We don’t usually go to chain restaurants (although I’m well acquainted with the appeal of an Egg McMuffin), but a friend gave us a coupon to Anthony’s that needed to be used during March. I’d only been to an Anthony’s restaurant once, in Richland, and wasn’t thrilled by the experience, but we figured they’d at least have oysters and booze, and if we didn’t like it we could have dinner elsewhere. Much to our surprise, we had a great time.
First off, can I just say that any restaurant that gives you crayons to draw on the table is a great place. You don’t even have to bring children, and if the staff really likes your doodles they’ll hang the table covering in the hallway. We amuse ourselves drawing pictures of the food, or trying to incorporate olive oil stains into our illustrations. Why be a grownup all the time?
Flats is one of our favorite local restaurants (local being a relative term around here, meaning less than an hour’s drive away). We first discovered it a few years ago – we had gone to Bellingham to celebrate my birthday at our then-favorite restaurant, Calumet, only to discover it had gone out of business. Disconsolate, we headed to the Fairhaven district, discovered a new tapas restaurant, and ended up having a wonderful birthday dinner – good food, great ambience, impressive wine list, fantastic service. We’ve been back many times since. Continue reading
There’s a new place in Bellingham, but it’s been hard to find out much about it. We heard some gossip about it at Gretchens, then walked by it once just before it opened, when we went up to Bistro Zazou (now defunct, sadly). All we knew was that it was called Tivoli, and the menu was an interesting-sound melange of dishes from Scandinavia, France and Italy, based on the owners’ travels.
Finally, we heard that it was not only open, but fabulous. We took ourselves out to dinner there last week, and I would like to say to any of you in the Bellingham area – go there. It was not only some of the best food we’ve had between Seattle and Vancouver – it was definitely some of the best service. They are doing a beautiful job, and the place was half empty on a Friday night. Go eat there! Continue reading
Edit: I just found out last week that Bistro Zazou has closed. Alas. 3/18/08
One of our favorite restaurants in Bellingham used to be the Calumet, until one day we headed there for my birthday dinner and it had gone out of business. We ended up discovering Flats as a result, so we ended up happy that day, but we continued to walk sadly by the old location. The last time we did, though, we saw that a new place had arisen – Bistro Zazou – a French bistro! We’re very partial to casual French restaurants, since we hiked our way through the Vaucluse in 2004, so we try to check out any place that looks like it might have that certain vibe. We finally got there this weekend, and while it didn’t quite live up to my (admittedly high) expectations, I’m happy to have this little slice of France somewhat nearby.
The space is warm and inviting, with lots of mirrors and black and white photographs. The table we ended up at (after I asked to not be seated right next to a table full of young children) was next to a small gas-fire stove, so it was fairly cozy. We ordered cocktails and studied the menu hard. Continue reading