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DINING KEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . up to $9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10–19 . . . . . . . . . . . . $20–29 . . . . . . . . $30 or greater . . . . . . . . . . . . Breakfast . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brunch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lunch . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dinner . . . . . . . . . Family-Friendly . . . . . . . . . . . . . Takeout . . . . . . . . Outdoor Seating   . . . . . . . . . . Reservations   . . . . . . . . . . Happy Hour . . . . . . . . . New Review See all our restaurant reviews on our Eat and Drink tab at northsoundlife.com

SAN JUAN

texture. The Bistro Burger is a juicily grilled patty of Oregon beef, topped with a deliciously thick slice of melted white Cheddar; a burger made in heaven! For fabulous food, elegant ambience and world-class views, be sure to visit the Prima on your next visit to Whidbey Island.   TOBY’S TAVERN Seafood 8 Front St., Coupeville 360.678.4222, tobysuds.com Overlooking the scenic Penn Cove in the center of old Coupeville, Toby’s Tavern offers diners a dive bar ambience with a delicious menu of seafood favorites. Their famous bowls of Penn Cove mussels — served by the pound! — come fresh from the adjacent cove, and keep shellfish connoisseurs clamoring for a regular fix. Steamed and soaked in a scrumptious mix of simple seasonings, wine and juices, Toby’s robust offering of mussels makes for a memorable visit. Fish and chips arrive hot, deliciously flakey, and generous in size, with sides of sweet coleslaw and fries deserving mention for their merit. For those waiting among the weekend crowd of regulars, a giant chocolaty brownie will drive your mind insane, and keep your appetite satisfied before the main course earns its way into the dining room.  

For more than 35 years, The Freeland Café has been serving Whidbey Island locals a dawnto-dinner menu of American breakfast ­classics with a mix of Hawaiian flavors. A stack of three savory pancakes stuffed with delicious, sweet blueberries marks a signature favorite among the carb-craving regulars, while a hearty egg breakfast with crisp, sizzling bacon charms away the hunger of nostalgic hometown diners; add Hawaiian-style rice with Spam and gravy for a more exotic breakfast alternative. Lined with ceiling-high windows and an eclectic mix of artwork, The Freeland Café offers a generous seating area situated adjacent a popular bar of the same name. Sit back and enjoy the aroma of warm syrup and coffee, and the friendly chatter of neighborly patrons, as you dine back to a simpler time.   PRIMA BISTRO French 201 1/2 First St., Langley 360.221.4060, primabistro.com A quintessential South Whidbey dining ­experience in the heart of Langley, Prima Bistro marries gourmet French cuisine and classic Northwest ingredients. Fried Spanish Marcona Almonds arrive steaming hot, glisteningly crisp and in a glory of flavor — and just in time a glass of Pinot Grigio. The selection of reds and whites offers options for connoisseurs of every stripe, along with a full bar. The Burgundy Snails in Herb Butter taste delightfully creamy, with an uncharacteristically soft, yet enjoyable

DINE

and come with a tomato-caper coulis and garlic aioli), Pork New York (pan seared with an apple cider gastrique), a Wild Boar Burger, and Ancho Chili & Chicken Stew. Appetizers include the restaurant’s signature fries, which are twice fried and tossed in truffle-parmesan salt. Both beer and wine are on tap here. Both taps and bottles offer some great representatives from local and international producers. Settle in, and enjoy food, drink, and a fire that roars away between the entrance and the dining room, keeping diners warm in both body and spirit.  –    CALLE Mexican 517 S. 1st St., Mount Vernon 360.336.5566, callelove.com Known for their take on street tacos — with six meat fillings to choose from and handmade corn tortillas — but that’s certainly not the only mouthwatering option. Try the Carne Asada, Posole or Tortas to name just a few menu options. The Spicy Mango Margarita, made with fresh mango and jalepeno, is fast becoming a customer favorite. With 60+ tequilas and mescals to sample, there’s always another reason to visit again.   NELL THORN Seafood

THE FREELAND CAFÉ American/Hawaiian 1642 E. Main St., Freeland 360.331.9945

Dining Guide

116 First St., La Conner 360.466.4261, nellthorn.com

SKAGIT 13MOONS AT SWINOMISH CASINO & LODGE Seafood/Steak

12885 Casino Dr., Anacortes 360.588.3800, swinomishcasinoandlodge.com Located within the casino, 13moons is sure to catch your attention. Situated on the waterfront, 13moons has a warm and inviting lodge atmosphere. The menu offers a wide variety including first plates, entree salads, seafood, and steaks. We started our meal with generous pours of wine, then moved on to the roasted beet salad. I am always skeptical of this dish, as it needs to be just right, and they did not disappoint. The filet mignon was cooked to perfection and mouth-watering. This is a great choice for an evening out. You will walk away satisfied, and you’ll understand why it is becoming the go-to place for locals and visitors alike.   A’TOWN BISTRO Regional NW 418 Commercial Ave., Anacortes, 360.899.4001, atownbistro.com Colorful photographs of farm scenes dot the walls of A’Town Bistro, summing up all this restaurant stands for: fresh, local, seasonal food. Even the inside of this Anacortes restaurant feels farm-like, with simple wooden tables and flooring and no unnecessary flourishes. The kitchen is open, and sends out entrees such as Smoked Salmon Cakes (which contain nothing but king salmon and breadcrumbs



This small-town gem located in the heart of La Conner brings in tourists and locals alike. They boast well-prepared and locally sourced fresh seafood as well as an extensive wine and beer list. The charming and cozy pub atmosphere, homemade soups, and generous portions make for a great special occasion or romantic evening. Try the polenta cakes with cured black olives and roasted garlic tomato sauce — you won’t be disappointed.   TRUMPETER PUBLIC HOUSE Gastropub 416 Myrtle St., Mt. Vernon 360.588.4515, trumpeterpublichouse.com The Trumpeter is an ideal combination of high-end, fine dining and English pub variety. Try traditional pub selections like shephard’s pie, fish and chips, or more unique choices like pork tenderloin complimented with an apricothoney glaze or crab mac and cheese with a creamy Gruyere sauce and wild-caught crab. Additionally, the Trumpeter looks to accommodate all tastes with gluten-free dishes, and the option to make any dish gluten free. Of course, a gastropub isn’t complete without beer and Trumpeter completes the dining experience with 18 taps of local and European brews. There’s also a fine selection of wines and drink choices.  

June | July 201691

Bellingham Alive | NSL June | July 2016  

Bellingham Alive | NSL June | July 2016

Bellingham Alive | NSL June | July 2016  

Bellingham Alive | NSL June | July 2016