and Camano islands. At both, sunsets color evening dinners, the sounds of storms rolling in add atmosphere to midday lunches, and ferries pulling in and casting off from the harbor bring with them endless people-watching opportunities.
Along with these panoramic views comes a rich spread of seasonal Pacific dishes. Autumn prawns pack pastas and infuse the entree selection, popping up in both a fisherman's platter and a variation on the English fish and chips. Cashew-crusted lingcod and sea scallops in a champagne cream meanwhile reach further into the waters' bounty while also demonstrating the kitchen's skill. And for those who are content to stay on land, a slow-roasted prime rib or salad mixed from local produce balances Arnies' menu.
The Mukilteo Lodge Sports Grille combines the atmosphere of a majestic deep-woods lodge with that of a sports bar, with a flat-screen TV mounted on a tall stone fireplace and old-growth fir beams stretching throughout the spacious interior. Bartenders pull from 35 beer taps from a 65-foot bar top mounted on another beam that sits beneath shelves of rustic raw wood. As another example of the timber theme, they open hand-built solid wood doors to snag bottles from a beer cooler, or they slide glasses slide down a bar made from Ponderosa pine, which also hosts loaded potato chips and sliders. Booths host heartier meals that may include barbecue baby-back ribs, thick beef or buffalo burgers, and steaks aged for 28 days before prep—10 times the duration of William Henry Harrison’s presidency. NFL games and other sports air over 11 HD plasma TVs mounted throughout the lodge. In a more modern section of the bar, punctuated by oak barrels and neon signs, and chatter from families enjoying early evening meals.
At the bar at Flights Pub, spirits and glasses cluster beneath a brick arch behind bartenders who pull frothy brews from a line of taps. The kitchen team prepares jalapeño poppers and fried chicken gizzards, which can keep fingers busy during televised sports games. For heartier meals, the staff serves bacon mac 'n' cheese, prime-rib sandwiches with a side of au jus, and burgers topped with pepper jack cheese. If staffers take a break from serving burgers and whiskey, they might look up and see the checkered ceiling, which, with a bit of Velcro and some stilts, is really just a chessboard. Flights Pub also offers billiards and darts, as well as live music, which blasts into the bar on Friday and Saturday nights.