So we finally made it to Star Bar. Not that long ago this was a rather granola-looking smoothie place, but the last time we walked down Commercial Avenue in Anacortes we saw this slick looking restaurant and thought, “Why haven’t we eaten here?” We decided to visit as soon as we had an excuse, and decided that surviving the first week of school (for J) and surviving a week of getting their house painted (for our friends) would do.
Three of us arrived on time for our reservation and waited for the fourth. The waitress appeared promptly and took our drink order, although she was thrown by an inquiry as to which single malts the bar carried (“Gosh, I bet we have lots”). The drinks took at least twenty minutes to arrive, which was slightly aggravating. However, we passed the time complaining about our week to each other and admiring the very cool decor. We studied the menu and decided to order an appetizer, but apparently the waitress didn’t want us to, since when she finally brought our drinks she promptly vanished again. Hmph.
Eventually our fourth showed up after cruising much of downtown looking for a parking space. We ordered, all was well. We got the bread basket and it was very nice, thin slices of sourdough. Not warm, but tasty, with a dish of balsamic vinegar. J and I finished our cocktails and ordered glasses of wine (from the woefully short list), and the waitress helpfully asked if we’d like the wine to be brought immediately or with our food – we said thanks, with our food. After a while, we got our soup – really lovely gazpacho for J and mushroom for me. No wine. OK, we’ll drink water with it. We finished our soup and our friends ate their salad (realizing more than halfway through that their orders had been switched). Then we waited. Some time later, our glasses of wine arrived with a promise that our dinners would be up shortly. Perhaps twenty minutes later the entrees came. Sigh.
Fortunately, any antsiness generated by the slow service was obliterated by the food. Conversation ceased and we tucked in. I had ordered the daily risotto special, which was prepared with fresh sweet corn and topped with beautifully cooked broccolini and a tender, moist duck breast. J got the short ribs with gnocchi, very warming and the gnocchi were toothsome without being rubbery. The other side of the table got halibut and roast chicken, but I admit I wasn’t paying attention, being distracted by my duck. The corn was slightly odd in the context of the risotto but the taste was pleasant, and the broccolini was excellent.
We finished up as the restaurant was emptying out, and decided we were too full for dessert. The chef leaned out of the kitchen as we prepared to leave and apologized for the slow service -apparently the kitchen was just swamped. Hopefully they’ll iron out the kinks in time. We left by way of the bar and looked wistfully at the cozy sitting areas and curtained off alcoves – we will definitely be back.
416 1/2 Commercial Ave
Anacortes, WA 98221