According to Emily Post, napkins may only be used to cover laps, clean up spills, or signal the waiter via semaphore that your table has hit an iceberg. Master restaurant etiquette over a gourmet meal with today's Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of Northwestern bistro dinner at Applewood Restaurant and Bar in Vancouver.
Using healthy ingredients with local flair, Applewood's Chef Peter Leigh Gallin cooks up a fine-dining menu as fresh as a Willamette Valley breeze. A wide palette of flavors find their complements in starters and soups: sweet chili and soy miso broth tame the wild-mushroom potstickers ($7), and Oregon blue cheese, toasted hazelnuts, and apple-cider vinaigrette sing lullabies to a salad of baby field greens ($12/large). Entrees—each served alongside the vegetable of the day and taught arithmetic by the teacher of the year—include the oven-roasted boneless duck breast with port wine sauce ($22), herb-crusted grilled lamb chops on a bed of Tuscan white-bean cassoulet ($23), and a pan-seared salmon filet with Pacific Rim vinaigrette ($24).
Set among lofty high ceilings and framed art on the walls, guests can scan Applewood's extensive wine list for Dionysian delights poured by the glass, half-carafe, bottle, or on the lap.
Applewood Restaurant and Bar
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.