I don’t know whether to be delighted or annoyed: delighted that such a good restaurant exists so close by, or annoyed that it’s been there so long without us knowing about it. How could such a thing happen?
In an unlikely little strip mall in downtown Bellingham, there used to be a restaurant called Wild Garlic. It wasn’t bad, but we didn’t often go unless we had a particular need for large plates of pasta in garlicky cream sauce. The grapevine let me know when it closed, but I never heard that anything had taken its place.
Then a little while ago, some friends of ours went to an event at a place called the Prospect Street Cafe. The following day they were in a daze over how good it had been. It turns out it’s been open in the old Wild Garlic location since last summer! We were determined to try it ourselves.
On a very warm day last week, Jon wanted to go to Tivoli, which I managed to derail by suggesting that the menu at Prospect Street might be a little better suited to the weather. Not that I don’t love Tivoli, mind you, but their food is a bit too Scandinavian for a hot day.
So we went to Prospect Street, and I’m very glad we did. From the complimentary hummus plate to the astonishing seafood specials, the food was on a par with anywhere we’ve been in Seattle or Vancouver. The service was excellent, as well. We shared a salad (and fresh prawn rolls which failed to exist long enough to be photographed), then Jon got the halibut special and I ordered the “ahi three ways.”
The endive-apple salad with blue cheese and bacon was really nicely done. It would have been even better with the hazelnut dressing originally designed for it, I’m sure, but since I can’t eat hazelnuts they very kindly put together a fresh lemon vinaigrette.
Much of the food had a slight Asian tilt to it, which I thought worked unusually well. The chef is from Hawaii, where they really know something about fusion cooking. I was especially taken by the spoonful of wasabi tobiko on one of the ahi preparations – the spicy pop was a perfect foil for the creamy fish. The radish sprouts on another pile of ahi were similarly peppery and fresh.
Everything was good. Even the little disk of fried polenta was thoughtfully done, perfectly sized and delicious.
We certainly weren’t disappointed that we skipped Tivoli this time. We’ll just have to make many more trips up to Bellingham in the near future.