A trip to Skagit wouldn’t be complete without a a ride in the Cascades, shopping in La Conner, a ferry ride, Deception Pass, and a meal at Chuckanut Manor. Tonight was our meal at Chuckanut, and it was one of the best we’ve had there.
Chuckanut is a fixture in this area. It’s been in operation for at least 40 years in the same spot, in the former home of the Chuckanut Shell House, another restaurant. The place has a VERY long history as a restaurant. In addition to the restaurant, there is a B&B.
With a place that has this much history, it only makes since that the walls are decorated with memorabilia. Amazingly enough, nothing looks outdated. There are also nautical pictures and items, as the restaurant looks out over Samish Bay. I don’t think there is a single table with a bad view.
This close to the water, the specialty has to be seafood, and this is reflected in the menu. There are several other landlubber items, but most of these were also stuffed with crab, or included a couple of shrimp. The entree’s tended to range from the lower to upper 20’s. There were also several appetizers and a la carte items from which one could construct a smaller meal, if desired. An extensive wine list and specialty drinks menu also came out with the main menus.
Our meal started with crackers accompanied with a spinach and cream cheese dip. Who needs an appetizer with something like this? Laura and I also started with a pair of excellent martinis. The next course was salads. These were mixed greens with onions, tomato, almonds, and feta cheese, topped with a very light, subtle vinagrette. Everything blended marvelously, but the almonds were unexpected, and began to cause an allergic reaction with Laura.
Our main courses were elegantly prepared and presented. Mrs. Wright had a trio of crab cakes with mango and papaya salsa. Laura ordered halibut encrusted with pesto and bay shrimp and coconut risotto. I had a taste of the mano and papaya, and it was great. I also stole bites of Laura’s. The flavor was light and lemony, but the risotto was the star of the plate. The coconut added to the flavors without overpowering them.
My dish was the Manor seafood sautee. There was a variety of sea life in my bowl keeping company with a bed of rice. I had scallops, clams, oysters, shrimp, salmon, halibut, and a couple of crab legs competing for attention. It was almost too much, but it was quite tasty.
As we were eating, the setting sun began to paint the scenery with unreal colors. We had to linger a bit, and even though we were stuffed, dessert was a must. Laura and her mom split a piece of chocolate cake, and I had creme brulee with strawberries.
Our waitress was very friendly and helpful. Our food was served in a timely manner, but we never felt rushed. The whole staff really made everyone feel welcome. It is truly a friendly place.
We try to come here every trip out. We’ve never had a bad meal at Chuckanut, but for some reason this one was far above the others. I don’t know if they have a new chef, or if he’s just gotten new inspiration, but it’s great. Everything from presentation to product was excellent.
Chuckanut is expensive enough to be a a special occasion meal, but it really will make those occasions special.