Phil & Charlie & I did a one night staycation at the Cedarbrook Lodge right next to SeaTac airport. Who knew that right in our backyard (practically) was the nicest hotel! And to top it off, who knew that it has the best restaurant with the best chef!? We checked in right on time at 4pm Saturday and arrived to our room to find a doggie bed, 2 giant biscuits, cute little poop bags, and fancy raised dog bowls. Charlie loved the biscuits (I became his new best friend!) and he even enjoyed the doggie bed, which was unexpected. Seeing that our primary reason for taking a staycation was to have 24 hours of a heated room and to get to step out of the shower without shivering, we were pleasantly surprised with many of the other amenities enjoyed at the lodge. The architecture is just gorgeous, the employees friendly, and the hotel is "green", keeping the environment in mind. Phil instantly settled into the comfy bed and switched on the giant flat screen tv with a surplus of channels and many football games to switch back and forth to. I headed right to the gym since I have been neglecting that aspect of my healthy living lately. As I rinsed off before dinner, Phil headed to one of the guest living rooms to get a complementary snack. The living rooms have a fireplace, tv, couches, books, and free waters, yogurts, string cheeses, hagen daz ice creams, malt balls, tea, coffee, and chips. That alone made our stay fabulous!
As if we didn't enjoy enough gluttony with the fully stocked and free living room, we headed to the bar for a fabulously fresh cocktail before dinner. I started with a little adventurous spirit and ordered the PACIFIC NW LEMONADE even though it is a whiskey drink (which I don't ever order). I was so glad that I did. You couldn't even tell that it had whiskey in it. The lavender and citrus with a little bit of fiz tasted like a warm day out in the garden. Luckily I remembered to bring one of Dad's 2006 Turnbull Cabernet Sauvignon's to enjoy with dinner. The bartender was so gracious and treated us to a free corkage and even let it breathe a bit before we brought it next door to dinner. The Copperleaf Restaurant is the most unassuming restaurant. It took us a few moments to confirm if it really was the restaurant as it looked like a cozy spill over from the bar into a lobby type area in front of a large fireplace. The restaurant had to only have had about ten tables or less! Our servers (yes, more than one...if they had different titles or ranking, we didn't know since they didn't rub it in your face and they worked as a team) were excellent. Although we stared longingly at the Mellon Farm Grass-Finished Beef, we decided to share a few smaller portions than spend the $48 on one dish. I'm sure the beef was also to die for, but I'm glad we made that decision. For a starter we ordered the Honey-Glazed Butternut Squash. I imagined a warm creamy dish either still in the squash or in mashed form and so was very surprised when a plate arrived with cubes of cold butternut squash. As I wondered if it would taste weird being cold, I popped the first cube into my mouth and couldn't believe the flavors. The small leaf of a brussel sprout, the piece of a toasted pecan, and an amazing brown butter pomegranate sauce was beyond yummy. After a refill of wine and a fresh roll (I suspect it had an herb like rosemary in it), our entrees came out. I decided to go with the pasta dish (funny that I miss pasta even though it is our boring go to when we have a functioning stove). The Perigord Truffle Agnolotti was like nothing I've ever tasted. As cliche as it sounds, it was out of this world. My palate has never experience such a refreshing burst of such a new and tasty combination. The pasta was stuffed (i believe) with potato, and then drizzled on top were red currants, pearl onions, and the most amazing chestnut creme sauce. I wish there was a way to figure out how to recreate this sauce. I didn't even know I could like currants until I had this dish. It was hard to give any of this dish away to share with my loving husband. The only thing that helped me share, was the fact that Phil's Makah Tribe Line-Caught Steelhead Salmon was just as incredible. The salmon was, of course, perfectly cooked to the point where it melted in our mouths. The real interesting and flavorful part with the addition of a spinach sauce with small onions, apples, and radishes perfectly cooked and woven right into the fabric of the meal. It was hard to believe that the chef is my age..younger than Phil, and can think up such unique arrangements of tastes. I have always respected chefs, but this guy seems like a composer of the greatest symphony of all....food! Wow, that statement really made me think that I must be my epicurean father's daughter! I had to laugh/cringe when they said that the chef, Mark Bodinet, had worked and studied at the famed French Laundry for five years. At least he didn't bring the prices and somewhat snootiness associated with the French Laundry to Copperleaf. My little secret (which I decided not to share with our server) is that last summer, my dad had a reservation to the French Laundry for four of us to celebrate my gramma's 80th birthday and I declined. I just couldn't fathom almost $300 being spent on food for me alone. I imagined what some of the families that I teach could have done with that money or how long they could have fed their families and just could not let my dad spend that kind of money in that way on me. Luckily, with all of the philosophies at Copperleaf and the price tag matching my idea of what's right and ok, we enjoyed the meal even more. Copperleaf uses small local Washington state farms, artisans, ranchers and fishermen to supply their food (with the exception of herbs and vegetables located in a group of raised beds just a few feet away from the doors of the restaurant).
For dessert, we splurged for the $16 Theo's Hot Chocolate Pot for Two with homemade cinnamon doughnuts. This dessert reminded me of living in the south of Spain where Churros con Chocolate is a big past time. As full as we were, we still managed to sip on our complementary glass of port, nibble on the small fudge chocolate bite and sweet potato tart that came before we could sneak off to lie down, since that was all we were capable of doing afterward! I am already looking forward to the next time we can dine in Washington's best kept secret. Next time I hope to try the Hawaiian Blue Prawns or the Caramelized Sea Scallops, and the Coconut Sorbet with Caramelized Pineapple, Lime Pound Cake, Lemongrass Syrup.
The rest of our stay was just as wonderful. The heated rooms, the free snacks, the bath salts with a large bath tub, the well equipped work out room. We made sure to maximize our stay until the last minute possible (12pm...although I have a feeling that we could have requested a late check out, but alas, our cold house had some more work to be done). All this on a dreary and rainy post-Thanksgiving Seattle weekend.
|Charlie likes the doggie bed!|
|Phil likes the TV!|
|Copperleaf Restaurant's comfort|
|The beauty of the Cedarbrook Lodge|
From the menu:
Makah Tribe Line-Caught Steelhead Salmon: Cipollini Onions, Granny Smith Apples, Garden Radish, Creamed Spinach
Perigord Truffle Agnolotti: Red Currants, Pearl Onions, Banyuls Vinegar, Chestnut Creme
Honey-Glazed Butternut Squash: Brussels Sprouts, Toasted Pecans, Pomegranate Brown Butter
Pacific NW Lemonade: Pendleton's Blended Whiskey, Lavender Simple Syrup, Citrus, Soda