Constructed with wood milled from trees that once stood on the same soil, Riverview Restaurant’s sunlit space boasts high ceilings, exposed wood beams, and a stone-front fireplace, all which helped nab it a spot on OpenTable’s list of top 100 romantic restaurants in the country. Walls hung with original artwork surround linen-topped tables where diners savor plated steaks and seafood dishes tinged with miso, sesame, and other fusion flavors. An extensive wine list serves wine by the glass, bottle, or surreptitiously emptied flower vase, and bartenders swirl signature drinks such as pear martinis and pomegranate mojitos. Massive, floor-to-ceiling windows offer views onto manicured grounds, complete with a gazebo where patrons can reenact the scene in The Sound of Music where Rolf and Liesl cleverly disguise themselves as trees.
Sweeping views of Foster Lake mix with friendly conversations amid the diners at The Point Restaurant. The eatery specializes in fresh fare, with highlights including seafood, hand-cut Angus steaks, and house-made meatloaf for second dinner. The chefs tackle dishes from inception to finish, including making bread and pies from scratch.
Chef Peter Gallin had just constructed a custom grill, and was stoking its first fire with applewood harvested from a nearby orchard, when the idea struck him—the name for his Northwest-centric restaurant: Applewood. Though Chef Gallin's restaurant foregrounds its Northwest heritage, it also incorporates recipes gleaned from a childhood spent living in the Asian Pacific Rim with his anthropologist and sociologist parents, as well as French cuisine, and influences from years spent in New Mexico. He incorporates these varied culinary styles while avoiding traditional dishes, instead mingling flavors such as chipotle, lime, ginger, and orange into new incarnations.
Though he favors elegant food presentation when furnishing platters of roasted duck and northwest fish, Gallin uses only regular, relatable ingredients, which make his dishes approachable for all palates and untraceable by detectives. He brews all of the restaurant's soups in-house, designing up to six unique soups each week. West Coast wines, microbrews, and desserts made in-house complement his international appetizers and main courses. The focus on simplicity extends to the restaurant's decor: framed photographs hang above potted plants on rustic side tables, and long communal tables stand next to floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto deep pine forest. Behind a hardwood bar, flanked by exposed brick walls, hangs the giant, hammered steel apple that serves as the restaurant's emblem.
Thoreau might have lasted longer than two years in the woods if he’d been within walking distance of Lapellah, a restaurant that draws strongly on the deep-woods vibe of the Pacific Northwest, with dark wood furnishings, comfy booths, warm brick walls, and plenty of roaring fire—Lapellah features a wood-oven stove and a flaming grill. The elemental atmosphere of wood and flames is reflected in the name: Lapellah comes from the trading language used by natives of the region and means “roast.” And like any good citizen of the woods, Lapellah endeavors to minimize its footprints in the soil. The restaurant works with area farmers to obtain sustainable, local ingredients and recycles or composts 80% of its waste. This locally owned, do-gooder restaurant also gives back to the community, donating turkey dinners over the holidays.
The chefs at Tommy O's Pacific Rim Bistro might be wizards. With local produce, wild-caught fish, and other ingredients culled from Vancouver's farmers’ markets, they conjure meals straight from Hawaiian tables. Their menu combines sake-wasabi oyster shooters from the raw bar with tropical dishes of slow-roasted kalua pork and calamari steak sandwiches doused in housemade tartar sauce. Bartenders stock their taps with beers from around the Northwest and shake specialty cocktails such as the FBI, whose blend of vanilla vodka, coconut rum, and pineapple juice was specially designed to look amazing in the hand of anyone wearing wraparound sunglasses. While diners take their taste buds surfing, their eyes soak up tropical decorations such as surfboards, palm fronds, and murals of surfers, all nestled comfortably in a dining room that hosts happy hours and jazz performances throughout the week.