Licensed cheese artisan Julie Steil and her husband Rob once crafted cheeses as a part-time hobby, until encouragement from those who had tasted the results prompted them to turn the delectable pastime into a full-time passion. Today, the Steils manage their own herd of goats and cows who lead pampered lives on the couple's 20-acre farm, where a diet of alfalfa, blackberry thickets, and chocolate syrup yield better-tasting milk. The Steils create different cheeses in small batches, ranging from a semihard cheese bathed in raspberry port to a raw milk tomme bathed in Naughty Nellie ale from Pike Brewery. Landing River Valley Cheese on Sunset magazine's list of the Top 100 Cultural Trends Shaping the West, Julie and Rob also share their love of fromage fashioning at hands-on cheese-making classes, where attendees can learn to create their own wheels of fresh and aged cheeses, instead of relying on the questionable quality of the cheeses peddled by door-to-door sales cows.
With more than a dozen years of beer-crafting experience to his name, brewmaster Rande Reed infuses Snoqualmie Brewery and Taproom's eight year-round and four rotating seasonal beers with flavors that combine timeless recipes and contemporary innovations. When they're not making batches of their core concoctions, Rande and his brewing team fills the taproom's Belgian-style Brewer's Choice tap with one-time-only creations. Those craft beers?along with an original root beer?wash down bites from the delectable menu served in the 180-seat taproom restaurant. Chefs whip up pub classics such as barbecue-chicken fingers, roast-beef sandwiches laced with chipotle mayo, and German-style bratwursts simmered in the brewery's amber ale. Snoqualmie Brewery and Taproom further entices patrons with weekly entertainment including live music, open-mic nights, and a game night with favorites such as cribbage, Clue, and chess played with actual knights.
Diners sink into tufted dining chairs, preparing for a sumptuous meal as the restaurant's rich, Old World–inspired decor gives them their first hint of the eatery’s dedication to tradition. In the kitchen, gifted chefs summon fresh Italian ingredients that inspire a classic dinner menu, stacking plates with lasagna, stuffed ravioli, and simmering veal marsala. Brunello also boasts a sommelier who can deftly hand-select wines from across Italy to pair with dinner or to pour into a bathtub thus replicating the wine-filled canals of Venice.
At Frankie's Pizza, Italian–style gourmet pies begin with house-made dough prepared daily, topped with fresh cheese and a colorful array of veggies and meats. Cooks sprinkle on cilantro and pile on unique ingredients including pepperoncini and mild italian link sausage, accented with sauces in flavors such as zesty pesto ranch. Frankie's Pizza caters to patrons' individual dietary needs with gluten-free crusts, and provides optional sunbeams for customers who photosynthesize.
With a wealth of experience running dining establishments and hosting fine-dining radio shows in the Seattle area, celebrated chef Sean Langan's Fall City Bistro provides a unique dining experienced for even the most fine-tuned taste buds. Less than half an hour from downtown Seattle and roughly 10 minutes from Snoqualmie Falls, the cozy spot celebrates the yield of local farmers as well as international flavors ranging from the French countryside to Asian kitchens. This is evident throughout Langan's appetizers and entrees, which are changed weekly and every 3?4 months to feature original recipes with the most seasonal organic ingredients. In addition to familiar dishes, guests can also experience tastes from more faraway locations, such as panko-fried brussels sprouts with a housemade sweet thai chili dipping sauce, a curry-fried eggplant served over couscous, and white clams served with housemade andouille sausage and a lemon, garlic, and and thyme confit.
When not in the kitchen, Langan is an active participant in the Fare Start program, which provides culinary job training for homeless and disadvantaged individuals.
Coho Cafe's two locations help their diners fight the weather—whatever that might be. In the winter, large rock fireplaces send heat bouncing off curved architecture and metal art while stomachs warm with Southwestern spices. In the summer, cool Pacific breezes fan guests on the outdoor patios while they sip cocktails and sink into cod tacos. But no matter what the temperature outside, there's an undeniable flair to the restaurant's Northwestern seafood. It's something viewers of KING 5's Evening Magazine have noticed too—they've lauded Coho for having the best New American cuisine in western Washington four times since 2008.
The cornerstone of these accolades is the kitchens' culinary restlessness. The executive chefs of both locations revamp the Fresh Sheets menu of weekly specials every two weeks to make use of seasonal ingredients and flavors. What results are bold plates such as pit-roasted salmon cooked over apple wood, and stir-fried coconut green curry with prawns and ginger-jasmine rice. Each bite pairs with a Northwestern wine as well—a fitting drink for any season.