It was a Saturday night and we were ready for a date night. After considering the many possibilities, Laura made us reservations at the BowEdison.
With the wealth of fresh products in this agricultural region it should come as no surprise that there are many, many fine restaurants around. The tiny towns of Bow and Edison hardly show up on a map, yet Edison has several excellent eateries. Bow is even smaller, and sports two excellent restaurants – The Rhody Cafe, and now BowEdison.
BowEdison has only been open for a year. It’s located right in downtown Bow (/sarcasm) at the intersection of Chuckanut and Bow Hill Drive. The post office is on one corner and the Rhody Cafe on the other.
The restaurant is owned by Chef Marty Bracken, who moved to the area from Seattle to open BowEdison. Chef Bracken specializes in local foods and farm-to-table cuisine. Their website describes her food as “eclectic, modern American.”
I honestly can’t remember what this place used to be. It was probably another small cafe. I don’t think it had been a country store. Regardless, it’s a small restaurant with a variety of booths, high-tops, and regular tables. Despite the rustic setting and country store exterior, the interior is modern with solid colors and metal finishes. There is a counter where patrons can watch the activity in the kitchen and a small, but well-stocked bar.
The clientele is eclectic. I’ve heard that folks drive all the way from Seattle to eat here. For this night’s dinner there was a wide range of ages, but it was mostly white upper-middle class diners.
Eclectic is a good way to describe the menu, because it’s all over the place. Apart from insisting on locally-sourced foods, I couldn’t find a unifying theme. There are two sets of appetizers or starters – one for happy hour and one for dinner service. There is some overlap between the two, with items such as fried pickles, sliders, chicken livers, clams and tacos. There are some more exotic offerings such as burrata capellini and saganaki, which is served in a cast iron skillet set aflame at the table. These range from $9 to $15. It looks like one could put together a meal of tapas from the appetizer offerings.
There are several salads and soups from $8 – $14. There are fewer entrees than appetizers, including pork pasta, steak, fried chicken, ratatouille, fish curry, a lamb burger, and a regular burger. These range from $16 – $25. There are also chef’s specials that change on a regular basis.
There is also a good selection of wines and specialty cocktails.
Normally I order a martini to start the meal. However, this evening I was feeling a bit more adventurous. One of the specialty cocktails was called a Wanderlust, and the name alone was compelling. It started with The Botanist gin, one of my favorites, and to that added pear, lemon, and rounded out with a honey ginger simple syrup. Nutmeg was sprinkled on top. This is usually a bit frou-frou for my tastes, but the combination was excellent without being too sweet. Laura got the usual martini, but made with The Botanist gin.
We started with house salads. These were simple greens lightly dressed with a vinaigrette. Again, the flavor combinations were superb.
The chef had a special featuring Coho salmon and something else, but they had run out of the something else. As a substitute, the fish curry now came with the Coho salmon instead of rock fish, as advertised. Of all of the menu items, that one appealed to both of us, so we both ordered the fish curry with the salmon.
The curry base was coconut milk and curry spices with mushrooms and broccoli and cauliflower florets. The salmon was placed on top with some fried onions. The dish was sweet and spicy. My Wanderlust made an excellent counterpoint to the heat without becoming too sweet. Laura was about ready to order one of her own, but we couldn’t get the waiter’s attention. More on that later.
There were only three dessert options and two of them contained food allergens for Laura. That left us with the Pot de Creme, basically chocolate pudding with a Rice Krispy treat.
As with the rest of the meal it was quite good. The Rice Krispy treat was about like one would expect. Laura had a tawny port that really brought the chocolate to life. Had I not been driving I might have had one.
The owners of BowEdison strongly believe in paying a living wage to their staff. Prices are a bit higher, but tipping is not allowed. I’m all for this, but sometimes it can cause problems. In our case, our waiter, Trevor, was very knowledgeable and helpful…at first. Then we found out that we were somewhat isolated from his other tables. We couldn’t get his attention when Laura wanted another drink, and it took awhile for things to get to us. We were having a nice leisurely dinner, so the timing was as much of an issue as it might have been, but not being able to get a drink with the meal was frustrating. We observed other tables being handled much more efficiently, with sometimes two or three people coming by to help with service. Overall service looked like it was good, but our case seemed to be an outlier. Literally.
Both Chef Bracken and her bartender really show some culinary skills at BowEdison. The combination of flavors in both food and drink are excellent. Even for this area the prices are a bit high, but comparable to places like Chuckanut Manor just up the road. It’s a great location for a special meal.
I would like to come back during their happy hour and try just a tapas meal. I think one might be able to have a nice event with a bit of price savings if they stick to appetizers. Though we didn’t have any ourselves, we watched some coming out and they looked shareable. I’d also like to get a seat either at the bar where I can watch the drinks being made, or at the counter overlooking the cook stations so that we can watch that activity. In either case, I’m going to try to find out how that Wanderlust was made. It was possibly the best part of the meal.
As for BowEdison, I think we will be back.