Lately we’ve had lots of false starts where our Thursday nights are concerned. We get back on track and then something happens that throws us off again. This is one reason The Whale Wins was rescheduled so many times. Last week, I was bound and determined that we would make it.
This was our first Thursday night dinner visit in the neighborhood of Wallingford. That’s a little surprising given we’ve been doing this for over six years and Wallingford is really not far from home. We’ll have to come back soon.
The Whale Wins space is absolutely gorgeous. It’s sort of a combination of rustic farmhouse and beach cottage with a few fun details thrown in. It’s comfortable and engaging all at the same time.
When it came to the menu, at first glance I saw quite a few items I would have tried if I hadn’t been dining with B. They have lots of interesting veggie dishes that I’m sure I would enjoy, but B, not so much. Instead, we took their advice and shared a few things. We started with the pork rillettes, the details of which escape me now as it’s not on their online menu. It came on crostini topped with picked onions. B doesn’t normally like cold food, but this was an exception. This was an excellent choice.
For our next round, we had the Painted Hills Filet Mignon, salt roasted, sliced and served at room temperature, arugula pesto, potatoes, and fresh horseradish cream. We also had the braised Carlton Farms pork shoulder, Winesap apples, onions and mustard.
I wasn’t so sure about room temperature steak. To be honest, I would probably have preferred it even a little bit warmer, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t fantastic. I enjoyed the potatoes, but the horseradish cream was really the highlight of the dish.
The pork shoulder (perhaps predictably) was the highlight for B. The man loves pork shoulder, but this one was especially good. The sweetness of the apples offset the pork very nicely.
For dessert, we shared Shirlee’s Brownie and I had a Hunter’s Moon to drink. The cocktail was fantastic. The brownie wasn’t bad, but it was definitely the lowlight of the meal. I don’t think I’d order it again, but I would definitely have another of everything else we tried.
I’m not sure what else Wallingford has to offer, but The Whale Wins is a major feather in the neighborhood’s cap. The staff was all lovely, their bar was warm, inviting, and begging me to come back soon for another visit. The space is so light and airy, it is completely capable of overshadowing any gray Seattle day. They also have a nice little patio where I look forward to spending some time when the weather starts looking up.