Photos: Jenise M. Silva
‘Tis the season for traveling. Whether you find yourself in the air, on the road, or jockeying about for that perfect vantage point to ring in the New Year, it’s always a good idea to land in a place you can consider your home away from home.
If your holiday itinerary includes a visit to the Seattle area, consider a stay at the Woodmark Hotel if you’ll be on the lookout for a respite from all the hustle and bustle. It’s sure to calm your jangled nerves and make you feel right at home.
With an eye toward Northwest flavors and the region’s freshest ingredients, it’s no wonder why Woodmark Hotel’s signature restaurant, bin on the lake, is filled with as many locals as with guests staying the night.
It would be tempting to focus solely on the incredible view that you have while dining at bin on the lake. A panoramic view of a glistening Lake Washington with the Seattle skyline in the distance is certainly noteworthy. However, Chef Dylan Giordan, a fixture in the Seattle-area dining scene, creates a dining experience that refuses to be overshadowed by the dramatic surroundings.
True to the holiday season, bin on the lake will be offering up a couple of Christmas and New Year’s dining choices that highlight all of the flavors this season has to offer. For a look at what celebratory meals await, check out the menus here.
When I visited the Woodmark Hotel earlier this year, Chef Dylan was taking full advantage of the summer’s bounty. Starting the meal off, I was treated to a juicy globe peach which had been sectioned, wrapped in pancetta and drizzled with a 30-year old balsamic vinegar. Next on the list of temptations was a light yet decadent tempura squash blossom stuffed in goat cheese. The main attraction of the evening was the locally sourced grilled lamb chops from Anderson Ranch treated with Alvarez Farm’s peperonata. Crispy fingerling potatoes and black olive vinaigrette made perfect companions to the dish. Of course, the night would not be complete without dessert. Let me just say – ricotta doughnut holes with huckleberry sauce.
It’s just not the food that’s thoughtfully sourced from local purveyors when available. The Woodmark Hotel offers up more than 100 wines of various blends and varietals – many that hail from the world-class wineries just a few miles away.
If you’re new to Washington wines, you should definitely give them a go. But if you’re looking for something, say, more European, you’ll find plenty available from the powerhouse regions of Piedmonte, Bordeaux, Bourgogne and the like.
As tempting as the wine list was, I started my evening with a pre-dinner cocktail – the Chef’s Manhattan. This tasty elixir featured Buffalo Trace Bourbon with just the right splash of Chef Dylan’s housemade vermouth that gave it the slightest hint of cinnamon.
To extend your holiday cheer after dinner, you won’t have to go much further than your hotel room. Once you’ve entered through the hallway that opens up to an expansive view of Lake Washington, you’ll find all of the provisions needed to continue the festivities with the make-your-own Martini Bar.
Dramatic lake views aside, the rooms at the Woodmark Hotel are designed to pamper the weariest of guests – from the deep-soaking tub to the cashmere throws that hug the feather bed.
And if you’re like me and tend to get a case of the late-night munchies, you’ll be glad to know that midnight snacks are just a short walk down to the hotel lobby. Being a night owl at the Woodmark does have its privileges, as guests are welcome to “Raid the Pantry” and satisfy those cravings with a large assortment of sandwiches, chips, soups and, of course, plenty of sweet tooth diversions.
When checking in, you may be greeted by the companionable Woody Meg – officially known as the hotel’s “Director of Barketing.” As a dog- friendly hotel, the Woodmark welcomes your furry canine friend to experience the stay right along with you. If you happen to be in the area during the summer months, you won’t want to miss out on their Yappier Hour, where hotel guests, visitors and their pooches are treated to bites and beverages on the hotel’s waterfront lawn.
Although worth a visit anytime of the year, the Woodmark Hotel is running seasonal packages now through the first of the year. For additional information on these offers and other packages (from spa to recreation), visit here.
The Woodmark Hotel is located 15 minutes east of Seattle in Kirkland, WA.