Bellingham Alive | February | 2024

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good reason—it’s delicious, and there’s so much variety that there’s something for everyone. If you’ve never experienced a traditional Italian meal with all the courses, though, you’re missing out. Enter: this month’s feature! We’ve got you covered with some of the tastiest dishes in all eight courses from around the North Sound.




Savvy Shopper The Happiest Tees on Earth


Beauty Vera Massage Studio


Necessities A New Addition to Your Jewelry Box

Growing Community 16

Heard Around the Sound


Mixing Tin Revival Lounge


Kitchen Tips & Tricks Working with Chocolate

Photo by Leigh Hellman

Photo by Kristen Boehm


Photo by Nicole Kimberling

Smuggler’s Tunnel Speak Easy Spirits Room


A New Space for Unique Technique


Valentine’s Love Cabaret at Amendment 21

Spotlight Astraea Bridal

Community Steps Up People in Your Neighborhood Kathy Bastow



Book Notes Reviews and Events



Travel Budapest


Since Time Immemorial Cyaltsa April Finkbonner





Remodel reachDESIGN llc

Photo by Jo Arlow



Top Picks




The Scene

Wine Pick of the Month Bayernmoor Cellars


8 Great Tastes

Photo by Benjamin Benschneider

Five Faves Romantic Dates




Featured Home Roeder Home

Game Changer Bellingham Athlete Ambassador Program

Agenda My Circus Valentine

Local Find Bry’s Filipino Cuisine & It’s The Sweet Things

Necessities Lighting the Way


Restaurants That Go Above and Beyond


Chef’s Corner White Miso and Sake Salmon Cakes


Shop Local


Restaurant Menus


Skagit Valley Food Co-op


Online Exclusive


Editor’s Letter




Letters to the Publisher


Final Word

February 2024 3


What’s Online

Online Exclusive

PREVIOUS EDITIONS Photo by Kris Gray Photography

ARE ONLINE! This Valentine’s, soul*drift is putting on a Love Cabaret at Amendment 21 (details on p. 17). Read more about how the event came to be, how the band got together, and the history of cabaret in our online profile of soul*drift—plus, an interview with our regular contributor and soul*drift singer, Julie Trimingham!

Giveaway $50 TO LEADER BLOCK TRATTORIA & BAR Where Northern Italy Meets the Pacific Northwest!

Enter to win a $50 gift card to the 2023 Best of the Northwest GOLD winner for “Best Italian” and let the staff at the Leader Block prepare you a culinary masterpiece paired with an awardwinning list of wines. Enter 1 time per day, each day of February. Winner will chosen at random and awarded via submission email. Photo by Kyle Szegedi


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Editor’s Letter

Celebrating Love in All Its Forms


Connect with us BellinghamAlive @BellinghamAlive 360.483.4576 x4


of love! Now, before you roll your eyes, hear me out. As a (very) late bloomer, I had every reason to hate the manufactured romance of Valentine’s Day and especially the way it takes over the entire month of February. But at some point—probably in high school, when I was a perpetual third wheel to my cuter, less awkward friends and their boyfriends— I decided to make what I could of the holiday. After all, I figured, it’s about love, and who loves her friends more than I do? Nobody! (To the point of making it kind of weird sometimes.) So, to this day, I celebrate what the TV show “Parks and Rec” eventually called Galentine’s Day on Feb. 14. When I finally did get into a romantic relationship, I split my attention between my partner and my friends, and eventually convinced him to celebrate on the 15th instead (conveniently avoiding the highway robbery that was prix fixe Valentine’s menus at London restaurants). This is just to say: there’s a lot of love to be celebrated, and there are always good reasons to eat chocolate and wear heart-printed clothes. Whether you choose to celebrate a romantic relationship or acknowledge the chosen family who’s kept you going all these years, I highly recommend using this Hallmark holiday as an excuse to feel the love. For me, that includes reveling in the love I have for my community,

and the love we all show each other. Just as an example, when researching this month’s piece on restaurants that go “above and beyond” (p. 78), I asked a local Facebook group for recommendations and was flooded with stories of local business owners’ extraordinary kindness, generosity, and care for their customers. There were far too many to include all of them in the piece, but rest assured that I made a note of every single one and will be visiting and reviewing as many as possible. As for how you celebrate, we have a whole host of recommendations for you! If you and your person are lovers of Italian food, check out this month’s feature (p. 40): a comprehensive breakdown of the best Italian food in the North Sound, sorted by the courses of a traditional Italian meal. If celebratory drinks are more your style, why not try the new speakeasy in Blaine (p. 16)? Or, if you want a little entertainment, check out local band soul*drift’s cabaret night at Amendment 21 (p. 17)—don’t forget to bring a one-minute love story to share with the room! For those of you looking to give gifts to your loved ones, we’ve got you covered there too. Kathy Bastow (p. 18) makes beautiful jewelry and paintings, and she even sews aprons, so you’re sure to find something great! Whatever your thoughts on the manufactured romance of Valentine’s Day itself, why not take this opportunity to replace the dull gray chill of February with warm red hearts, chocolate, and expressions of affection? I’m pretty sure you won’t regret it. t

ANNE GODENHAM Editor in Chief



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Notes Contributors Emma Radosevich As a child, Emma developed a love of literature by reading chapter books with her dad; she made sure he got every character’s voice just right. She still appreciates a great narrator. Emma is a Collection Development Librarian for Whatcom County Library System, where she gets to work with fellow book lovers. When she’s not working, she likes walking on Bellingham trails while listening to an audiobook or NPR podcast.  p. 19

21 BELLWETHER WAY, STE 107 BELLINGHAM, WA 98225 P. 360.778.1613

Julie Trimingham Julie Trimingham is a mother, writer, and nontribal member of the Sacred Lands Conservancy (, a Lhaq’temish-led non-profit dedicated to protecting Native sovereignty, treaty rights, sacred sites, and the life and waters of Xw’ullemy (the Salish Sea bioregion). Her heart is filled by the work to protect and promote ancestral place-based knowledge so that we can all learn to live here, with one another, and with Mother Earth, in a good way.  p. 22

Amberleigh Brownson Amberleigh Brownson has her finger on the pulse of the food and beverage world and has a broad network of industry professionals and leaders. She is passionate about connecting people to further community support and ethical business endeavors and see shared success for all. Along with being an international wine judge and sommelier, she is also a published author, trained actress, mother, cook, Taekwondo enthusiast, and humanitarian.  p. 86

Kolby LaBree Kolby LaBree is owner/operator of Bellinghistory Tours with the Good Time Girls, purveyors of guided walking tours and other historical edutainment in Bellingham since 2011. The Good Time Girls are available year-round for private tours and virtual events. See for current offerings!  p. 19





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Lunch ∙ Dinner ∙ Happy Hour



Bellingham Alive NSL Guestbook Welcome Newcomers Guide




ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Amberleigh Brownson Kelley Denman | Michael Roe

GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Brandee Simons Estella Young



WRITERS Julie Trimingham | Diana Maria Leaman Nicole Kimberling

CONTRIBUTORS Kolby LaBree | Emma Radosevich

EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Maya Heinselman | Ellie Coberly


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Letters to the Publisher



I am really impressed with what you do, it’s just a lovely magazine. It’s so nice to have a positive local awareness without the negative experience of social media or news. I had no idea you are a small local company, kudos to your team!  — Betty W., Bellingham



Publisher: Betty, thank you so much for the kind words, our mission is to be a possitive voice in the communites we serve, I feel it’s espescially important for the reasons you stated above. Thank you for your support. —Lisa K. JANUARY 2024 DISPLAY UNTIL JANUARY 31 $3.99 US • $4.99 CAN

PLUS Wellness Spa Guide 5 Ways to Stay Fit Dry January Challenge

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12/12/2023 10:38:44 AM

Bellingham Alive welcomes comments and feedback for our Letters to the Publisher section. We’d love to hear what you have to say and are open to story ideas about the people, places, and happenings in the North Sound (Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan counties). Let us know what you like, and what you’d like to see in the magazine! Contact our editor at

Your “8 Great Tastes” piece is my absolute favorite. I am a chef at heart and I love seeing what other people recommend and trying it. I try almost all the spots and dishes recommended, and they are spot on! The bucatini clams noted in the last issue brought me from Sumas all the way to Semiahmoo, and man was it worth the trip! Bring on the next eight!  — Mike S., Sumas


Publisher: Mike, I absolutely LOVE this! The team really enjoys putting together “8 Great Tastes.” The food scene here in the North Sound is spectacular and it’s so much fun discovering new dishes to share with our readers. Have a suggestion? Just let us know. ENJOY! —Lisa K. I’m wondering if you guys would consider adding a column or special piece for pet lovers again. I sure love to read your magazine, but I love my pets and miss how you used to have little things for the dog and cat lovers.  — Rolanda H., Ferndale Publisher: Rolanda, thank you for bringing to our attention that you miss the pet column we featured for a time. We are always looking for new and inspiring ways to share our unique part of the world and will defenitely keep this in mind as we pull together upcoming issues for you to enjoy. —Lisa K.

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February 2024 11

Growing Community 14 The Beauty of Ordered Chaos 18 Bellingham Athlete Ambassador Program 24



20 February 2024 13


Growing Community

Growing Community Winter Weaving and Planning for the Future WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY KRISTEN BOEHM


HILE FARM LIFE might get sleepier in the dark end of the year, it certainly doesn’t cease. In fact, for Kaisha Hamilton, one crop is poised perfectly for harvesting. It isn’t the hardy winter roots and veggies you might be thinking of—it’s willow. Yes, willow, like the tree. When propagated and grown for basketry, branches of willow can be collected and used for weaving. Hamilton is part of a thriving community of willow weavers right here in the North Sound, and is working toward becoming one of few providers of the raw material.

“When I took my first class, I really fell in love with working with willow,” she says. “I went looking for material and couldn’t find it anywhere. … There aren’t very many growers in the U.S., and most of them don’t sell on a commercial scale. So finding material to access after you take a class and you get hooked on it is almost impossible.” She got her first willow cuttings from Dunbar Gardens in Mount Vernon, home of master weaver Katherine Lewis, and has been cultivating willow ever since.


Willow & Community

Hamilton is a first-generation farmer, shepherdess, herbalist, and one of the most passionate people you’ll ever meet. She runs Hedgerow Willows Flock & Farm (previously known as Helianthus Acres), a just-under-six-acre family farmstead in Ferndale, where she’s been farming since 2021. Her love for small-scale and urban farming began around 14 years ago with an apartment “patio tomato,” and she’s been learning ever since through resources like community gardens, working on local farms, and going to classes taught by local makers and farm incubators. It was at one of these classes in 2018 that she discovered willow.

Farming basketry willow is an annual cycle. Hamilton uses a technique called coppicing, where you prune down to the ground, creating a stool from which long branches, or rods, grow. After three to five years of this, the willow reaches “production maturity” and will produce anywhere from 20 to 60 rods each year. Hamilton currently has 27 varieties of willow, propagated for factors like flexibility, size, and color. She grows Dicky Meadows, which is perhaps the most popular basketry willow, but she also loves vibrant types like Juane de Falaise, which dries a bright yellow-orange.


Hamilton hand-harvests with pruning shears, then bundles and dries the rods. It’s sorted by type and length, and eventually can be sold by the pound. Right now, the majority of her harvests go to her personal projects and to her friends in the Facebook group Weaving Community: Basket Weavers of the Salish Sea. The group was started by weaver Cindi Landreth in early 2023. She wanted to create a community for herself and other weavers who had previously been operating independently. Although there are other organizations like the Northwest Basket Weavers Guild, Landreth’s requires no dues and strives to build a strong, connected, and supportive group. “The point of the group isn’t just to get to know each other,” explains Landreth. “We are purchasing resources together, organizing classes that bring in skills from out of the region, sharing what we know about foraged materials, and cross-pollinating weaving with other wildcrafting skills like bead making, carving, natural dyes, rattle making, herbalism, etcetera.”

Hedgerow Willows Flock & Farm

In 2024, about 1⁄3 of an acre will go to growing nearly 40 willow varieties. Hamilton is hoping to hold events and

classes and sell basketry at the farm. She sells willow cuttings, and she hopes to sell weaving-ready dried rods by 2025. A long-term goal is to grow enough larger willow to start weaving organic coffins and caskets that can be used at The Meadow Green Burial Ground, part of Greenacres Memorial Park in Ferndale just a few miles away. Meanwhile, she’s continuing to grow her small flock of Finnsheep for milk, wool, and natural land management. She also raises Welsh Harlequin ducks (and some chickens) and has a fresh egg CSA. She grows herbs for teas and tinctures, and veggies for eating and preserving. She also provides farm services and welcomes scheduled visits. Overall, for Hamilton, the future of Hedgerow Willows revolves around connecting with her community and providing education and inspiration for other small-scale growers. “I started with urban farming, and I’m really passionate about everybody being able to grow some food wherever they’re at… even if it’s just growing oregano in a pot on your counter,” she says. “I want kids, families, people to be able to come out and have an experience where they get to interact with livestock, where they get to see the whole process. … I look at my farm and go, ‘This is the community farm.’” 1424 W. Axton Rd., Ferndale, t February 2024 15

Heard Around the Sound

Photo by Elation Studio Photography





enticing than a secret! From 1920 to 1933, the production and sale of alcohol was banned in the U.S., leading to a particularly salacious type of establishment our culture holds fond memories of to this day: the speakeasy. Although alcohol’s legality has obviously been reinstated, speakeasy bars remain popular destinations, almost as sought after in 2023 as they were in 1923. Luckily for us, Gateway 1890 Taphouse & Grill in Blaine has let the cat out of the bag! They opened their new Smuggler’s Tunnel Speak Easy Spirits Room in November 2023. The inspiration for Blaine’s first speakeasy-style bar lies in its history.


According to the business, old mining tunnels in Blaine were once used to smuggle alcohol into the United States by “underground organizations.” Modern speakeasies are known for their theming, and Smuggler’s Tunnel doesn’t fall short! You access the underground bar via a tunnel from Gateway 1890’s back parking lot. The space is dark, lit by flickering lanterns and colored lights, and fashioned to look like a done-up mining tunnel. Wooden support beams, dark leather booths, mirrors and photos on the walls, and even sound effects all help build an immersive and cozy atmosphere. Smuggler’s Tunnel serves Prohibitionera cocktails and a 21st Amendment food menu of “above-ground” favorites from Gateway 1890’s menu. If you want in on the good stuff, give your server the secret passwords “giggle water” for an 18th Amendment food menu, and “cat’s pajamas” for a Bartender’s Choice Cocktail Menu! Smuggler’s Tunnel is for ages 21 and up, and will be open 5–9 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and 4–10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. 429


Unique Technique Dance Studio OPULAR BELLINGHAM DANCE

studio Unique Technique has remodeled, and the new space is ready to welcome dancers of all sizes, genders, and ability! Unique Technique’s goal is to “instill a love for music and movement through positive energy,” and their body-positive instructors, inclusive values, and beautiful new space all work together to achieve that goal. If you’ve always envied the connection other dancers seem to have with their bodies, why not try a Dancing for Connection class, or even Pop Burlesque? Or tap into the rhythm of a great backbeat with an Adult Hip Hop or Belly Dancing class. Kids are welcome too, with classes in everything from jazz and tap to musical theater—there’s even a dance class for babies! Swing on by and check out the new space. 3815 Bakerview Rd., Ste. 1, Bellingham,

Peace Portal Dr., Blaine, 360.933.4818, t


Seasonal Coffee

Hot Chocolate

If, like me, you’re picky about flavored coffees, try Ristretto Coffee Lounge & Wine Bar in Mount Vernon. Their Pumpkin Spice Latte is miles above others, and their Gingerbread Latte is equally delicious. 416 S. 1st St., Mount Vernon,

For all the richly-flavored comfort without the caffeine, try a Sipping Chocolate from Chocolate Necessities & Gelato in downtown Bellingham. Made with 85% dark chocolate chips, this indulgent drink will warm you from the inside out! 1408



A New Look for Local Dance Studio


Commercial St., Bellingham, 360.733.6666,

Photo by Anne Godenham



HETHER YOU’RE A lover, a fighter, or just looking for some

joy in a challenging time, mark Feb. 16 in your calendar and head to local band soul*drift’s Valentine’s Love Cabaret! Amendment 21’s art deco style will be the perfect backdrop for the show, which will include live music, tap dancing, and the fabulous Feather Fatale as co-emcee. There’s no cover charge, and a portion of the bar’s proceeds from the event will go to Bellingham Queer Collective. Band members Julie Trimingham (vocals and spoken word), Nate Melanson (guitar), John Stockman (ukulele), Michael Cox (ukulele, bass ukulele, musical saw, and conch shells), Ken Levinson (guitar, fiddle/violin, and harmonica), Jill Burns (mandolin), and Phil Burns (banjo and bodhran, an Irish hand drum) all contribute vocals and play mostly covers, but they’re currently working on a few original songs. For the cabaret, they’ll be playing exclusively love songs—with lots of duets, of course! Punctuating the performances will be a series of one-minute love stories, told by the artists and by members of the audience. So if you have a story to tell (and you think you can tell it fast), come along and drop your name in the hat, and share the love! Doors open at 6 p.m. and the party is expected to wrap up around 9 p.m. Food will be served as well as drinks, so it’s a great way to combine dinner and a show while also supporting a worthy local cause. 1224 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, 360.746.9097, t

Community Steps Up: Recovering After the Terminal Building Fire


ELLINGHAM WOKE UP on Dec. 17, 2023 to

the shocking news that a fire had ravaged the Terminal Building in Fairhaven over the previous night. The 135-year-old building housed beloved businesses The Old Independant Coffeehouse and Harris Avenue Cafe. The fire left the brick building unstable, affected businesses and employees, and claimed the life of cafe Owner Nate Breaux. A GoFundMe to cover the lost wages and living expenses of the 20 employees of the cafes reached its $70,000 goal in 48 hours. Community members and mourners continued to gather at the site for days to pay their respects to both Breaux and the lost testament to our history. KRISTEN BOEHM t

Special-tea Brew

Hot Apple Cider

Winter Warmer

Prefer tea to coffee or hot chocolate? Check out 11th Hour Tea & Coffee Bar in Bellingham. They offer a variety of tea lattes and specialty blends, some of which are served in a gaiwan (a traditional Chinese/Taiwanese steeping method).

Yes, technically this is more of a fall drink than a winter one, but some of us like to get our spiced cider on yearround. In which case, Old Town Cafe is one of the few places that has Hot Organic Apple Cider on their permanent menu. 316 W. Holly St, Bellingham,

For a hot drink that’ll really warm your blood, try a Hot Spiced Mead from Honey Moon Mead & Cider in downtown Bellingham. The fragrant spices, mild honey sweetness, and slight boozy buzz will all leave you feeling warm and fuzzy. 1053 N. State St. Alley, Bellingham,



833 N. State St., Bellingham, 360.788.4229,

February 2024 17


People In Your Neighborhood



RT HAS ALWAYS been a part of Kathy Bastow’s life.

No matter where she is or what she’s doing, she’s always managed to keep her artistic juices flowing. It’s simply a part of who she is. Whether she’s painting, doing collages, constructing pieces of furniture, or creating baskets, Bastow has been actively putting the right side of her brain to work since she was 14, when she made her first pair of earrings. Soon after, she began selling jewelry in a small art hub in New Hope, Pennsylvania and has since had the opportunity to show her work at galleries across the country, including at the prominent American Craft Council exhibitions. As an on-and-off Bellinghamster for 45 years, Bastow has co-owned a co-op restaurant called Celebration Cookery and a bike shop called Kulshan Cycles. At one point she swerved to “climb the corporate ladder” in Seattle. Throughout all of these occupations, Bastow always maintained a strong desire to be an artist. Looking back, she’s noticed one prominent theme that stands out in both her work in business and her artwork: ordered chaos. In her career, she was constantly creating structure and order in organizations that lacked it. Likewise, in her artwork, she often takes “disparate objects and [puts] them together and [comes] up with an order that makes sense to [her].” 18

After leaving the corporate world behind, Bastow settled back in Bellingham, where she creates artwork in her home and in her studio space located above the Pickford Film Center under the name “Bastow Designs.” She uses her creative energy everywhere she can in her everyday life. She has a “drive to create beauty in the way that [she sees] beauty” while aiming to avoid adding to the modern problem of too many useless objects. One way Bastow has been able to strike that balance is by taking up singing with a partner. You can find them belting out anything from Brandy Carlile to The Wailin’ Jennys at Greene’s Corner, Kombucha Town, and other open mics around town. When she’s not singing or creating other art, Bastow also works as an advisor for the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Western Washington University. Funded by local organizations and the U.S. Small Business Administration, it strives to aid in the success rate of small businesses. Through the SBDC, small business advisors like Bastow are able to give “free and confidential advising services to small businesses.” They collectively help for-profit start-ups, growth businesses, and businesses in transition with creating business plans, financial plans, human resources, marketing, and much more across Whatcom and Kitsap counties. Whether in the art community or the business community, Kathy Bastow has made a difference. Entrepreneurs and artlovers alike can benefit from Bastow’s experience by visiting her at the SBDC office in Barkley Village to learn how to cultivate a thriving business or by making an appointment to view her artworks at either of her studios. Bastow Designs at the Pickford Art Studios, 1318 Bay St., Ste. 208, Bellingham, 360.220.7744, t

Book Reviews

Book Reviews


Literary Events


I “Still Life with Bones: Genocide, Forensics, and What Remains” by Alexa Hagerty

February 3, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. N THIS UNIQUE memoir, anthropologist Alexa Hagerty

brings us behind the scenes of her time working with globallyrenowned forensic anthropology teams in Guatemala and Argentina. Together, they exhume and identify bodies from the mass graves left behind by dictatorial violence. Decades later, families of the “disappeared” still suffer from knowing their loved ones weren’t properly laid to rest. Hagerty’s mantra while working in grave sites is “Don’t faint. Don’t vomit.” The work is physically and emotionally difficult, but it is rewarding when victims’ bodies are identified and reunited with their families. Hagerty attends burials where community members find healing by sharing their testimonies and creating new death rituals. Along with survivors’ stories and necessary historical context, Hagerty weaves in her own meditations on death, grief, and how we can create meaning for ourselves out of tragedy. This is a difficult but powerful read. In beautiful and highly readable prose, Hagerty unearths questions about humanity and our complicity in genocide. Gripping, poetic, and perennially important.

W “Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World” by Henry Grabar

HY ARE SO many places expensive, unsafe, and unwalkable? In “Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World,” journalist Henry Grabar argues that in most American towns, the answer is parking. In chapters that read like podcast episodes (think “99% Invisible” or “Planet Money”), this book digs into the reasons why our culture became so car-centric. Grabar’s eye for compelling anecdotes turns what could otherwise be a dry topic into a wild journey through American history. For example: did you know that parking tickets fueled New York City’s “Ice Cream Truck Wars?” Grabar also introduces readers to local heroes worth rooting for, like a Chicago pastor whose plan to build a church in his walkable neighborhood is foiled by parking minimums. “Paved Paradise” illuminates how parking is connected to so many social forces: affordable housing, public safety, pollution, and the prosperity of our downtowns. You’ll never look at the parking lot the same way again. t

Chuckanut Writers — Glimpses of the Past: Writing About Our Lives in Prose and Poetry with Barbara Bloom Village Books, 1200 11th St., Bellingham 360.671.2626,

This class focuses on autobiographical writing. Instructor Barbara Bloom will take the class through some “dos and don’ts,” the role of memories and family stories, and how to make personal stories accessible and interesting. This is a generative class that will encourage writers of all levels to try working in both prose and poetry. Register at!

February 17, 8 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 21st Annual WWU Children’s Literature Conference Performing Arts Center at Western Washington University 516 High St., Bellingham 360.650.6146,

What began as one educator’s dream over 20 years ago is now a nationally recognized conference that brings children’s literature authors, illustrators, and appreciators together for a day of community and inspiration! This year’s four guest presenters are David Bowles, E.B. Lewis, Dashka Slater, and Jillian Tamaki. Village Books will be on-site selling books starting at 8 a.m.! Find the full conference schedule and register at


February 3, 1905

February 8, 1988

February 14, 1891

February 19, 1895

The Bellingham Bay Brewery was enlarging its icehouse so that during the summer customers wouldn’t have to pay for ice imported from Everett.

The Herald reported, “A scrappy gang of society’s outcasts lurks in Fairhaven’s alleys and vacant lots, fighting, engaging in casual sex, and occasionally nipping dinner from a garbage can. Known as the Fairhaven Cats, the band of grey, black, and striped felines are a scruffy bunch.

A golden spike ceremony was held to celebrate the connection of the Fairhaven and Southern railroad line to the Seattle and Montana line near Burlington, Washington.

“Twenty-two fat steers arrived from Yakima. Two of the animals fell off the State of Washington [boat] at the wharf and did some fine aquatic flourishing before they could be landed on the deck.”

February 2024 19



Photo by Lisa Karlberg


Break out your bucket list; it’s time to imagine UNESCO sites in Europe to explore. Whether you can only dream or have the means to go, our ongoing travel series will take you far away from reality into a time when Kings and Queens ruled, family feuds were deadly, and the countryside was filled with castles and forts that protected against invaders.


N UNEXPECTED BEAUTY, Budapest is full of culture

and historical significance dating back to Celtic times before AD 1. The capital of Hungary, Budapest is the largest city on the Danube River, with a population of over 1.75 million. Once under communist rule, it separated from the Soviet Union in 1989 by peaceful transition to democratic rule. Budapest’s World Heritage Site consists of three parts: the Buda Castle Quarter; the banks of the Danube, which include the Parliament Building and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge; and Andrássy Avenue. Here you will find three distinct types of architecture: Roman, Gothic/Neo-Gothic, and Renaissance. Take a river cruise at night and discover why it’s known as the Paris of the East or the “second city of lights.” Buda Castle Quarter – Buda Castle (Royal Palace) was originally built by King Bela IV of Hungary in the 12th century. Unfortunately, this is no longer standing after the invasion of the Mongols; the oldest part of the castle that remains dates to the 14th century, built by the Duke of Slavonia and his brother King Louis I. Later, King Sigismund enlarged the palace to suit the needs of an emperor and fortify the walls against invasion. These renovations made it the largest Gothic palace in the world until the end of the Middle Ages. The final phase of palace renovations came under the rule of King Matthias Corvinus during the Renaissance period, when the first Italian artists and craftsmen arrived. The castle was mostly destroyed in the great siege of 1686, and under the Habsburg monarchy in 1715 the remaining walls were demolished, but the southern fortifications and rooms remained, buried under rubbish and earth. Under the order of King Charles III, a new Royal Palace was built on the site, then expanded on again. After the devastation of WWII, the castle had to be restored to what you can see today. 20

“UNESCO World Heritage is the designation for places on Earth that are of outstanding universal value to humanity and as such, have been inscribed on the World Heritage List to be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.” — The massive baroque Royal Palace houses the Hungarian National Gallery and the Budapest Historical Museum, amongst other significant buildings and rooms. On Castle Hill you will find many other significant historical places, including Fisherman’s Bastion, a neo-Romanesque architectural wonder that was said to be named after the guild of fishermen who defended the area in the Middle Ages; here you can take in the sweeping vistas of the Danube and the Parliament Building. Matthias Church, home of Matthias Fountain, is another significant historical building, a beautiful and peaceful place. Sándor Palace is the official residence of the president of Hungary, where you can watch the changing of the guards. You can also experience the labyrinth located under Castle Hill. It’s a network of underground caves and tunnels where you wind through the ancient city and witness remnants of the cold war. Banks of the Danube includes the Hungarian Parliament Building, which is the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary, opened in 1902 and created in the neo-gothic style, and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge designed by William Tierney Clark in 1839 and built by Adam Clark to connect Buda and Pest. It was the first bridge to cross the Danube in Hungary. Andrássy Avenue, added to the UNESCO Heritage Sites in 2002, houses many structures dating back to the 19th century including the State Opera House, Budapest Art Hall, beautiful row houses, and the House of Terror Museum, a government building operated during the Nazis and Soviet times and now re-envisioned as a monument to the victims of those regimes. The avenue ends at Heroes Square, a beautiful Millenium Monument featuring statues of seven chieftains of the Magyars and other important Hungarian national leaders, as well as the Memorial Stone of Heroes.

Fun Facts •

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Budapest was created by unifying two cities: Buda on the West side of the Danube River and Pest on the Eastern side. Known as The Paris of the East. Legend has it that Buda Castle Labyrinth once imprisoned “Count Dracula.” Budapest has more thermal water springs, 80 to be exact, than any other capital city in the world. A visit to one of the many ancient baths is a must. Budapest is both a city and a county. You can visit the “House of Houdini,” located on Castle Hill.

Foods to Try Gulyás, known in English as Goulash. This is the national food. Hearty soup of tender meat and vegetables heavily seasoned with paprika and other spices. • Palacsinta (Hungarian Pancakes) are paper thin pancakes (like crepes) made with various fillings, both sweet and savory. • Dobos Torta, made up of several thin layers of vanilla sponge cake, each slathered with rich chocolate buttercream and topped with caramel. This is the most famous Hungarian cake. • Kürtöskalács (Chimney Cake). Celebrated as the oldest pastry of Hungary, this chimney-shaped pastry is made from sweet yeast dough cut into strips and wrapped around a cone, rolled in sugar, and roasted on a rotisserie. It can be eaten alone or filled with ice cream and toppings. t •

Photo by Lisa Karlberg

Photo by Lisa Karlberg

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Since Time Immemorial

Since Time Immemorial Cyaltsa April Finkbonner WRITTEN BY JULIE TRIMINGHAM | PHOTO BY MESSIAL CRUZ



is a recurring series featuring community members whose families have been here since time immemorial. The ancestral knowledge carried by Lhaq’temish, Nooksack, and other Coast Salish peoples is knowledge about how to live in our shared home in a good, life-sustaining way. We live in a time when we need to restore our relationship with Mother Earth and with one another. We are grateful for these stories, told in the words of each featured individual.

Cyaltsa (sigh-alt-suh) April Finkbonner is a multimedia artist, journeyman ironworker, and member of the Lummi Nation. She serves on the board of Se’Si’Le, an Indigenous nonprofit organization, and is the Vice-President of the Sacred Lands Conservancy.

Could you please share a bit about where you come from? I grew up on the Lummi reservation. Marcelline Lane is my mother, Ronald Finkbonner Sr. and the late Larry Kinley are my Dads. I like to say that I was raised by three little tribes: the Lanes, Finkbonners, and Kinleys. I went to school in Ferndale, graduated in ‘89. In the summertime, I’d go fishing with Dad K. If I wasn’t fishing, I’d be out riding a motorcycle, or in the backyard pool, or playing softball. It was fun. But a life-long teaching from my parents is, “Get your priorities straight.” Work before play, you know?

So you fished for a while, then got into welding? Well, it’s kind of funny. I don’t know if you’re into astrological signs, but I’m a Leo, a fire sign, and welding is all about fire. Dad K introduced me to welding when he was doing some repair work on the boat. He said, “Grab that hood and come watch me.” I watched him and I was like, ‘Wow, that was cool.’ He said, “You should look into welding.They say women make pretty good welders with their steady hands.” So I went to technical


college, and worked as a blackjack dealer to support myself while I was in school. It was good timing because later that year fishing had a major decline. Dad K was happy that I got into welding, even though he thought I’d end up building us aluminum fishing boats.

What kind of welding did you do instead? I ended up joining the ironworkers union because I discovered that I love the flux core welding process, which is used in building skyscrapers and bridges. Climbing trees as a kid was good training! It’s hard work. But, you know, fishing is hard work, so the work ethic was already built in me. One thing I always say is that ironworkers get the best view in the world because we’re up high, we get to see the sunrise, sunset, whatever, and we’re not looking through a window. It’s beautiful up there!

Beauty is important to you! Yes. I’m an artist. I am inspired by nature and its beauty.

How did you get started on that path? I always loved drawing and coloring stuff, and my mom gave me a camera when I was maybe 10. Later, I went to the Art Institute of Seattle and studied multimedia. I work in pen and colored pencils, acrylic paint. I love photography and video. Uncle Chief (Tsilixw Bill James) introduced me to clay, and taught me how to weave cedar hats and baskets. I just finished a commission, a large steel sculpture called “All My Relations.” That was an amazing project to be a part of.

How do you describe your art? Colorful, some abstract. You’ll see some formline, the traditional Native style, but then I’ll also get free-flowing, put my own flavor to it. One time, I showed a relative a drawing and they’re

like, “The lines are supposed to close. You’re not supposed to have them openended like that.” And I was like, “You know me, traditionally non-traditional.”

Creativity flows through you! Do you ever experience a dry spell? Well, water is life and my creativity flows best when I am by the ocean, or any body of water. On “All My Relations”, I felt like I was blocked at first. The deadline kind of shut my creativity down. I had to remember my own words: Creativity comes in waves. You know, you may be stuck but then the tides change and everything flows again. I had to remember that, and I had to physically go to the water. So I found a spot out on the beach where I could see Mount Rainier off in the distance. I set my little chair up, a little blanket under my feet. I was looking over the rocks and I could see the crabs, and the waves coming in, once in a while a ferry would go by. I started drawing and it all came together.

You’ve had pieces commissioned, and you sell your art under the business name Creative Cuzzin. Are you also still working on skyscrapers and bridges? I’ve actually just started welding at the Navy shipyard in Bremerton.

So you’re back to boats! Oh my gosh, yes. By the water. And working with my hands, welding. It’s what I love to do! And I still get to be creative with my art. It’s such a blessing, you know?

Anything you’d like to add? Yes. Only a small handful of ironworkers, welders, and fishermen are women. But we’re out there making waves. I want the next generation, especially the little girls, to know that they can do anything. Rise up, branch out, and believe in yourself. Anything’s possible.

Hy’shqe, Cyaltsa! t


Game Changer

Commitment, Collaboration, and Community Bellingham Athlete Ambassador Program WRITTEN BY DIANA MARIA LEAMAN


INCE FALL OF 2018, Marc Blake,

Founder of Pacific Multisports Network, and his team have helped with just over 200 race events. Blake created an all-encompassing platform for athletes and event coordinators that combines registration, timing services, race organizing, and a support system. “We wait for the last participant, and we cheer people on; it’s not necessarily our job to be cheerleaders, but we enjoy being there, and we will jump in wherever we are needed,” says Blake. He has been involved with sports since he was a kid; now, as an adult, he has accumulated years of various race event experiences, which facilitates his ability to provide the needed services that make racing a positive experience. “If people feel good about the event, that energy permeates throughout the community, and you get people referring other people and just feeling good about the experience,” says Blake. Born in Guyana and raised in Toronto, he moved to Southern California in 1998 and then to Bellingham in 2010. He immediately fell in love with the area’s race scene and got involved as quickly as possible. He summed up the region’s diverse training grounds:

“We have the lake, the ocean, the mountains, all within a few miles.” Partnering with Visit Bellingham Whatcom County (Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism), he created the Bellingham Athlete Ambassador Program to encourage our athletes to represent the region as an excellent training ground and to promote the support of our local businesses by telling others about the beautiful scenery, biodiversity, and culture that this city offers. I got some further insight from Justine Mallahan, social media coordinator, and Eric Rainaud-Hinds, sales and special projects manager for Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism. “The Bellingham Athlete Ambassador Program helps highlight the talented athletes that call Bellingham and Whatcom County home. We have some amazing, world-class athletes training here for some of the world’s toughest events, including ultra marathons in Utah, Ironman 70.3 Worlds in Puerto Rico, and adventure races as far away as Spain and New Zealand. All these athletes train in our county’s backyard year-round, proving that we have some of the best terrain to train on in the world,” says Rainaud-Hinds.

Mallahan adds, “This community of athletes is so supportive of each other. I’ve seen each one being incredibly welcoming to those who want to learn about their sport or try it out for themselves. All the ambassadors also genuinely appreciate where they get to live and train, and it’s hard not to get excited about this area when you listen to them talk about their experiences here.” If you’re into racing and love Bellingham, you can be an ambassador! In exchange, you will receive the tools you need for success. Blake adds, “They, in return, are getting support in the registration fees; they are getting opportunities to promote themselves…and to build Bellingham as a destination for outdoor events.” The Pacific Multisports Network is more than a site to sign up for races. It is a network of like-minded individuals supporting and lifting each other to impact our community, city, and world positively. “We like to think that everybody that is part of our network contributes to and benefits from it,” says Blake. 2219 Rimland Dr., Ste. 301, Bellingham, 360.339.4788, t

Photo courtesy of Pacific MultiSports


McIntyre Hall Performing Arts & Conference Center

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On the Mount Vernon Campus of Skagit Valley College

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YESTERDAY & TODAY The Interactive Beatles Experience February 3









February 16

And So Much More!


5 Faves





OMANCE COMES FROM the heart. Sometimes that’s finding the perfect

gift or creating an intimate atmosphere at home, but there’s a reason dates reign supreme in the game of love! Taking your partner out and bonding during an experience can bring you closer than ever. Check out these five romantic dates you can plan for this February! t

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Whatcom Falls Park


If you’re nature-lovers, Whatcom Falls Park is easily accessed from Bellingham. Go on a slow stroll across the 1940 Stone Bridge, gaze at Whatcom Falls, or head down to the Whirlpool Falls swimming hole in summertime.

Spa at The Chrysalis A couples spa day is a sure-fire way to get both of you feeling refreshed, relaxed, and in-tune with your bodies. The Spa at the Chrysalis in Bellingham has couples packages with services like Swedish massage and organic facials.

May love come your way this Valentines Day. Order flowers now!





The Oyster Bar The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive just south of Bellingham is the perfect place for a special dinner. It’s an elegant dining experience, looking out onto the water while enjoying fresh seafood and local oysters.

fresh flowers

Call Belle Flora 360.734.8454 2408 Yew St., Bellingham




McIntyre Hall McIntyre Hall in Mount Vernon hosts some of the most beautiful classical performances around the Sound. Cuddle up with your partner in the seats and take in some music or theater, then share your thoughts with each other after.

Heartful Retreats For a true break for you and your sweetheart, consider Heartful Retreats in Anacortes, a bed and breakfast and artist’s retreat. Take a deep breath, express yourselves in the art studio, and enjoy the gorgeous estate and amenities.


WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE? 100 5th Street, Lynden, WA 98264


February 2024 27



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Lovers to the Stage!




O BEYOND CARDS and candies! There’s no better way to

feel the love this February than by attending Bellingham Circus Guild’s “My Circus Valentine.” “My Circus Valentine” is an annual circus performance that highlights “our human need for connection and what that means.” It’s been recurring since 2010 when Producer and Principal Artistic Director Anneka Deacon, a founding member of the Bellingham Circus Guild, had the idea for a Valentine’s Day show—but not for the reasons you might think. “I never really liked Valentine’s Day because I felt… that it had so much potential to create challenging feelings for people,” says Deacon. “So, I created the show to really honor that, and create space for everybody to come together as a community.” Photo by RFink As a result, the acts in “My Circus Valentine” aren’t all about straightforward sweethearts—they explore love, loss, passion, and connection, and all the messy, human things that come with them. Deacon hand-selects local and regional acts, and strives to feature circus arts that aren’t the local forte. The show usually includes aerialists using a variety of apparatuses (Deacon began the show as an aerialist herself), object manipulation, dance and acrobatics, contemporary clowning, and more. Deacon works with the artists to create a through-line story for the show, ensuring the theme of love and connection is front and center. The result is an emotional show that enraptures performers and audiences alike.

Photo by Vitz Photography

The already awe-inspiring experience becomes full-sensory with special seating and refreshments! This year they’ll have a limited number of deluxe tables for four right up front of the stage. You might even find treats or a love note on your seat! Plans for this year also include live musicians scoring the show, adding another layer of wonder to the live performances. “My Circus Valentine” is set for Feb. 14 and 16–18. Tickets can be bought at Experience this “profound and spectacular, thrilling and tender” show for yourself! 1401 6th St., Ste. 102, Bellingham, t 28


FEBRUARY TOP PICKS Photo Courtesy of Hotel Leo

CHUCKANUT RADIO HOUR ANNIVERSARY SHOW FEATURING LAURIE FRANKEL February 6, 7–8 p.m. The Chuckanut Radio Hour celebrates its 17th year with this annual anniversary show and party, “an evening of music, poetry, comedy, and literature.” New York Times bestselling author Laurie Frankel, known for her books “Goodbye for Now” and “This Is How It Always Is,” will be guest starring and presenting her newest book, “Family, Family.” Get your tickets now to be a part of this community celebration! The Hotel Leo Crystal Ballroom, 1224 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, 360.671.2626,

Photo by Martijn Wall

SPIRITS AND CIDER STROLL February 8 Attention craft liquor and cider lovers! This sip and stroll through downtown invites beverage connoisseurs to explore pop-up tasting rooms and the products of regional cider and spirit makers. Purchase a ticket and indulge in complementary appetizers, a glass, free samples, and the rich history downtown Bellingham has to offer. Downtown Bellingham,

FAIRHAVEN CHOCOLATE WALK February 10, 1–5 p.m.

HEART’S DESIRE DANCE February 10, 7–10:30 p.m.


As Valentine’s day grows near, partake in a delicious way to celebrate the holiday. Share the day with friends, family, or a date at the third annual Fairhaven Chocolate Walk. Chocolate lovers are invited to sample sweets from 18 Northwest Washington businesses. Depending on which tickets you buy (hurry, they’ve sold out both previous years), free samples of intricately crafted goodies and delightful drinks may be included! Downtown Fairhaven,

If you’ve always wanted a do-over for your prom or homecoming dance, the Bellingham Queer Collective has just the thing for you: the Heart’s Desire Dance. Billed as “a night of dancing, romance, music, and fun,” the dance promises to fulfill your, well, your heart’s desire! Dress up and get down at Amendment 21!

This year’s theme for Black History Month is “African Americans and the Arts.” This is a time to appreciate the great Black poets, musicians, visual artists, dancers, filmmakers, and much more who shared their voices and inspired change. Join the National Museum of African American History & Culture online for this event where famed designer B Michael will discuss his experience and memoir, “Muse: Cicely Tyson and Me: A Relationship Forged in Fashion,” with writer, producer, and arts advocate Susan Fales-Hill.

Amendment 21 Lounge, 1224 Cornwall Ave, Bellingham, 360.746.9097,


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CLASSICAL WWU SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: ON RIVERS February 9, 7:30 p.m. A curated evening of music inspired by rivers—what could be more PNWappropriate? The scores played will include “Become River” by Alaskan composer John Luther Adams, which mimics the progress of a river from headwaters to delta through music; “Water Music” by G.F. Handel, which was originally composed as a backdrop to George I’s boat parties on the London Thames in 1717; and Florence Price’s “Mississippi River,” which highlights the people who live along the famous river. Concert Hall at the Performing Arts Center at Western Washington University, 516 High St., Bellingham, 360.650.3130,

CELLOGAYAGEUM February 16, 7:30–9:30 p.m. CelloGayageum is a musical duo comprising an Austrian cellist— Sol Daniel Kim—and a Korean Gayageum player—Dayoung Yoon. The musicians came together in 2016, inspired by Berlin’s Pavilion of Unification to bridge the gap between the Far East and the West through music. Their original pieces offer a window into the traditional music of South Korea, broadening the world’s understanding. McIntyre Hall Performing Arts & Conference Center, 2501 E. College Way, Mount Vernon, 360.416.7727,

CONCERTS TWIN TRIBES, URBAN HEAT, VANDAL MOON February 3, 9 p.m. Lean into the long dark nights with this show at the Shakedown featuring goth, post-punk, darkwave bands. Headliners Twin Tribes emerged in 2018 and have been gaining momentum ever since, re-invigorating dark music genres with gothic explorations of romance, the occult, life, and loss. Sway to the undercurrent of industrial, modernized 80’s sounds, and decayed pop-punk offerings from these three outfits. The Shakedown, 1212 N. State St., Bellingham, 360.778.1067,


VALENTINE’S COVER SHOW February 9, 8pm & February 10, 11:30pm Make.Shift is bringing back this annual tradition after two years of hiatus! Whether you’re anti-Valentine’s or just love to jam to nostalgia pop-punk bops, this two-day concert is for you. Local bands and musicians will be on Make. Shift’s underground stage playing short sets covering their favorite ‘90s and early 2000s bands. Come sing along to the heartbreak anthems of your highschool days! Make.Shift, 306 Flora St., 360.933.1849,

HEART BY HEART February 14, 7:30 p.m. Two of the original members of the band Heart, Steve Fossen and Michael Derosier, now tour with three other musicians as Heart by Heart, a quintet playing Heart’s biggest hits alongside their deep album cuts. Join Heart to Heart at Mount Vernon’s Lincoln Theatre and experience the iconic music of the band you’ve come to know and love in a whole new way! Lincoln Theatre, 724 S. First St., Mount Vernon, 360.419.7129,

MIDLIFE CRISIS & THE ALIMONY HORNS February 17, 8 p.m. If you love brass-forward covers of popular songs, you’ll really love Midlife Crisis & the Alimony Horns! For 35 years, the band has been getting audiences moving with their energetic, passionate performances, and this year they’ll be celebrating their 35th anniversary with a Valentine’s Day Dance at the Wa Walton Event Center. Swinomish Casino & Lodge, 12885 Casino Dr., Anacortes, 888.288.8883,

THEATER YESTERDAY AND TODAY: THE INTERACTIVE BEATLES EXPERIENCE February 3, 7:30–9:30 p.m. The perfect evening out for the Beatles fan in your life, “Yesterday and Today: The Interactive Beatles Experience” enables audience members to select the set list. Each participant fills out a card before the show with their requested song and their reason for requesting it, and then the band, featuring brothers Billy, Matthew, and Ryan McGuigan, set the songs for the evening based on those requests. McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way, Mount Vernon, 360.416.7727,

SOME STARS OF NATIVE AMERICAN COMEDY February 16, 7:30 p.m. Native American comics gather for a night of comedy and celebration as they poke fun at the quirks of everyday life through the perspective of a Native person. Comedians including Jackie Keliiaa and Miguel Fierro will share their unique and entertaining observations, anecdotes, and stories with their intercultural audience. Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham, 360.734.6080,

HEALTH AND WELLNESS BROKEN & BEAUTIFUL WOMEN’S CONFERENCE February 9, 6–9:30 p.m. A collection of women share their stories of the beauty that has come from brokenness to help others with their own healing journeys. Join them for their night of teaching, worship, and togetherness through stories, music, and learning about how to have hope in dark times and find the purpose in pain. North County Christ the King, 1816 18th St., Lynden, 360.318.9446,

ALL LEVEL YOGA February 28, 5:30–6:30 Drop in to this welcoming yoga session for all ages and skill levels at the Ferndale Library! Make sure to bring your own mat or blanket, and wear comfortable clothes that won’t get tangled up. This early evening session is a perfect way to wind down and, since it’s open to all skill levels, the perfect chance to finally get that one stubborn friend to give yoga a try! Ferndale Library, 2125 Main St., Ferndale, 360.384.3647,

SPECIAL EVENTS WINTER GARDENING WITH CELT SCHIRA February 3, 1–2:30 p.m. Want to take advantage of our generally mild winters to grow your own fresh greens and produce in the colder months? This learning opportunity at the Everson Library will teach you to plan, plant, and harvest a winter garden, even in a small or indoor space. If you can’t make this one, a similar class will be held at the Blaine Library on February 28. Everson Library, 104 Kirsch Dr., Everson, 360.305.3600,



BELLINGHAM DOCKSIDE MARKET February 3 & 17, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Connect with local waters and the waterfront community at the Bellingham Dockside Market. Fresh fish caught by local fishermen in and out of Squalicum Harbor are up for sale every first and third Saturday of the month. Arrive early for an expansive seafood selection, and go home with a fresh catch for dinner. Squalicum Harbor Port of Bellingham, 1801 Roeder Ave., Bellingham, 360.676.2500,

GALBRAITH MOUNTAIN: COMMUNITY RACE SERIES February 10, 8:30 a.m. This annual winter race series, presented by Aspire Adventure Running and Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition, spotlights the community history behind Galbraith Mountain’s trails and celebrates shared mountain stewardship. February is the final race and features the longest course in the series. After the finish line, enjoy refreshments and an apres-party at Wander Brewing! Galbraith Mountain, 360.961.2457,

VISUAL ARTS SILVA CASCADIA: UNDER THE SPELL OF THE FOREST February 3–May 12 This spring exhibit at the Museum of Northwest Art features forest- and treeinspired work by Northwest women, including a wide range of two- and threedimensional pieces that explore the depth and breadth of the forest’s hold on our community. As MoNA puts it, “Silva Cascadia: Under the Spell of the Forest aims to provide contemplation, promote awareness, and inspire conversations.” Museum of Northwest Art, 121 S. 1st St., La Conner, 360.466.4446,

DOCUMENTING GRACE: THE DANCING MAN—PEG LEG BATES February 11, 3 p.m. Dave Davidson’s film, “The Dancing Man—Peg Leg Bates,” tells the story of Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates, a famed tap dancer who appeared regularly on the Ed Sullivan Show. Peg Leg was an irrepressible talent, a tap dancer, and an entrepreneur who enamored the nation and paved the way for Black and disabled Americans in the entertainment industry and beyond. Learn his story at this screening! The FireHouse Arts & Events Center, 1314 Harris Ave., Bellingham, 360.305.9858,


On November 30th, the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce held their 17th Annual Business Awards at Silver Reef Casino’s Event Center. While sipping on wine and cocktails, more than 300 local business owners and community members caught up with old friends and made new ones before the awards ceremony began.

During the ceremony—which was emceed by a few different Chamber of Commerce members, all of whom had great stage presence–various large screens displayed information about the winners, as well as interviews with their friends and family. For more information about the ceremony and the winners, check out our website! ANNE GODENHAM

February 2024 31


Happiest Tees on Earth 34 Vera Massage Studio 35 A New Addition to Your Jewelry Box 36


Photo by Ellie Coberly

Savvy Shopper

Happiest Tees On Earth

34 February 2024 33


Savvy Shopper

Truly, One of the Happiest Places on Earth Happiest Tees on Earth WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY ELLIE COBERLY

The Shop Along Metcalf Street, through the heart of downtown Sedro-Woolley, sits a bright white shop. A twinkling glow from within invites passersby to take a peek inside. Those who do will be met with Disney-inspired decor, clothing, accessories and encouraging quotes as far as the eye can see. Erica Howard-Cox and her husband James opened the Happiest Tees on Earth shop at the brick and mortar building in 2023, at the end of August. Though they’ve only been open for five months, as of January Howard-Cox has run her business online for seven years. As business steadily took off, one of her favorite things became spotting Happiest Tees shirts everytime she went to Disneyland. She’s had people run up to her full of excitement—sometimes crying—because of the impact her business has had on them. “I’ve always tried to use my Instagram as a platform to encourage people to smile. It reminds them that we have so much to smile about, even when everything in the world is so heavy and hard,” says Howard-Cox. Interest in Happiest Tees further increased after actor Dick Van Dyke was pictured—for the first time in years—in 2022 wearing the business’ “spoonful 34

of sugar” crewneck! And just back in November, Howard-Cox was invited to do a pop-up shop at his 97th birthday.

What You’ll Find Howard-Cox has come up with so many designs over the years that the hoodies, crewnecks, and tees in store rotate through regularly. You’re guaranteed to find that every shirt exudes something happy, positive, and cheerful; there is not a single drop of sarcasm. Howard-Cox just aims to inspire people to smile and be happy, and the vibrant quotes on every item are a direct way to do that. “They’re little tools that [people] get to wear. When they wear them other people are reading it, and it does rub off. It’s contagious,” says Howard-Cox. Happiest Tees supports other small shops’ Disney-inspired stickers, pins, bag charms, candles, and more! Wishes Candle Co. makes a section of candles devoted to favorite Disney foods. You’ll find scents ranging from donuts, coffee, and cookies, to churros, dole whip, and a spoonful of sugar.

The Atmosphere Happiest Tees’ candy-shop-style windows and luminous shop front shout

“Welcome!” to all who walk by. If you answer the call, a layout reminiscent of Disney’s Main Street is one of the first things you’ll notice when you walk in. To the left of the entrance is the “Coke Corner,” an ode to Disneyland’s very own Coca-Cola refreshment corner. People visit the store not only for its happiest tees, but for its enchanting atmosphere. Upon entering Happiest Tees, customers are met with a huge grin and a listening ear. Howard-Cox wishes for every person that walks through her doors to leave feeling a little more hopeful. “I don’t think there’s anyone who has come in that has not gotten a hug from me yet. I just want people to know that we appreciate them and value them and that they matter,” shares Howard-Cox.

Key People Though Howard-Cox mainly runs the business solo, she works with her cousin, Jill Cathcart, husband and two boys, who are always there to help. Happiest Tees is open Thursday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You’re guaranteed to find HowardCox and her family working hard to spread their love of all things light and magical. 816 Metcalf St., Sedro-Woolley, t




Thank you so much for sharing with our readers about your practice! Can you start by telling me a little bit about your massage practice and how you came to it? My name is Taylor Mayers and I’ve been a massage therapist for a little over eight years. I went to Spectrum Massage School in Lake Stevens; I did medical massage for about five years and then kind of transitioned into trauma informed for the last two years now.

Can you give us a sense of the difference between medical massage versus standard massage versus trauma informed? Standard—or therapeutic—massages are tailored to your [immediate] needs. With medical massage, there’s always a goal at the end; [if] you get in a car accident and you have whiplash and now you can’t turn your head, our goal is to increase your range of motion, or the client has a referral from a medical doctor. Trauma informed care means working with anyone who has experienced trauma or toxic stress. It means shifting the focus from decreasing/stopping symptoms to asking the question, “How can I be of support?” We do that by creating an environment for clients that is safe, trustworthy, and transparent. It is about increasing resiliency for a more meaningful and fulfilling life.

What made you interested in trauma-informed massage therapy, in particular? Like most people, I am on a journey of self healing. I see a mental health therapist regularly and have been for some time. A few years ago she asked if I had ever heard of the book, “The Body Keeps the Score.” I hadn’t, so I read it. That book was life changing for me in many ways. But what stuck out the most was how effective body work had been in Bessel van der Kolk’s patients when traditional talk therapy was at a plateau. I started looking into trauma informed body work for myself, and thus a passion was born to incorporate it into my work.

What benefits does massage have for the average client? One of our most basic primal needs as humans is touch. A benefit that every person who gets a massage receives is a dopamine release. Along with: stress hormone reduction, relaxation, improved circulation, decreased pain and discomfort, and improved range of motion (ROM) or [improvement to] injury.

Are there any particular massages you’d recommend to relieve everyday stress? Massaging your own hands and feet is a great way to relieve stress daily. However, I always recommend to my clients to stretch. Taking 10–15 minutes to stretch out the entire body is a fantastic way to tend to everyday stress, as well as practicing mindful breath practices or meditation.

What’s your favorite thing about being a trauma informed massage therapist? Giving clients who have those anxieties about massage and being touched [the reassurance] that it’s a safe place, and helping people who have mental illnesses and/or diagnoses [to not] feel judged [in telling their stories if they wish to… it] just gives me a deeper understanding of working with their nervous system. And then I get to work in the mental health field, as a massage therapist… It’s a really amazing experience. Vera Massage Studio, 186 Gilkey Rd., Burlington, 425.923.7505, t February 2024 35



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February 2024 37



How Does She Feel in That Photograph? Astraea Bridal WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY NICOLE KIMBERLING


N THE HEART of Mount Vernon’s historic downtown there is a shop selling wedding gowns. That’s nothing new. Bridal boutiques are one of the few brick and mortar retailers who have survived the emergence of online shopping. But Leslee Hughes and Laura Williams of Astraea Bridal consignment have their eyes on the future. “Inclusivity and sustainability are the two pillars of our business,” says Williams. “We’re taking something that’s a single-use item and giving it more lives.” I admit, I’ve never thought of a wedding dress that way, but that was not the only fresh take on the bridal industry that I got while chatting with Astraea’s owners. “Bridal is awesome—it’s so much fun—picking out somebody’s dream dress and making them feel beautiful,” Hughes begins. “We’re selling an experience—making her feel really good,” Williams finishes. Hughes and Williams have worked together for eight years altogether: four years in the rigorous corporate wedding fashion industry and four years as owners of Astraea. They’re cheerful, realistic, and refreshingly uncynical. And they finish each other’s thoughts a lot. Here, they explain the genesis of Astraea: “People get wedding dresses and don’t use them more often than you realize,” Hughes says. “And for a lot of different reasons. And I was scrolling through an online marketplace seeing people trying to resell their unused, high-end wedding dresses and I was thinking that no one would ever go to another person’s house to try on a wedding dress. You need an…” “Interim neutral space?” I offer. “Exactly,” Hughes nods, gesturing around Astraea’s big, light-filled showroom. “And you need a person who can see quality. Websites can be really deceptive.” Williams picks up the thread right away: “We started in 2019 and then Covid canceled so many weddings. It actually worked out for us. We had our first anniversary wearing masks and social distancing, but with a lot of good inventory.” It’s hard to overstate the historical, biographical, and psychological complexity surrounding wedding dresses. I would argue that no single garment stirs so many complicated emotions, as evidenced by the number of tissue boxes discreetly placed around Astraea’s pretty showroom. Apart from their dedication to reducing waste, Astraea’s owners came together because of a mutual frustration with multiple aspects of the bridal industry. “We’re both mothers and we came from a place where our bosses wouldn’t let us take time off if we had a sick kid,” Williams says. 38

Hughes continues, “I feel like women have to choose sometimes between: have family as the top-priority, or choose competing in the corporate grind and getting sales. Here we put people over profits, doing the right thing for her every time.” “We’re not going to sell you the wrong dress just for a commission,” Williams adds firmly. “You know what,” Hughes says, “what I think about is our customer, if she’s going to look at that framed photograph of herself on her wedding day every single day of her life, how did she feel that day? I want her to feel beautiful and remember being happy.” Honestly, as she spoke, the sincerity in her eyes choked me up. I’ve been married for thirty-eight years already, but leaving Astraea, I felt a pang of jealousy toward all the future customers who get to benefit from both Hughes’ and Williams’ dedication and technical expertise. Astraea Bridal is open by appointment for bridal consultation. Schedule your appointment or review Astraea’s consignment terms at 324 S. 1st St., Mount Vernon, 360.755.6537, astraeabridal.comt


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! o m a i g n a M

ItaliaN CUISINE Written by Anne Godenham and Kristen Boehm


talian food is a favorite of many Americans, rising to the top of our melting pot cuisine. When affordable Italian classics like pizza and pasta made their way over in the 19th century, they quickly became integrated into family meal rotations across the states. High-end Italian dining experiences aren’t hard to come by either, having become synonymous with romance and European class. But have you ever had a traditional, multi-course Italian meal? Few restaurants offer the full experience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t recreate it on your own! Let us take you through eight different courses of Italian drinks and dishes that you can find all over the North Sound.


Aperitivo The Italians have a saying: “L’appetito vien mangiando”—“the appetite comes when eating” or, in a less literal translation, “eating awakens the appetite.” This is what the aperitivo, which comes from the Latin aperire, ‘to open,’ is all about: opening your palate’s interest to what’s to come, while also easing you into the social ritual of the meal with a light drink. Technically, that drink itself is the aperitivo: a low-alcohol beverage, often either bitter or fizzy—or, as in the case of the famous Aperol Spritz, both—but it’s usually served with a small bowl of potato chips, olives, or other salty nibbles. Photo by Anne Godenham

Cappelletti Spritz

Lombardi’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar Bellingham Lombardi’s happy hour runs daily from 3–6 p.m. (Sundays 3 p.m. to close) and includes a great selection of specialty cocktails, beer and wine, small plates, and pizza. For an authentic Italian experience, try the Cappelletti Spritz, a refreshing, citrusy blend of Cappelletti aperitivo, prosecco, tonic, and lemon. Add a Mixed Olive Plate or Pickled Vegetables to get that hit of vinegary saltiness that really opens up the palate.

Beauty School Dropout The Temple Bar Bellingham

This fruity, sunset-hued cocktail is a balanced blend of gin, Pilla aperitif, fresh grapefruit, pineapple, rose, and soda—the perfect way to end the work day and begin your evening! Pair the Beauty School Dropout with a bowl of olives or chips to add some salt to the equation, or order the Warm Pistachios for something a little richer.

Harvest Moon

Galloway’s Cocktail Bar Bellingham For something a little more wintery, head to Fairhaven for the Harvest Moon, a dark, spicy blend of bourbon, Amaro Nonino, St. George spiced pear, honey cinnamon syrup, and lemon, finished off with a cinnamon sugar rim. Add a little bowl of Castelvetrano Olives or a Landjaeger with Dijon for dipping.

February 2024 41



ntipasti (singular: antipasto) are small, shareable bites served on a platter or board for the whole table to take what they like. The exact dishes vary widely depending on the region of Italy the food is from. Southern regions and coastal areas usually lean toward cured meats like capocollo or ‘nduja and highlight the saltwater fishing industry with crudo (thinly sliced raw fish in various preparations, often

drizzled with lemon and olive oil) or fried sardines. Meanwhile, in the north of Italy and central towns, charcuterie choices are likely to spotlight regional favorites like mortadella and prosciutto di parma, while the seafood will likely be freshwater fish from the many lakes and rivers. Some favorites across all regions include fresh mozzarella, vegetables in oil and vinegar, and pickled artichoke hearts, olives, and pepperoncini.

Large Charcuterie Board Salt & Vine Anacortes

The large board comes loaded down with everything you know you want and so many things you didn’t know you needed: finocchiona, capocolla, speck (like smoked prosciutto), bresaola, and—the gamechanger—mole salami on the meat side; a range of cheeses including ubriaco or “drunken” goat cheese (so named for its wine-soaked rind), pecorino, and Irish porter with Guinness; dried figs, cherries, and apricots; olives, cornichons, and pickled red “drop peppers;” specialty dijon mustard and fruit spread; and, of course, bread on which to layer it all.

Photo by Anne Godenham

Prosciutto Flatbread Pacioni’s Italian Restaurant Mount Vernon

Piled high with grilled onions, gorgonzola cheese, and salty prosciutto atop a pizza dough base, this flatbread is made for sharing. If you like heat, try sprinkling it with a handful of red pepper flakes for a spicy kick that’ll cut through the richness. 42

Bruschetta Mambo Italiano Cafe Fairhaven, Bellingham

Technically, bruschetta (pronounced ‘broos-ketta’) is just toasted slices of bread with some sort of topping, but the way Mambo Italiano does it is the most common style in the U.S., and for good reason: it’s delicious! Fresh tomatoes are diced and marinated with olive oil, garlic, prosciutto ham, basil, mozzarella, parmesan, then piled precariously on a grilled baguette.

Calamari La Conner Seafood and Prime Rib La Conner

Is there anything more shareable and satisfying than a basket of crispy, perfectly-seasoned calamari? Italians love their squid grilled, baked, and even raw, but calamari fritti (fried) is just as popular there as it is here. La Conner Seafood & Prime Rib serves theirs with a delicious house-made red pepper aioli for dipping.

Garlic Prawns Vinny’s Ristorante Friday Harbor

Here in the North Sound, we’ve gotta have our shellfish, and few preparations highlight fresh prawns as well as the garlic sautee. At Vinny’s, on San Juan Island, they also add white wine, smoked paprika, capers, and a bit of butter to give their prawns a balance of richness and acidity.

Primi Piatti T

he primo piatto, meaning “first dish,” encapsulates a lot of what Americans might name when asked what their favorite Italian foods are: pasta (in all its forms, including gnocchi and lasagne), soups and broth, polenta, risotto. To the uninitiated in traditional Italian dining, these often-starchy dishes are the whole meal in and of themselves, which is kind of the point! They can be low-cost, low-effort, and highly satisfying, making them popular one-course meals for Italians when there’s no time for more extravagant fare. Primi piatti are usually meatless, but may have meat or seafood ingredients added for flavor and substance.

Gnocchi al Calamari Gorgonzola Siciliana Il Granaio Mount Vernon

Nonna Luisa Anacortes

Il Granaio was opened in Mount Vernon by Italian born-and-bred Chef Alberto Candivi. After many years working for others, he decided to open his own restaurant—right here in Skagit Valley. Now, over 20 years later, his authentic recipes and practices are seen in every dish at Il Granaio—including the gnocchi al gorgonzola. Bite into these homemade Italian dumplings, savor the creamy cheese sauce, and be transported straight to Italy.

Although on the menu as an appetizer, make no mistake—this is a prime primo. Sauteed squid (Italian island Sicily is known for its seafood), capers, olives, and herbs are served in a bright and smooth tomato puree. This warming, brothy dish is perfect for soaking up with bread, and for waking up your appetite.

Rye Mezze Luna Monti Eastsound

Chef Avery Adams has re-imagined Monti’s menu to represent his unique cooking “through a Mediterranean lens.” The Rye Mezze Luna features pumpkin and ricotta stuffing inside half-moon shaped pasta, an arugulapistachio pistou, morel burro fuso, and texturizing bread crumbs. The pumpkin (from Orcas producer West Beach Farm), is sweet and silky smooth, and the burro fuso brightened the dish with garlic and fresh lemon. Trust us, you have to experience this menu for yourself!

Prawn Puttanesca Oyster and Thistle La Conner

Puttanesca is a classic, simple sauce that delivers big flavor. Garlic, extra virgin olive oil, capers, and anchovies are the musthaves, added to a tomato base, and Oyster & Thistle complements these ingredients with house-pickled peppers and fresh basil. Add to that the hand-cut pasta and prawns, and you’ve got yourself a tantalizing primo!

Photo by Kristen Boehm

February 2024 43


Packers Kitchen + Bar Blaine This entree could undoubtedly serve as a one-course meal! The fresh gemelli pasta comes in a lamb ragu, famously a hearty sauce involving slow-cooked meats, veggies, and red wine. Packers adds cream and whipped ricotta, for an even richer flavor, as well as a rosemary gremolata to bring in some bright herbaceousness! Top it all off with breadcrumbs, and you’ve got a pasta dish to write home about.

Saltimbocca Lombardi’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar Bellingham

Traditionally made with veal, this Italian dish consists of tender meat wrapped in prosciutto and sage and marinated in wine, oil, or saltwater (depending on the chef or region). At Lombardi’s, they use hand-cut chicken breast medallions and add fontina and lemon to the usual prosciutto and sage, then serve them with Yukon Gold mashed potatoes.

Tuscan Lamb Pasta Keenan’s at the Pier Bellingham

If meatballs are one of your go to Italian dishes then you won’t want to miss this mouthwatering dish, the lamb meatballs are combined with pappardelle pasta, confit tomatoes, spinach, asparagus and blended with a parmesan cream sauce. Combine this with the view and it’s spectacular.



his is where you’ll find your meat and fish dishes, again varying based on region. In Tuscany, for example, you might order Bistecca alla Fiorentina, a huge cut of loin steak from a special cow called the chianina, served rare. Or in Milan, you’d probably want to try Osso Bucco, cross-cut veal shank braised on the bone with spices, wine, and broth. In the south, say in Sicily, there will be more fish options, like tender grilled octopus or Involtini di Pesce Spada (Swordfish Rolls). While Italian entrees in the U.S. are usually served with one or two sides, often a vegetable and a starch, like risotto, in Italy secondi are usually served solo—vegetables or other sides are selected separately as part of the contorni course (more on contorni on p. 46).


Leader Block Trattoria & Bar Ferndale This dish consists of three large, creamy scallops seared to perfection, finished with a delicate fume of truffle oil, and placed on a rich mushroom risotto. It’s filling but light, especially with a squeeze of lemon over the top.


D’Anna’s Cafe Italiano Bellingham Cioppino, a traditional Italian seafood stew with a spicy tomato base, is the perfect way to get your seafood fix while still indulging in a meal that’ll warm you from the inside out. D’Anna’s serves their mix of dungeness crab, shrimp, clams, scallops, calamari, and seasonal white fish over a plateful of their homemade spaghetti. 44

Penne Pasta Primavera Infusion Cuisine Lynden

One of our team’s go-to dishes! If you love complex flavors that come together perfectly then this penne pasta with chicken, zucchini, yellow squash, red onion, and bell peppers should be on your list to try. Accompany it with garlic bread and you will leave satisfied and ready for your next visit.

Costata di Manzo

Lamb Toscana Milano’s Restaurant & Bar Bellingham

Leader Block Trattoria & Bar Ferndale

This Tuscan secondo is a rich, hearty meal that’s perfect for staving off the February chill. Lamb is braised with arugula, caramelized onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, red wine, stock, and gorgonzola, then served over the restaurant’s handmade fusilli.

Meats, Cheeses, Olives, Oh My!

Seared on both sides and bathed in mesquite garlic butter at every turn until the meat is perfectly medium rare, this thick steak is extremely tender. The mushrooms add depth to the perfectly crusted beef, and creamy new potatoes mellow out the palate, prepping it for another bite.

Want to make a charcuterie board of your own? These days, most grocery stores will carry some sort of prosciutto and brie, but sometimes we want something just a bit fresher—something, shall we say, straordinario. That’s when you want this list of the best sources for good Italian and Italianinspired meats, cheeses, and accouterments in Skagit and Whatcom counties. Photo by Anne Godenham



•Hela Provisions, Bellingham

•The Store, Anacortes

•Old World Deli, Bellingham •Europa Food, Bellingham

•Salt & Vine, Anacortes •Skagit Valley Food Co-op,

•Community Food Co-op, Bellingham

Mount Vernon

•Twin Siters Creamery, Ferndale

•Samish Bay Cheese, Bow

•Ferndale Farmstead, Ferndale •Europa Foods, Ferndale

•Golden Glen Creamery, Bow

•Acme Farms Cheese, Acme February 2024 45



ontorni are side dishes, served up as accompaniments to the meal or as shareable plates. In a traditional Italian meal, you’d probably get your sides separately from your primi and secondi. These are often vegetables, although like primi they might be rounded out with meaty ingredients.

Marinated Artichoke Hearts Storia Cucina Bellingham

These marinated artichoke hearts are cold with thin slices of crunchy celery, crispy capers, olive tapenade, and paprika for just a hint of spice. The result is a juicy contorno that’s soft and crisp at the same time, a bright and refreshing side that’d be perfect against a rich main dish. Storia Cucina has a big selection of antipasti that also doubles as sides for your meal.

Mozzarella CAPRESE Il Granaio Mount Vernon

A go-to staple on the Italian menu, Mozzarella Caprese is layers of mozzarella and freshly sliced tomotoes spread out diagonoly and topped with olive oil, fresh basil, and oregeno. A perfect dish to accompany any meal.


You may have heard of vignarola, a Roman fresh vegetable salad or stew often called a celebration of spring. Zucchine alla Scapece is a Neapolitan recipe with cooked zucchini, fresh mint, and vinegar. Contorni can be hot or cold, complicated or simple, as long as they round out your meal!

Baked Portobello Mushrooms Pacioni’s Italian Restaurant Mount Vernon

This side dish doesn’t hold back! The portobello mushrooms are stuffed with ricotta and feta cheese, roasted red peppers, red onions, garlic, roma tomatoes, and basil. Once baked altogether, they’re drizzled in a balsamic gastrique for just that hint of sweet, juicy flavor. You’ll want to share these with the table.

Wood Fired Cauliflower Carnal Bellingham

Bellingham restaurant Carnal puts their own savory-focused spin on everything, and sides aren’t excluded. This side isn’t explicitly Italian, but their roasted cauliflower, wood-fired and flavored with smoked maple, is worth the deviation. Chickpea and citrusy mandarin adds an unexpected layer of taste to this elegant veggie side.

Brussels Sprouts


Nell Thorn La Conner

If you haven’t had Nell Thorn’s extremely fresh veggies, you’re missing out. Take this contorno, for instance—pan-seared brussels sprouts from Skagit Valley Farms, cooked with butter, shallots, garlic, and pancetta for a mouthwatering side. A balsamic honey glaze tops everything off. Many of Nell Thorn’s dishes come with fresh greens from local farms, so if you love nothing more than crunching down on some juicy veg, make Nell Thorn a must for your next night out.

Eggplant Redlight Bellingham

This side dish earns its spot in the contorni line-up by being craveable all on its own. Redlight is notorious for its Asian-inspired small plates like tea eggs, char siu, and bao buns. Amongst these offerings is their crispy, hand-battered eggplant, served up with a sweet and spicy sauce. Each bite is a burst of flavor and texture that goes down easy alongside Redlight’s refreshing cocktails.

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Our Top 5 Picks Chianti

A medium-bodied wine with earthy tones and rustic aromas. Common flavor notes include cherry, raspberry, oak, and tobacco.

Sommelier Amberleigh’s Pick: Brancaia


Medium-bodied, this wine is typically a dry wine higher in tannins and acidity. The wine shows characteristics of cherry, plum, and red fruit, as well as leather and oaky notes.

Sommelier Amberleigh’s Pick: Ca’ Gialla

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Pinot Grigio

Light-bodied, delicate, and refreshing, this white wine offers fruity aromas which can include peach, pears, apricot, apples, and citrus.

Sommelier Amberleigh’s Pick: Santa Margherita


This classic Italian red wine comes from the northern region of Italy and is made from the Nebbiolo grape. It’s a full-bodied wine with higher tannins and acidity, and the wine carries flavors of cherry, red fruit, raspberry, leather, and chocolate with oaky notes.

Sommelier Amberleigh’s Pick: Fratelli Alessandria



A dry, light-bodied wine produced using Pinot Grigio grapes. This wine boasts hints of almonds, apple, peach, apricot, and citrus notes, and tends to be fruity and delightful.

Sommelier Amberleigh’s Pick: Prá

February 2024 47



olce’ literally means ‘sweet,’ and the dolci course covers everything from a small scoop of gelato to a hefty slice of cake. This course is less commonly eaten in most of Italy—usually, diners stick with a bit of cheese and fruit and a digestivo, maybe limoncello if they’re craving something sweet (see p. 52). But on special occasions, like birthdays or holidays, a little dolce is always on the menu. It will almost certainly be little, though, which is usually a relief after so many other delicious courses!

Like most Italian dishes, traditional dolci vary from region to region. In Sicily, you’d be remiss if you didn’t try the cannoli: crisp fried pastry tubes filled with a creamy mixture of ricotta and sugar, then dipped (just the ends) in crushed pistachios. Up north in Milan, especially around the holidays, you’re likely to find panettone on the menu: a cake-like yeasted bread studded with candied fruit and raisins. For something a little lighter, head to Piemonte (Piedmont), the original home of panna cotta: a baked custard made with fresh cream and gelatin, often served with chocolate or fruit sauce. Photo by Anne Godenham

Panna Cotta

Mambo Italiano Cafe Bellingham Mambo Italiano’s panna cotta flavors rotate seasonally—on a recent visit, we were lucky enough to taste the Spiced Cranberry Panna Cotta, which was absolutely incredible. Perfectly smooth and just sweet enough, with a tart, warmly spiced kick from the cranberry topping.

Pistachio Gelato Sirena Gelato Bellingham

If you’re looking for a dessert-onthe-go, why not swing by Sirena Gelato in Fairhaven and grab a scoop or two of their handmade gelato? We’re particular fans of the pistachio flavor, but you can’t go wrong with any of the choices on their menu, and they’re always adding new flavors. 48



Another great take-out option is Tutti Freschi, a specialty Italian and French bakery that makes everything from Tiramisu Cupcakes to Calzone. Our favorite, though, are the cannoli (singular: cannolo)—vanilla is always on the menu, but they have other flavors available on a seasonal rotation.

Like all of the desserts at D’Anna’s, the spumoni—a southern Italian custard made with bittersweet chocolate, eggs, and milk, then mixed with whipped cream and toasted almonds and frozen—is an old family recipe. They serve it with a housemade raspberry coulis, which lends a sharp freshness to the rich dessert.

Tutti Freschi Bellingham

D’Anna’s Cafe Italiano Bellingham


D’Anna’s Cafe Italiano, Bellingham At D’Anna’s, the tiramisu is made with sponge cake rather than ladyfingers, giving it both the appearance and the texture of a softer layer cake. The homemade sponge is soaked in pure, cold espresso, and the booze—Meyer’s Rum and Bailey’s—is whipped into a mixture of heavy mascarpone and cream cheese, with a splash of orange juice to brighten it up. The result is a beautiful, towering slice of “pick-me-up” with a perfect balance of rich-yet-delicate flavors.

Photo by Anne Godenham


The Most American Italian Food


espite focusing on more traditional Italian meals, we couldn’t leave pizza out entirely! Check out these popular spots for pizza-pie you shouldn’t miss.


Sliced in Bellingham is a family restaurant with a huge menu, including create your own and specialty pizzas. Order their Authentic Pizza Margherita for a taste of what they’re capable of.

Syros Greek & Italian Restaurant

This fusion location can really spice up your pizza night! At this Lynden restaurant, you can order a Build Your Own pizza (with toppings from Italian salami to Hawaiian pineapple) and a serving of lasagna at the same time!


This Eastsound restaurant, previously known as Hogstone, is renowned for their woodfired pizzas. Even readers in Bellingham can join their Pizza & Wine Club to have pizza and seasonally appropriate wine delivered to the door!

Goat Mountain

Downtown Bellingham’s Goat Mountain restaurant and bar serves gourmet personal pizzas like their Roasted Mushroom pie with oyster mushrooms and truffled garlic confit. Plus, all the gin-based cocktails you could want! February 2024 49

mericans love coffee in all its forms—hot, cold, steeped, dripped, or pulled. However, in Italian coffee culture, espresso wins out all day long… literally! In fact, that difference is how we ended up with the Americano. WWII soldiers in Italy asked for hot water to be added to espresso to create something more similar to the drip coffee they were used to back home, creating a drink that became popular in and of itself.

When you’re having a big, multi-course Italian dinner, chances are the restaurant will have shots of espresso on offer, either as a solo (single shot) or doppio (two shots). They may even make you a late-night caffe latte or cappuccino, although this would be pretty poor form in terms of Italian dining, where consuming milky coffee after the morning isn’t really done. Just in case you don’t get your fix at the end of the meal, here are some places to have excellent Italian-inspired or late-night espresso.

Ristretto Coffee Lounge & Wine Bar Mount Vernon If you’re just getting started in the world of espresso, Ristretto Coffee Lounge & Wine Bar will be happy to take you on a tour. Their menu makes sure to specify that they serve Cappuccino and Latte Macchiato as well as True Cappuccino and True Macchiatto, made with proper milk to coffee ratios. Beyond teaching you classic Italian espresso drinks, they also serve a Cubano, a strong and sweet espresso drink originating from Cuba, and an Abuelita Mocha, a mocha with Mexican flavors.

Stompin’ Grounds Coffee Co. La Connor Tucked away in La Conner is an eclectic, homey cafe called Stompin’ Grounds Coffee Co. This community coffee shop is all about keeping it local, selling pastries from True North Bakery in Anacortes and works from local artists and craftsmen. Neon signs, comfy armchairs, art on the walls, and delicious espresso draws locals and visitors alike to Stompin’ Grounds. They’re open till 6 p.m. every day, even on most holidays. They’re the perfect place to stop after a meal to sip on coffee with friends.

Caffe Adagio Bellingham

Cafe Blue Bellingham

Locals know that Caffe Adagio is a destination for fine Italian coffee, lovingly prepared with European artistry. Their beans are from Caffé D’arte, another Seattlebased roastery, whose founder trained under a fourth generation master roaster in Naples. Although Caffe Adagio closes before dinnertime (they’re open 7 a.m.–4 p.m. every day except for Sunday, when they’re closed), their soups, salads, sandwiches, and pastries are an excellent accompaniment to a morning cappuccino or afternoon espresso.

Cafe Blue in Fairhaven is beloved for its happy, hip atmosphere and delicious cafe snacks and pastries. There’s no better cafe for artists and young professionals to stop in for a breather or to get some work done, either in the sweet and cozy interior or the covered wooden seating area outside. They have some unique specials, like their popular Rosemary Latte, but they’re not particularly Italian. They’re on this list because, on Monday nights only, they’re open from 5–9 p.m., making them the perfect late night stop for an after dinner espresso.


Photo by Kristen Boehm


Caffe Bar Cicotti Bellingham This is the sister cafe to Storia Cucina, and is located just a short walk away, inside the Whatcom Museum Lightcatcher Building. Bar Cicotti is open for lunch and dinner, has a lovely wine and cocktail list, and, of course, serves up delicious espresso. Bar Cicotti uses beans from Caffe Umbria, a Seattle roastery that specializes in traditional artisan blending to create authentic Italian espresso. A Doppio at Bar Cicotti has the deep roasty flavor and touch of acidity that Italian caffe is known for. That robust flavor makes it perfect in Bar Cicotti’s Affogato, where espresso is poured over cream gelato.

Pasta Dissected Written by Lisa Karlberg

Pasta is one of the most versatile staples in our pantry; all the different shapes, sizes, and textures lead to various dishes you can create with what’s on hand. Throw it in boiling water, add a little sauce, veggies, and protein and you have a meal. Below are some of our go-to pastas, what pairs best with them, and local restaurants where you can give them a try.

Angel Hair



Shape: Long, delicate strands of pasta. Pairs: Light or creamy sauce, great to use with a puttanesca or keep it simple with olive oil, garlic, and parmesan. Give it a try: Angel Hair Pomodoro, Lighthouse Bar & Grill, Bellingham; Shrimp Scampi, Olive Garden Italian Restaurant, Bellingham & Burlington.

Shape: Long, narrow egg-noodle ribbons. Pairs: Thick or creamy sauces like ragu or alfredo, but can also be used as a substitute in any recipe that calls for spaghetti or linguine. Give it a try: Fettuccine & Clams, Chuckanut Manor Seafood & Grill, Bow; Gamberi Prosciutto, Milano’s Restaurant & Bar, Bellingham.

Shape: Little puffs of chewy goodness. Pairs: Traditionally made from potatoes and technically a dumpling rather than a pasta, these little nuggets pair well with rich tomato-based or butter and herb sauces. Give it a try: Gnocchi al Gorgonzola, Il Granaio Authentic Italian Restaurant, Mount Vernon; Gnocchi Sorrentina a Forno, Nonna Luisa Ristorante, Anacortes.

Ravioli Shape: Little stuffed pillows of pasta that can be various shapes and sizes. Pairs: These bites of deliciousness can be stuffed with cheese, finely chopped meats, and vegetables. Add to sauces, put it in soups, or keep it simple by drizzling with olive oil and topping with parmesan cheese. Give it a try: Mushroom Ravioli, Lombardi’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar, Bellingham; Butternut Squash Ravioli, D’Annas Cafe Italiano, Bellingham.

Lasagna Shape: Long, wide noodle with flat or curly edge. Pairs: Marinara or a simple red sauce, with or without meat. Typically a little thicker than traditional spaghetti sauce, to help hold the noodles together as you layer your favorite cheeses, vegetables, and whatever suits your palate. Give it a try: Lasagna Classico, Leader Block Trattoria & Bar, Ferndale; Lasagna Carne, Mambo Italiano Cafe, Bellingham.




Shape: Two-inch long, narrow, tubeshaped pasta cut diagonally on both ends. Pairs: Keep in mind that since the pasta is hollow the sauce you use will slide inside. Great with a chunky red sauce, vegetable sauce, or even a smooth pesto sauce. Give it a try: Smoked Salmon Penne, Mambo Italiano Cafe, Bellingham; Penne Creamy Pistachio Pesto, Infusion Cuisine, Lynden.

Shape: Long, hollow, spaghetti-like noodles, different from your average noodle and fun to get creative with. Pairs: From creamy sauces like vodka or alfredo to simple marinara or olive oil, this pasta fills a bit inside, offering more sauce with each bite. Give it a try: Cacio e Pepe, Storia Cucina, Bellingham; Bucatini Arrabbiata, Nell Thorn, La Conner.

Shape: Long, flat noodles, similar to fettuccine—can be a substitute for spaghetti. Pairs: Classically paired with a clam sauce, but also pairs well with a cream, red, or pesto sauce. Give it a try: Creamy Cajun Pasta, Luna’s Bistro, Bellingham; Prawn Scampi Linguini, 13moons Restaurant, Anacortes.

February 2024 51



he final swallow of a traditional Italian dinner is the digestivo, meaning “digestive.” While the aperitivo opens the door to the stomach, the digestivo closes it, aiding in digestion of all the delicious foods that have been eaten. In some cases, this will just be a small, sippable shot of amaro (Italian bitters) or limoncello (a sweet lemon liqueur), but many restaurants will also have a brief list of digestivo cocktails.

Amaretto Sour

Amari Flight

Tiramisu Martini

While the word ‘amaretto’ comes from the Italian word for ‘bitter,’ it’s actually quite sweet, with a mellow almondy flavor. This balances perfectly against the sourness of lemon juice in an Amaretto Sour. Revival Lounge makes theirs with cask strength bourbon, Amaretto, lemon juice, simple syrup, and frothed egg white.

No need to choose just one amaro—at Storia Cucina, you can get a flight of three choices off their list of around 30 types of amari. Most of their selection is made in Italy, like Amaro Noveis from Piemonte, but they also have amari made in Seattle, like the Sennza Finne Spring Amaro.

For the perfect blend of dessert, coffee, and digestivo, try 13moons’s Tiramisu Martini. The espresso, Dorda double chocolate liqueur, and half and half give it all the rich chocolate and sharp coffee notes of traditional tiramisu, while the rumchata adds a boozy kick. Plus, it’s served with a chocolate hazelnut wafer, so you’ll still get that toothsome satisfaction.

Revival Lounge Mount Vernon

Photo by Anne Godenham

Storia Cucina Bellingham

13moons Anacortes

Don Limone Bar Veneto at Milano’s Restaurant & Bar Bellingham

With the largest selection of amari in Whatcom County, Bar Veneto is the place to go for a digestivo after your meal (and it’s inside Milano’s, so you can also do both in the same location). The Don Limone is a special digestivo cocktail designed just for this feature! It’s a lovely variation on the negroni, with Limone replacing the vermouth for a lightly sweet, fresh flavor that leaves your palate feeling clean and happy. Check out the recipe on the next page!


How to Make Bar Veneto’s Don Limone Recipe courtesy of Sam Hassan of Milano’s Restaurant & Bar Ingredients ■ 1 ounce Carpano Botanic Bitter (can be replaced with Campari) ■ .5 ounce of Limone (source it in Whatcom County from distributor Dickerson) ■ 1.5 ounce lemon-lime gin

Instructions To make lemon-lime gin: ■ Combine the grated rind of a lemon and a lime. ■ Add 250 milliliters (8 shots) of London Dry or your favorite gin. ■ Put everything in a jar or bottle and shake it vigorously quite a few times, until the flavors are absorbed by the gin. Best if allowed to rest overnight, with a few vigorous shakes throughout. To build the Don Limone ■ Add the Carpano Botanic Bitter, Limone, and lemon-lime gin to a rocks glass. ■ Add a big ice cube or an ice sphere. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Staff Picks For authentic Italian flavor, Office Manager Jenn turns to Il Granaio’s Strozzapreti Calabrese. The spicy sausage and roasted peppers alongside capers and red wine sauce really make the handmade pasta stand out! Deliziosa! Editor in Chief Anne fell in love

with Storia Cucina’s Wild Mushroom Pizza on a recent visit. Paired with a house side salad and a perfect little ball of house-made Burrata, it makes for a special workday lunch!

Italian Cooking Classes


hile a meal out can be a wonderful indulgence, one of the best things about Italian food is that it’s easier to make on your own than you might think—you just need the right ingredients, a reliable recipe, and a little encouragement! And you can get all of those at the same time, at one of the excellent Italian cooking classes offered nearby. In Bellingham, your first stop for cooking classes is probably going to be the Community Food Co-op. Their classes are affordable and cover a wide range of cuisines, including Italian. Some of the February classes we’ve been eyeing include: Homestyle Italian Dinner with Richard Balogh; Gluten-free Sourdough Pizza with Lisa Samuel; and Let’s Make Mozzarella and Burrata! with Marisa Papetti. If handmade pasta or toothsome gnocchi is more your speed, King Arthur Flour’s Baking School at The Bread Lab in Burlington offers two levels of pasta classes—the basics and a “basics and beyond”—in addition to a gnocchi class. Plus, they have a live online lasagna class where you can learn to make bechamel sauce as well as the pasta sheets! For those of you who perked up at the mention of an online class (some of us prefer to learn from the comfort of our own homes while still supporting local chefs), Orcas Island Catering offers virtual classes in everything from flavorful sauces and handmade pasta to sous vide and roasted meats.


ere at Bellingham Alive, we rarely choose favorites—there are just too many great restaurants in our area! But these are some of the Italian dishes that we keep going back to again and again.

President and Publisher Lisa

Administrative Assistant Megan

always enjoys Mambo Italiano Cafe’s Fettuccine con Pollo with Gorgonzola Cream when dining in Fairhaven.

adores the Shrimp Scampi at Infusion Cuisine in Lynden, citing their garlic butter sauce as “the best,” not to mention the cheesy garlic bread it comes with.

Senior Graphic Designer Stella loves her pizza, especially the Waikiki Pizza from Coconut Kenny’s in Bellingham.

Account Executive Michael can’t get enough of the Eggplant Parmigiana from D’Anna’s Cafe Italiano in Bellingham.

Account Executive (and Sommelier) Amberleigh thinks Van Vino Vineyards’s

Sangiovese is delicious on its own or with her family’s spaghetti recipe! February 2024 53


Menus Need direction? Let our local menus guide your dining choices.



come to eat here in the nation’s uppermost left corner have dining choices like few others, no matter which direction they take. We are uniquely situated to enjoy nature’s bounty while soaking up spectacular views of where those dishes originated, whether it be the streams and rivers of the Nooksack Valley, the berry fields of northern Whatcom County, the farmlands of the Skagit Valley, or the waterways of the San Juan Islands.

Set your gastronomical compass east, and enjoy the sweet buttery texture of salmon or steelhead in Nooksack streams and rivers. North, and you’ll find the nation’s most bountiful raspberry harvest, as well as an abundance of strawberries and blueberries, depending on the month of your picking. Head south to Skagit’s picturesque farms, where the snowcapped Mount Baker stands in contrast to that patchwork quilt of homegrown produce that is enticing members of a younger generation to trade tech for tractors. Or turn to the west for the crab, clams, and oysters of the San Juans, caught one day and brought to your table the next (or the same day, if you know someone). If locally sourced food is not your thing, this area has familiar fare too. Be as conventional or adventuresome as you like. But whether you are cozying up to pub fare or sampling the latest organic offering, take a minute to look around. No matter where you’ve come from, this is a good place to be.

February 2024 55

13moons Seafood & Steakhouse The highly acclaimed 13moons fine dining restaurant brings all of the flavors and delicacies of the Pacific Northwest to your table at the Swinomish Casino & Lodge in beautiful Anacortes, Washington. Surrounded by stunning Swinomish Native Tribal Art in a warm, comforting lodge atmosphere, the 13moons restaurant offers an unparalleled dining experience. With a food menu that pleases the most sophisticated of palates, feast on the freshest flavors that the Northwest has to offer.

First Plates

Prawn Scampi Linguine w/ Capers

Grilled Jumbo Prawn Cocktail

Alder wood-grilled jumbo prawns, housemade cocktail sauce

Dungeness Crab Cakes

Dungeness crab, grilled sweet corn, leeks, mustard seed, Pink Lady apple slaw

Fried Calamari

Garlic-herb seasoned calamari, sweet cilantro-chili sauce

From the Garden Romaine Caesar Salad

Romaine hearts, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, white anchovy, citrus, Caesar dressing

From the Salish Sea Wild Sockeye Salmon w/ Lobster

8-oz pan-seared lingcod, Dungeness crab, parmesan-panko herb crust, roasted citrusthyme beurre blanc, rice pilaf

White Truffle Sea Scallops

Jumbo prawns, garlic, shallots, lemon, white wine, capers, linguine, garlic toast

Chef’s Fresh Catch of the Day

Fresh, locally harvested seafood. Ask server for details

From the Salish Land Marsala Mushroom Pork Chop

Alder wood-grilled pork chop, Marsalaglazed mushrooms, spring onions, sage

Filet Mignon

8-ounce aged Angus beef steak. Enhancements available

Tournedos of Beef

Two 4-ounce filet mignons, blue cheese, Marsala mushrooms

NY Strip Loin

14-ounce aged Angus beef steak

Tomahawk Ribeye

34-ounce aged Angus beef steak with herb compound butter

Desserts Double Chocolate Brownie Cake

Layers of chocolate & brownies, caramel drizzle, chocolate ganache, vanilla ice cream

Cocktails Black Manhattan

Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Amaro, black walnut bitters

Elderflower Collins

Gin or Vodka, St~Germain Liqueur, lemon juice, seltzer, lemon-lime soda

Pacific Pamplemousse

Tequila, Giffard Pink Grapefruit Liqueur, lime juice, grapefruit juice, soda water

Royal Butterfly Margarita

Sauza Silver Tequila infused with butterfly pea flower tea, cointreau, citrus sour

The Sheldon (Non-Alcoholic)

Ginger beer, lime juice, pineapple juice, mint, pomegranate juice

Jumbo sea scallops, Marsala-glazed mushrooms, white truffle butter, rice pilaf





Wed–Sun 5–9 pm

12885 Casino Dr, Anacortes, WA 98221

Attire: Casual


Reservations: Yes

Bar: Yes

Leader Block Trattoria + Bar Northern Italian Cuisine Northern Italian cuisine • Steaks • Seafood • Wild game • Vegan • Gluten free • Gorgeous rustic atmosphere Classical music “Total Vivaldi catalog” • Full bar/Specialty cocktails • Located in the heart of Ferndale • Kid friendly • Extensive wine list + captain’s list • Free parking • Rental rooms • On premise/Off premise catering • Wedding venue • Special events • Patio space

Antipasti Cambozola

Gorgonzola-brie, tomato chutney, garlic confit, crostini

Mama Lil’s peppers, pickled onion, pomodoro, wine, butter, parmigiano

Polenta con Funghi

Linguine Al Fruita Di Mare

Polenta, cascadia mushroom parmigiano pesto cream sauce

Vitello Marsala

Veal scallopini, Cascadia Mushroom, marsala, cream, risotto alla milanese, asparagus

Torta di Granchio “Market Price”

Linguine, manilla clams, deep sea crab, prawns, calamari, garlic, cream, wine

Deep sea red crab cakes, baby greens, citrus vinagrette, red pepper aioli, saffron aioli, lemon

Bucatini Carbonara

Zuppa e Insalata

Bucatini, pecan smoked shoulder bacon, egg yolk, wine, parmigano, olive oil, butter

Bisquit Di Granchio Crab bisque



Insalata Di Barbabietola

Beets, beet puree, arugula, chevre, spiced pecans, citrus, citrus vinaigrette

Desserts Lady fingers, mascarpone, espresso coffee, toasted Italian meringue, ground espresso

Pollo Picatta

Chicken scallopini, Cascadia mushrooms, capers, lemon, wine, butter, creamy polenta, asparagus,



Chocolate Mousse

Jumbo scallops, truffle oil, Cascadia Mushroom risotto, asparagus

Callebaut chocolate, fruit coulis, toasted Italin meringue, devonshire creme

Costata Di Manzo “Market Price”


Gemelli, Italian sausage, mushrooms, red pepper coulis, wine, butter, parmigiano

Certified black angus ribeye, onions & mushrooms, mesquite butter, baby potato, asparagus

Marscarpone filled cannoli shell, choice of toasted pistachio, dried dates, chocolate chips, combination

Bucatini Puttanesca Gamberoni

Osso Bucco

Creme Brulee

Primi/Pasta Rigatoni alla Bolognese

Beef & hot Italian sausage ragu, pomodoro, rigatoni, parmigiana, basil

Gemelli con Funghi al Salsiccia

Bucatin, wild prawns, anchovies, capers, garlic confit, art hearts, kalamata olives,

Braised veal shank, sofrito braisage, risotto alla milanese, vegetable medley

Gluten free chocolate torte, fruit coulis, toasted Italin meringue, pistachios

Rich hibiscus custard dessert, Italian Meringue, carmelized sugar, berries

Hours Dinner: Mon–Thur 4–9 p.m.

Contact Info Brunch: Sat & Sun 11–3 p.m.

2026 Main St., Ferndale

Fri–Sat 4–10 p.m.

Wine Dinners: every 4th


Sun 4–8 p.m. *starting March

Sunday. Reservation for wine

Happy Hour: Mon–Thu 4–6 p.m.

dinners. Five course menu

*Library and Bar section only and


with intermezzo.

Reservations: Yes,

reqiures food purchase

Call/text 206.484.9255

walk-ins welcome

February 2024 57

COA Mexican Eatery Mexican COA mexican eatery and tequileria serves modern Mexican food. Named after the spade like tool used to harvest agave plants which is used to make tequila, mezcal and Sotol. The owners, sister and brother, take pride in every dish using only quality fresh ingredients. With flavors from their hometown, Durango, Mexico, mixed with a culinary chef’s perfection you are taken to their abuelita’s kitchen with every bite.


Chimichanga $16

Guacamole & Chips $11.50

Our Fresh handmade guacamole showcase Mexico’s most simple, yet bold flavors

Deep-fried flour tortilla filled with your choices of meat, beans and cheese. Topped with poblano crema, guacamole and picked onions. Served with rice and beans

Triple dip starter $12.50

Enchilada $14.50

Fresh handmade guacamole, mango pico de gallo & refried beans

Wild cod ceviche $14.50

Mango pico, serrano peppers tossed in fresh lime juice. Served with warm chips.

Chicken Burger $15.50

Chicken Patty- Dry or Tossed In Any Sauce Served With Lettuce Tomato, Pickles


Corn tortilla filled with choice of meat, rolled and covered in our green poblano crema sauce or mole sauce. Topped with greens and pickled onions. Served with rice and beans

Tacos Crispy $15.50

Two crispy corn tortillas with choice of meat. Topped with romaine lettuce, poblano crema, pickled onions and queso fresco. Served with rice and beans

Mexiattle Fajitas $27.50

Fresco salad $14.50

Choice of meat or grilled veggies severed with fresh mixed greens, red cabbage, mango pico tossed in a poblano crema. Topped with our pickled onions, guacamole and queso fresco. Add corn or flour shell $1 extra cost: Asada, Pollo Asado, Steak

Carne-asada $26

Sliced outside skirt steak. Served with grilled vegetables, guacamole and choice of tortillas. Served with rice and beans

El Conquistador $20

Slow roasted pork, chorizo, red pimento peppers, onions and mushrooms. Served with choice of tortillas. Served with choice of tortillas, rice and beans

Pollo a la parrilla $22

Seasoned grilled chicken breast served over grilled vegetables and topped with our pimento and poblano crema

Pollo en mole $23

Grilled chicken breast covered in our traditional mole sauce. Our mole is made from scratch with over 30 ingredients including spices imported from Mexico City

Seasoned outside skirt steak or chicken sauteed with fresh seasonal vegetables. Served with guacamole, mango pico, sour cream, rice, beans and tortillas

COA fish tacos $22.75

Tres-enchiladas $19

Carne Asada y camarones $29.50

Three corn tortillas filled with choice of meat, rolled and covered with a green poblano crema sauce or mole sauce. Topped with fresh greens, pickled onions and queso fresco. Served with rice & beans

Topped with romaine., mango pico de gallo and a drizzle of our pimento crema sauce. Serve with rice and beans Half order of our carne asada with your choice of prawns: a la diablo, al mojo or coa prawns served with rice, beans, guacamole, mango pico and choice of tortillas


Contact Info


Hours vary by location

Bellingham: 360.526.2108

Attire: Come as you are

La Conner: 360.466.0267

Reservation recommended

Mount Vernon: 360.840.1938

for private rooms and large groups Bar: Yes


Skagit Valley Food Co-op Deli Deli + Bakery Vibrant salads, famous sandwiches, organic juices, feel good snacks, and out-of-this world desserts. Oh, and coffee, too. The Co‑op Deli has it all. Whether you need healthy food to‑go, a quick pick-me-up, or just don’t feel like cooking, you’ll find a wide variety of vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and whole food choices for every meal—all made from scratch by us, for you.




Hand Pies + Pot Pies

Wellness Shots

Raspberry Chocolate Heartcakes

Organic Sweet Tart Smoothie

Specialty Ice Cream Pints

Cookies -n- Cream Milkshake

Classic Éclair

Flaky crust and hearty fillings, our pies make for a simple and satisfying meal. Pick your perfect pie: Irish Beef Potato or Beef Chickpea Kale hand pies along with four kinds of pot pie— veggie, turkey, chicken, and beef

Ham & Cheese Croissant

Made with our unbeatably buttery croissants, this all-time Co-op favorite is flaky, cheesy, melty, and a must-have for busy day

Cheese & Chive Scone

This scone just might be the best thing in the bakery case— cheesy, a little chivey, and all-out savory. Warm slightly, add butter, and dunk in soup

Handmade Pastas

Fresh, handmade pasta at home? Now that’s amore! Give one of these a twirl for a very special meal: spaghetti, linguine, rigatoni, fusilli, or casarecce (it’s a-pasta!)

Organic fruit and veggies with a dash of spices— a light, bright hit of citrus and sun for your day. Try our Hot Shot or Sunshine Shot Pucker up! A just-right mix of tart and tropical: hemp hearts, pineapple, and pineapple coconut nectar blended to pink perfection with strawberries and raspberries Chunked full of Newman-O’s and even more delicious than twisting apart a chocolate-y cookie sandwich and licking away the creme-filled side

Raspberry Mocha

Irresistible chocolate cupcakes made with Fair Trade cocoa, adorned with chocolate ganache and raspberry buttercream hearts Handmade in small batches using milk from Northwest dairies, our ice cream is worth the trip. Head to the dip well to pint up our irresistible seasonal flavors Creamy vanilla custard wrapped in fluffy pastry topped with Fair Trade Guittard dark chocolate

Lemon Crisp Cookie

Our rich, chocolatey mocha, but razzledazzled with a dash of sweet raspberry syrup

Crisp, yes, yet chewy and zesty, too. This cookie is the perfect treat to satisfy your sweet tooth on a dreary afternoon

Lavender Rose Lemonade

Donut Muffin

Made with Columbia Gorge organic lemonade, it’s a fresh, floral twist on a childhood favorite.

Donut + muffin. Yes, you read that right. It’s a delectably unbeatable combo, made without gluten (but you’d never know it).

Black Bean & Mushroom Burger

A patty packed with plant power that’s as delicious as it is filling. Try it with our fresh brioche sesame burger buns or enjoy on a garden salad!


Contact Info


Daily: 7 am-8 pm

202 S First St., Mount Vernon

Attire: Come as you are


Reservations: No

Bar: No

February 2024 59

Penny Farthing at Chuckanut Bay Distillery Distillery Located in a beautifully renovated historic building in the heart of downtown Bellingham, guests of Penny Farthing enjoy modern interpretations of classic dishes paired with delicious craft cocktails - all while surrounded by original old growth timbers and steel beams with a full view of our working distillery. Voted Bellingham’s Best New Restaurant for 2023, Penny Farthing offers a memorable dining experience that’s sure to exceed your expectations.

Soup | Appetizers Bourbon Crab Bisque $15

Mirepoix vegetables, bourbon creamy seafood broth, creme fraiche, and Dungeness crab

Patatas Bravas $13

Potato bites seared in olive oil, salsa bravas sauce, garlic aioli drizzle

Whiskey Queso Dip $18

Whiskey reduction, shallot, garlic, cream, melted cheeses, wild thyme, crostinis

Distiller’s Mezze Platter $25

Seasonal fresh vegetables, exotic fruits, roasted garlic flatbread & assorted spreads

Entrees Gnocchi Mac & Cheese $18

Tender potato gnocchi pasta tossed in our rich and velvety cheese sauce

Tuscan Ribs A La Rosticceria $18

Half rack of red wine agrodolce glazed baby back ribs, cannellini bean radicchio slaw

Chicago-Style Pot Still Pizza Pie $17 Unique take on deep dish with fresh housemade ingredients made in our Woodstone ovens

Dock Street Filet Sliders $25

Angus tenderloin slices, melted brie, caramelized onions, arugula, toasted brioche

Grilled Chicken Pesto Flatbread $20

Grilled chicken, basil pesto cream sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, mozzarella

Fig vodka, infused vanilla bean, honey, lemon, orange bitters, sparkling rose’ cava

Distiller’s Old Fashioned $12

Bourbon, Demerara syrup, and aromatic bitters, served on a rock

Naughty Toddy $11

Lunch Entrees

Krampus Liqueur, orange & lemon juices, fig simple syrup, served hot

Caprese Sandwich $15

Bayview Corpse Reviver $11

Smoked prosciutto, heirloom tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella, arugula, garlic aioli

Gin, fresh lemon juice, orange liqueur, Cocchi Americano, Absinthe rinse, served up

Chicken Caesar Lettuce Wraps $15

Chuckanut Tasting Flight $11

Grilled chicken breast, house Caesar dressing, Asiago Cheese, Sweet Gem lettuce cups

Tasting flight with your choice of 4 CB spirits made right here in our distillery

Cocktails | Drinks


Busker’s Espresso Martini $12

Easter Brunch

Vodka, Old Busker Coffee Liqueur, chocolate bitters, cold brew, vanilla cream float

A delicious brunch with specialty drinks and craft cocktails to celebrate the day!

Richelieu $13

Mother’s Day Brunch

Madame Richelieu Absinthe, yellow chartreuse, apricot liqueur

Treat Mom to an amazing brunch with all her favorite dishes plus ‘Mommosas’ a plenty

West Coast Paradise Margarita $12

Krampus Release Party

Blanco tequila, lime, grapefruit, coconut cream. Rocks



Fig’get Me Not $13

An annual tradition of delicous food, craft cocktails, and Krampus of course!

Contact Info


1309 Cornwall Ave. Bellingham

Attire: Casual

Tue–Sun 12pm–9pm


Reservations: No

Happy Hour 4–5:30 & 8pm–Close

Bar: Yes

McKay’s Taphouse Pizzeria McKay’s Taphouse is a small, multi-generational, familyowned Taphouse & Pizzeria that has been a staple of the Sehome Neighborhood since 2003. We have a laid-back, friendly atmosphere that is welcoming to everyone, no matter your age. We offer 54 rotating beers on tap as well as a selection of ciders and wines, and a larger selection of canned ciders.


Supreme Pizzas,

Mac N Cheese Bites $10.99


Canadian style bacon, pepperoni, beef, bacon, Italian sausage

Mozzerella Sticks $10.99

Jalapeno Popper

Sicilian Supreme

Meatie Supreme

Jalapeno Poppers $10.99

White garlic sauce, jalapenos, bacon, cream cheese, roasted garlic, cheddar

Zesty Cheese Bread $9.99


Mushrooms, wite onions, green peppers, artichoke hearts, black olives, cheddar, topped w/ fresh tomatoes

Sweetza Pizza $10.99 Twisty Stix $8.99 Chicken Wings $15.99–$65.99 Chicken Strips $10.99–$19.99


Garden $14.49 Mediterranean $14.49

Build Your Own Pie, $8.99+ Small 10” | Medium 12” | Large 14” X Large 16” | Colossus 26”

White garlic sauce, cooked tomato, spiced chicken, bacon, and plenty of cheddar cheese

Ultimate Cheese Supreme Pizza

BBQ sauce, Canadian style bacon, white onions, double BBQ chicken, bacon, cheddar

Ricotta, romano, mozzeralla, cheddar provolone, parmesan, and feta cheeses


Sub Sandwiches

Greek Supreme

Greek $14.49

G-Packet Supreme

BBQ Chicken Club

Italian sausage, pepperoni, beef, Canadian style bacon, black olives, mushrooms, white onions, green peppers

Caesar $14.49

Genoa salami, pepperoni, black olives, mushrooms, Italian sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, and extra cheese

Chicken Bacon Club $14.99 Philly Cheese Steak $16.49

Pesto sauce, spiced chicken, artichoke hearts, green olives, feta, topped w/ fresh tomatoes, parmesan, and a parm/romano blend

Pizza Sub $14.99

Hawaiian Luau Extreme

Hot French Dip $16.49

BBQ n’ Bacon $14.99

Canadian style bacon, pineapple, BBQ pulled pork, bacon

Mediterranean Roasted Veggie $15.49

Thai Peanut Supreme

Italian $14.99

Thai peanut sauce, cashews, white onion, preen peppers, pineapple, and spiced chicken

BBQ Pulled Pork $14.99 Chicken Parmesan $14.99

Decorum Hours

Contact Info

Attire: Come as you are Reservations: No

1118 E. Maple St., Bellingham

Bar: Yes

Sun–Thur 11am–2am


Dine In, Pickup, and

Fri–Sat 11am–3am

Delivery Available

February 2024 61

Kyoto Japanese Steakhouse Japanese / Sushi Bar Kyoto Japanese Steakhouse is perfect for a fun family dinner out or to celebrate your special occasion. Featuring bold, fresh flavors, our sushi and hibachi are sure to dazzle the five senses. We feature a full bar with beer on draught, a nice sake selection, regional wine, and delicious classic cocktails.


Crunchy Shrimp Roll $12.95

Shrimp tempura, avocado, cucumber, tobiko, tempura crumbs

Edamame $6.95 Boiled soy beans

Dynamite Cali Roll $14.95

Veggie or Pork Egg Rolls $8.95 Ahi Tuna Poke $15.95

Tuna, seaweed salad, thinly sliced onions, garlic citrus soy sauce, sesame oil

Gyoza (6pcs) $7.95

Lightly browned Japanese pork potstickers.

Ebi or Tako Sunomono $9.95

Shrimp or octopus with cucumber and seaweed in Japanese vinaigrette

Vegetable Tempura $9.95 Daily fresh vegetable medley, battered and fried

Avocado, kanimi, and cucumber with a crispy tempura crumb coating

Crispy Salmon Roll $12.95

Fresh salmon, cream cheese, and crispy panko crumbs on the outside


New York Steak $26.95 Teriyaki Steak $28.95

White Dragon Roll $13.95

Shrimp $28.95

Shrimp tempura, kanimi wrapped in white tuna, garlic sauce

Salmon $28.95

Dreaming Tuna Roll $12.95

Scallops $31.95

Tuna, avocado, cucumber, wrapped inside an outer layer of tuna

Buffalo Roll $13.95

Filet Mignon $34.95 New York Steak and Lobster $38.95

Shrimp, avocado, cucumber, green onion, salmon on top, torched

Filet Mignon and Lobster $49.95

Spicy Yellowtail $13.95

Shogun Special (New York Steak, Shrimp, Chicken) $39.95

Creamy Scallop $14.95

Golden California Roll $7.95

Chicken $24.95

California roll with scallops, tobiko, and hot mayo, torched on the outside

Yellowtail, tobiko, fried onion, green onion, tempura crunch, spicy mayo


Vegetable Delight $21.95

Shrimp tempura, creamy scallop, green onion, and tobiko with spicy mayo


Seafood Lover’s (Lobster, Shrimp, Scallops) $49.95 Ninja Special (Lobster, New York Steak, Shrimp) $49.95 Samurai Special (Lobster, Filet Mignon, Scallops)


Cooked tableside, includes miso soup, salad, steamed rice, vegetables, noodles




Daily 3:30–9pm

115 Samish Way, Bellingham

Attire: Casual


Reservations: Yes

Bar: Yes

The Bistro at Shuksan Golf Club The Bistro at Shuksan Golf Club, embodying Southern Hospitality, features Executive Chef Matthew Boudousquie, hailing from Louisiana and trained in Georgia. Authenticity is our hallmark with classic Cajun, Creole, farm-to-table, and golf club fare, ensuring a diverse menu for all. Enjoy one of the county’s premier happy hours. “Le Bon Temps Roule” at The Bistro— where sophistication meets culinary delight. Most of the menu is GLUTEN FREE.

Small Plate


Pommes Frites $9

King Cole Seared Duck Breast $39

House cut fries, garlic aioli GF/V

Fried Green Tomatoes $21

Old bay aioli, dungeness crab GF/ SF

Beets by MATTHEW $17

Beets, steensma skyr, fennel, appel farm feta, holmquist hazelnuts, basil, GF/ V

Osprey Hill Farm Chicken Wings $19 Hot or fish sauce GF

Cajun Jambalaya $23

Foie gras, kohlrabi, beetroot, plum basil chutney, mushrooms GF

Gumbo $25

Okra, andouille sausage, shrimps, chicken, rice, holy trinity, roux GF/SF.

Local King Salmon $35

Squash, carrot kohlrabi puree, osprey hill farm broccoli rabe GF

Painted Hills 13oz Ribeye Steak $47 Roasted fingerling potatoes, carrots GF

Mushroom Risotto $29

Truffle, arborio rice, garlic, shallot, hazelnut pesto, delicata squash GF

Soup Du Jour $11

Seasonal soup always made with local vegetables and vegan GF/ V

Wedge Salad $17

Iceberg, bacon, twin sisters bleu cheese, bow hill blueberries, GF

Judd Cove Oysters $18-$36

Half of full dozen on the halfshell, absinthe granita, Orcas Island WA

New Orleans Shrimp & Grits $25

Shrimps, andouille sausage, creamy creole grits GF/SF

Sandwich Po’BOYS $17-$23

Fried shrimp, roast beef, or both, eggplant, shredduce, tomato, pickles, mayo SF.

ShuksanClubSandwich $19

Chicken, tasso ham, bacon, shredduce, tomato, mayo

Shuksan Burger $21

Painted hills beef, cheddar cheese, bacon, local greens, tomato, onion, pickles

Crawfish Etouffee $25

Crawfish, holy trinity, rice, cajun seasoning GF/SF

Red Beans & Rice $23

Andouille sausage, chicken, shrimps, holy trinity, rice, cajun seasonings GF/SF.

#6 Spicy Chicken Sandwich $19 Fried chicken, cajun slaw, garlic mayo

Red beans, rice, holy trinity, fried chicken tenders GF

Dessert Dessert $11

Creme brullee, pot de creme, bread pudding



See website for current hours or call


Jazz Fridays: 5-8pm

1500 E Axton Rd

Reservations: Yes

Funk Thursdays 5-8pm


Bar: Yes

during the summer.

Dancing: Yes

Attire: Casual

February 2024 63

The Fork at Agate Bay Upscale Southern Comfort Food The Fork at Agate Bay is a Southern scratch kitchen and bar. We are a neighborhood hangout and a destination location. Focusing on sourcing local, we make everything in house: from our shrimp and grits to our woodstone pizza. We offer fresh pressed cocktails, house made bitters, and liqueurs with an extensive wine list. We welcome you!

Breakfast Beignets

Cajun White Shrimp

& three cheese grits. Add bacon, Tasso ham, or anduille

The Fork Breakfast

Fork Granola

Fresh fruit, organic greek yoghurt

2 eggs, choice side/with your choice of meat

Biscuits & Gravy

Pork Belly Benedict

Potatoes O’Brien

Choice of side

Arugula Salad

Corned beef gravy, choice of side

Veggies & Three Cheese Grits With poached eggs

Low Country Bouillabaisse

Dungeness crab, shrimp, mussels, clams, andouille sausage, corn


Fresh Dundeness Crab

Served cold in the shell, cocktail sauce, drawn butter, grilled focaccia

Cajun White Shrimp & three cheese grits

Side Choices

Potatoes, black beans, fresh fruit, or three cheese grits

Meat Choices

Southern Mac & Cheese Cast Iron Baked Brie

Bacon, Tasso ham, andouille, house pork sausage links

Port Cherry, apricot, smoked almond, caramelized onion, balsamic glaze, toasted bread, apple

Huevos Rancheros

Oysters on the Half Shell House Mignonette

Corned Beef Hash

Green Goddess Wedge Salad

Ask your server!

Crispy bacon, caramelized gorgonzola, cherry tomoato, pumpkin seeds

French Toast

Roasted Seasonal Vegetable Garlic aioli

Sausage & Mushroom

Chicken , bacon, red onion, arugula, BBQ drizzle aioli

Steak & Tasso Ham

Caramelized onion, goat cheese, balsamic glaze


Contact Info


Dinner: Wed-Sun 4 pm-9 pm

2530 Northshore Rd.

Attire: Come as you are

Breakfast: Sat & Sun 8 am-2 pm


Reservations: Yes

Lunch: Sat & Sun noon-4 pm

Bar: Yes

Closed Mon & Tues



Pizza Bianea

Bacon balsamic vinaigrette

Hoppel Poppel

Mushroom & Asperagus Risotto

Black olive, onion

Taylor Manilla Clams

With poached eggs

Fork Caesar

Parmesan crisp, fried capers, white anchovy upon request

Fresh Fruit Plate

Chicken Fried Steak

Goat cheese, candied walnuts, fried leeks, cherry tomatos

B-Town Kitchen and Raw Bar American-Asian Fusion Featuring both indoor and outdoor seating (complete with a covered, heated patio and cozy fire pits!) as well as ample complimentary parking. We offer an extensive local craft draft beer selection, full wine list, and our signature shaker martini cocktail series. Sushi served daily from 4-9 at our Raw Bar, Whether you’re dining with family, friends, or looking for a great date-night spot, there’s something for everyone to savor at B-Town Kitchen and Raw Bar

Appetizers Crispy Brussels Sprouts $13

Sweet soy glazed V, our signature dish on the menu since we opened

Chili Cocoanu Shrimp $15

Pan fried shrimp in chili garlic coconut sauce, green onion, fresh lime, crostini

Shucked To Order Oysters “Market Price”

Thai Peanut Salad

romaine, cabbage, carrot, edamame, red pepper, scallion, cilantro, peanut dressing

Mixed Greens

Ahi Tuna Poke

Tuna, sticky rice, cucumber, crispy onion, scallions, wakame salad, avocado, ginger

Chicken Katsu Burger $19

Glazed Chicken Wings $14

Wagyu Beef Sandwich $22

Charred tortilla, crispy chicken, spicy tomato jam, cilantro cream, slaw

Beer batter, b-town slaw, house pickle tartar sauce

Entrees Trus aioli, alfalfa sprouts, grilled onion, b-town slaw, fries ($2 cheese/bacon)

Katsu Chicken Taco $6

Lemon grass, alfalfa sprouts, thai basil, edamame, roasted tomato, ponzu mushrooms

Alaskan Cod & Chips $21

Field greens, house vinaigrette, candied pecans, goat cheese, local berries

Daily selection of locally sourced oysters, cocktail sauce, lemon Szechuan, soy ginger, classic buffalo

12-oz. NY Steak $36

Chicken Katsu Plate

Soy fried rice, edamame, snap peas, bok choy, spicy aïoli, zucchini kimchi, peppers

Fresh Dundeness Crab

Garlic aioli, havarti cheese, balsamic caramelized onions, arugula, fries

Served cold in the shell, cocktail sauce, drawn butter, grilled focaccia

Seared Salmon Banh Mi Bowl $27

Egg fried rice, pickled vegetables, jalapeño, garlic chili oil, cilantro, spicy mayo

Sunday Brunch

Caramelized pineapple, house made pickles, korean pepper aioli, fries

B-Town Burger $22

BLT Eggs Benedict

Soups | Salads

Grilled Chicken Club $22

Kobe Beef Sliders $15

Clam Chowder $9–$12

Charred onion aioli, balsamic caramelized onion, havarti cheese, arugula, fries Focaccia bread, charred onion aioli, arugula, bacon, alfalfa sprouts, roasted tomato

Clams, bacon, potato, cream, herbs, spices

Poached eggs, arugula, fresh tomato, candied bacon, basil hollandaise, english muffin

Chicken & Waffles

Katsu chicken, warm waffle, syrup, whipped butter


Contact Info


Mon–Sat 11:30 am–11 pm

714 Lakeway Drive

Attire: Casual

Sun 10 am–10 pm


Reservations: Yes

Happy Hour: daily 3 pm–6 pm

Bar: Yes

February 2024 65

THE NICHOLS Family Members

Banking built for Bellingham. BECU was built by (and for) people who live here, just like you. We’re member-owned and member-led, and all PNW residents—from Spokane to Portland to the Puget Sound—are welcome to apply. Membership required. Restrictions apply. Insured by NCUA.

A Home with History, Artistry, and Secret Details 68 Lighting the Way 74


Photo by Benjamin Benschneider

Midcentury Revival


February 2024 67


Featured Home

A Home with History, Artistry, and Secret Details Roeder Home WRITTEN BY ANNE GODENHAM | PHOTOS BY KRIS GRAY PHOTOGRAPHY

A Home with History, Artistry, and Secret Details Roeder Home WRITTEN BY ANNE GODENHAM | PHOTOS BY KRIS GRAY PHOTOGRAPHY



ESTLED IN A quiet residential neighborhood of central Bellingham, surrounded by early-20th century craftsman homes with inviting porches and manicured lawns, is a surprisingly stately house. The Roeder Home, built by Victor Roeder at a cost of $20,000 (that’s nearly $650,000 by 2023 standards) and finished in 1910, is a threestory Arts and Crafts structure with bracketed gothic accents. Victor was the son of Bellingham founder Captain Henry Roeder, and took over the family business after

his father’s death in 1902. The house was built on seven lots of land in the Broadway Park area of Whatcom County, which was undeveloped at the time (difficult as that is to imagine now). The architect, Alfred Lee, had previously designed such impressive buildings as Old Main at Western Washington University and Bellingham’s City Hall (now the Whatcom Museum of History and Art). Roeder was closely involved with the construction of the home. He sourced only the finest building materials, importing oak from the

east coast for all the floors, the stairs and banisters, and the wainscoted walls throughout the house. He also hand-picked the craftsmen, many of them unknown, who created the beautiful details in the home, from the intricate woodwork to the handpainted mural on the walls of the dining room. With a total of eight bedrooms and three bathrooms on the second and third floors, plus another bathroom and five multi-use rooms in the finished basement, the interior is surprisingly spacious. While the

exterior view makes it clear that the Roeder Home is large, it hardly looks enormous enough to contain so many rooms. The house sits back from the street, tucked behind a sprawling lawn—which once included a small pond, until a child nearly drowned and the pond was filled in. Set on a base of Chuckanut quarry sandstone, which also makes up the front and back entrances, the house is covered in brick up to the second floor, where the exterior changes to stucco to the roofline. The glassed-in porch at the

top of the front steps gives the home a cozy, inviting look and creates a light-filled entrance to the interior. Upon entering the foyer, the first thing visitors see is the main staircase, with 90° turns and ornate, dark-stained woodwork that matches the walls. The detailed woodcraft continues throughout the house, accented by fine glasswork like the stained glass panels on the built-in bookcases in the living room and the hand-painted Steuben sconces (designed to work with both gas and electric) lighting the wainscoted dining room walls.

February 2024 69


Featured Home

The beauty that permeates the entire house is staggering, but perhaps the most interesting elements in the house are the unexpected ones: a hidden closet door built into the foyer wall; a secret passageway from Victor’s closet into his wife’s sitting room, for marital rendezvous; a custom pocket window that lets out from the main bedroom onto the roof deck. At the Roeder Home, the details are mesmerizing, both for their


beauty and for their ingenuity. The effect is one of authenticity: yes, the house was built by a wealthy man with an eye for design, but it was also built to be lived in, and for its beauty to be experienced without preciousness. Luckily for the rest of us, in 1971 the home was donated to the Whatcom County Parks and Recreation Department, and it’s been open to the public ever since. For decades it was used for a

range of educational programs (the basement still houses a kiln and a small darkroom), but these days it’s rented out for private events at a very reasonable price (I actually had my wedding there in 2018, and I highly recommend it). The house was added to the National Register of Historic places in 1979. 2600 Sunset Dr., Bellingham, 360.778.5850, t


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HE EARLY ’60S house in the Edgemoor

Neighborhood had been the client’s family home—it was built for his father’s aunt and her sister, and later the client’s parents had moved in and raised their children there. Now the client was moving back in, along with his wife, and they were ready for a remodel. “They wanted this house to reflect their lifestyle,” says Architect Ric Peterson, of reachDESIGN llc. “It’s a different generation. They both work, and they’re both very social.” Peterson had been the architect on a project for the client’s father a number of years before, so when the client began thinking about a remodel his father recommended Peterson.


The house had been remodeled in pieces in the past, but it was time for a larger, more cohesive update. “It was already opened up, but it was opened up differently than I would have liked,” Peterson notes. “It needed to connect to the view a little bit better, and it needed some outdoor spaces that connected with the indoor space. There’d been a deck added on at some point [...but] it was down a level and felt disconnected.” The clients also wanted more morning light in the master bedroom, which was in an area that had been closed off and only had a window on one side. The windows weren’t large enough on the west side of the house, and the foliage on that side blocked what light could have otherwise gotten in. Peterson wanted to maintain the home’s privacy while opening it up to the light and making it more compelling. “I wanted more of a sense of intrigue,” he says. “I wanted to mix the privacy with the sense of intrigue [...] and just modernize, bring it up to modern day living.” Peterson, who grew up on Lummi Island and recently moved back north to Fidalgo Island from Seattle, also felt strongly about designing a home that would still fit with the neighboring houses and community. He wanted to retain its midcentury modern style, while updating the functionality to the client’s needs.

“If you truly look at what modern design means, it’s timeless because it’s not looking for a style [...] if you are a style, you’re gonna go out of style. And more importantly, the modern design theory really roots itself in what the criteria is and how it should function, not how it should look. And even more important is how the spaces relate and how they work in human scale and how they connect with the outside.” The resulting home, remodeled in around two years despite unexpected challenges with the wiring, HVAC, and roof, is an airy, light-filled space full of functional and beautiful rooms that better fit the client’s family’s lifestyle. The design also incorporates a number of artistic metal fabrications made by the client and his father, including the entry canopy, gate, and staircases both inside and outside. The downstairs level, which once felt like a basement, is now open and inviting thanks to a new deck and large sliding glass panel doors that harmonize the interior and exterior and make the most of the stunning view. t Bellingham Residence | Project Details Architect: Ric Peterson at reachDESIGN llc Owners: Private Project Location: Edgemoor Neighborhood, Bellingham

February 2024 73









Lighting the Way

1 2

Lit Edison Chandelier by LH Imports Greenhouse, $262 1235 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham 360.676.1161


Roca LED Pendant by Hinkley

LUNCH Mon-Sat 11am-3pm

Chuckanut Lighting, $2499 938 Fountain St., Burlington 888.757.2195

DINNER Nightly 3pm-10pm HAPPY HOUR Mon-Thur 3pm-6pm SUNDAY BRUNCH 10am-3pm LATE NIGHT Every Night 10pm-close


Harwich Medium Woven Rattan Dome by Jake Arnold


Ceramic Small Lamp with Slub Shade


Medium Global Pendant by Crestview Collections

2169 E Bakerview Rd, Bellingham 360.758.2958 |

Crate&Barrel, $349 555 Bellevue Sq., Bellevue 425.646.8900

at home, $55 1001 E. Sunset Dr., Bellingham 360.937.0007

Griffith Furniture 2501 Meridian St., Bellingham 360.734.3730

February 2024 75


First Bite Visit Skagit Valley Food Co-op’s Award-Winning Deli & Bakery scan for goodness

Love at First Bite

Skagit’s Best Grocery Store! • • 360.336.9777



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Leader Block Trattoria & Bar

BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT Located in the heart of Downtown Ferndale in the historic Leader Block building 2026 Main St, Ferndale, WA 360.306.8998 / Cell & Text: 206.484.9255 |




White Miso and Sake Salmon Cakes 80

Photo by Anne Godenham

Bry’s Filipino Cuisine & It’s The Sweet Things 84


Restaurants That Go Above and Beyond

78 February 2024 77


Above and Beyond



THINK WE CAN all agree that going out for coffee or food is already a treat, especially in these times of ever-increasing inflation. But sometimes, we need a little something extra—whether that’s a small freebie, a creative presentation, or even just a kind word. That’s why we’ve polled everyone we know to get the inside scoop on the places that go beyond “service with a smile” to really make their customers’ days.

Special Occasion When you’re celebrating someone or marking an occasion, you don’t have to go to an expensive dinner to make it special—you just have to go to the right kind of restaurant. Why not try something different from the usual and hit up a Korean barbecue? The interactive element of cooking your food on the tabletop adds a little flame of excitement to the meal, and the complimentary banchan (small side dishes like kimchi, spicy cucumbers, or stir-fried spinach) make it feel like a feast. If you’re in Mount Vernon, Pyung Chang Korean BBQ is delicious, and the service is always friendly and helpful. For something a bit more posh, you can’t go wrong with high tea. The tiny sandwiches alone will make you feel like royalty (or a powerful giant, if that’s more your style). White Branches, in Mount Vernon, takes the experience a step further by offering an immersive fantasy tea room experience. You’ll feel completely whisked away by the whimsical decor and traditional tiered service, or if you want to go all the way through the looking glass, you can reserve their secret Wonderland room with a special menu and performances. 78

White Branches

Dietary Concerns

Thoughtful Touches

While a bit of flair is always fun, for many people just feeling safe dining out is a rare treat. Dietary restrictions and allergies can make eating at a restaurant scary, or even dangerous, which is why we wanted to find out which restaurants go the extra mile when it comes to ingredients. For diners with celiac disease or a serious gluten intolerance, avoiding gluten means much more than just cutting out carbs—gluten is in all sorts of sauces and other ingredients. So it matters when a restaurant takes that seriously, like Fiamma Burger, in Bellingham, which dedicates a section of their kitchen to gluten-free prep and cooking to avoid cross-contamination. In Mount Vernon, Shambala Bakery is actually 100% gluten free, so people with celiac can feel safe eating anything on the menu. When I asked people in the community for their recommendations on this point, two other restaurants came up as safe spaces for families with severe food allergies: Thai House in Mount Vernon and Mestizo Mexican Family Restaurant in Sedro-Woolley. Both of these restaurants were commended for having delicious food and staff who genuinely care about the safety of their customers, which is especially important to parents of allergic kids. As one mom put it: “when staff, for example, go get their senior staff member and that person converses with the chef/cooks, and then they write the allergy on the to-go box, I feel safe enough to allow my child to eat— which means a LOT.”

A little bit of recognition goes a long way when you’re a regular patron of a particular business—just being recognized and greeted warmly can mean so much. But at Billy’s Cafe in Burlington, the owners occasionally go so far as to order personalized mugs for their regulars to drink coffee from on repeat visits! They even save the mugs of regulars and staff who’ve passed on, giving them pride of place on the top shelf of the display. As a mom myself, I know how easy it is to bundle your toddler and yourself out of the house and find out halfway to your destination that you’ve forgotten the diaper bag (and we all know that’s when your kid’s body decides that now is the time for a real doozy). That’s why I was so touched to find not only a sturdy, safe changing table but a selection of complimentary diapers in Maple.Bar’s all-gender bathroom. You can bet the Cordata spot is my new favorite, even when I’m kid-free. While the kids themselves may not care about diapers, they’ll almost certainly be thrilled by the complimentary donut holes served at the beginning of brunch at B-Town Kitchen & Raw Bar, in Bellingham. While they chow down, you can actually look at the menu in peace for a moment! Indulge Bakery in Mount Vernon also caters to their littlest customers, offering free hot cocoa for kids. And for those of you with fur babies, Starbucks isn’t the only place where your pup can get a snack when you grab a coffee. Whidbey Island Bagel Factory, in Mount Vernon, often has a container of dog treats tucked away (and plenty of pats at the ready) for their furry visitors. t

Shambala Bakery

Billy’s Cafe

February 2024 79

Chef’s Corner

Photo Courtesy of Christel Buckingham


White Miso and Sake Salmon Cakes: Chef Leon Scott of Northwater WRITTEN BY MAYA HEINSELMAN | RECIPE COURTESY OF CHEF LEON SCOTT

Meet the Chef With a background in a variety of cuisines under his belt, as well as experience with hotel banquets, Banquet Executive Chef and Manager Leon Scott was drawn to Northwater’s culinary program and has now been with the restaurant since August of 2023. He’s already made quite the impression on local businesses by catering several different events through Northwater, including Bellingham Alive’s own Best of the Northwest celebration. Scott has also strived to discover and utilize local products to create his dishes throughout every occupation he’s had. At Northwater, Scott focuses on highlighting the seasonal ingredients he finds from local vendors for the dishes he serves. This is expertly displayed in the White Miso & Sake Salmon Cakes he serves. They feature fresh, locally-sourced king and coho salmon coupled with simpler ingredients to further highlight the unique flavors of the salmon. Follow Scott’s recipe for these Northwater salmon cakes to experience this one-ofa-kind dish at home! t 80

Ingredients 4 cups of poached salmon, flaked 1 tablespoon pomace oil dash of sesame oil green onions, halved and sliced on extreme bias 1 tablespoon white miso paste 3 tablespoons sake 1 ½ tablespoons mirin 3 tablespoons rice vinegar dash of wasabi paste 1 teaspoon grated ginger flour to coat 1 cup panko breadcrumbs 1 egg 1 tablespoon white soy sauce 1 tablespoon water


• In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, soy sauce, and water using a fork. • Stir about half of this into the salmon mixture, and if it seems dry, stir in a little more until the salmon mixture sticks together in patties. • Form into 4-ounce patties that are uniform. • Create a breading station with all purpose flour, egg wash, and panko breadcrumbs in separate sections. • Season each section with kosher salt and white pepper. • Bread all the cakes and place on a parchment lined sheet pan.

• Heat the pomace oil and sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

• Pour enough of your choice of high heat oil (i.e., canola, grapeseed, peanut) to just fill a Dutch oven or fryer, if you have one.

• Add half of the green onion and cook until tender.

• Heat your oil to 350° F

• Stir in the miso paste, sake, and mirin until blended.

• Add the cakes to the oil, being careful not to add too many to avoid the oil boiling over.

• Bring to a simmer, then stir in the rice vinegar. • Return to a simmer and cook until thickened, about seven minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. • In a medium bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, salmon, wasabi, ginger, and the other half of the green onion.

• Fry until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit. If your cakes are becoming browned too quickly, you can remove them from the oil and place them on a parchment lined sheet pan and bake them until they reach 145° F • Serve.



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Shop Our Selection of Locally Made Goods and Gifts • Jams • Jellies • Salsas • Honey • Sauces


18042 WA-20, Burlington, WA 360-707-2722,



Chef Courtney Bourasaw Voted Best Caterer 2023 Skagits newest, locally sourced, allergen friendly, ready to eat, pick up spot! Stop by to see what’s in the cooler or visit our website to inquire about catering. AUTHENTIC CUSINE FROM MEXICO BEST TEQUILA BAR SHOWCASES ONLY 100% AGAVE TEQUILAS AND MEZCALES Follow us on Facebook and Instagram,

COA Mexican Eatery 225 S 1st St, Mount Vernon 360.312.4074

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1065 E Sunset Drive, Bellingham, WA | 360.526.2108 COAEATERY.COM

February 2024 81

Revival Lounge Lion’s Tail

Photo by Ellie Coberly

Ingredients: Bourbon, allspice dram, lime juice, gomme syrup, angostura bitters Price: $12


N A CHILLY winter night, what better way to spend

the evening getting cozy than with a drink? Revival Lounge serves up a Lion’s Tail that is the perfect concoction of bourbon, refreshing citrus, and smooth spice, and will have you savoring every sip. The bourbon in this aromatic drink is full, but not too overpowering. As you ruminate in the taste, you feel the lull of well-loved oldies softly playing in the background. Make yourself at home surrounded by the dimly lit bar’s unique

style—lavish seating, vintage furnishings, and warm wood accents lean into the speakeasy atmosphere. Looking for something sweet before you go? The Pink Squirrel ($13), a creamy delight with notes of deep cherry, is right up your alley. Make it a “Frisky” Pink Squirrel by adding a little bourbon, for just $2 more. Tucked away in downtown Mount Vernon’s Pine Square Courtyard, this one-of-a-kind cocktail bar will truly appease your libation needs. 306 A. Pine St., Mount Vernon, 360.399.7880, ELLIE COBERLY

Double Down with a Double-boiler

Kitchen Tips & Tricks: Sweet Techniques to Perfect Chocolate Treats WRITTEN BY ELLIE COBERLY


Using a double-boiler to melt chocolate—particularly white chocolate, which scalds easily—gives you the most control over the heating process. The incorporation of steam in this method melts the chocolate in a way that doesn’t give it a chance to burn. Make a home-made double-boiler by placing a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Be sure the bowl you use fits with a perfect seal to prevent any moisture from combining with the chocolate, and don’t let hot water reach the bottom of the bowl.

Timeless, Tasty Tempering The first step to perfecting homemade chocolate is tempering, for a crisp, professional finish, and chocolate that doesn’t melt in moments. Place 2/3 of your chocolate in a double boiler and

Dining Guide Taste

DINING KEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . up to $9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10–19 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $20–29 . . . . . . . $30 or greater . . . . . . . . . . . . . Breakfast


416 W. Bakerview Rd., Bellingham 360.738.1000, Fireside is out to make a name for itself. Their menu changes on an almost daily basis and uses only fresh, local ingredients. Cocktails are based on in-house infusions of spirits, a collection found only at Fireside, and their beer options range from local to obscure to international.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brunch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lunch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dinner . . . . . . . . . .Family-Friendly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Takeout . . . . . . . . Outdoor Seating . . . . . . . . . . Reservations . . . . . . . . . . . Happy Hour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vegan . . . . . . . . . . . New Review Menu items and prices are subject to change, so check before you go. See all our restaurant reviews on our Taste tab at * Review provided by restaurant.

WHATCOM BIG LOVE JUICE American 1144 10th St., Bellingham 360.383.5336, Cold press juices make up the bulk of the menu at Big Love Juice. However, these aren’t your average juices. Big Love Juice uses a hydraulic press, rather than the traditional high-heat methods that eliminate much of the vitamins and nutrients found in fruits and vegetables. Customers looking for something a little heartier can also pick from a multitude of smoothies, soups, salads, bowls, and loaded toasts.

donuts. Try the Maple.Bar Signature latte, a maple latte with a deep, authentic flavor and no hint of sickly sweetness. If you really want to go all out, add one of their eponymous Maple Bars, or choose another flavor of donut—they’re all small, almost beignet-sized, squares of fluffy deliciousness.

NEW MEXICO TAMALE CO. Tex-Mex 4151 Meridian St., Ste. 106, Bellingham, 360.389.8841, From flavor-packed handmade food to a warm and welcoming atmosphere, it’s no wonder this Southwest-inspired eatery landed on Yelp’s “Top 100 Places to Eat in 2020” list. 95% of the restaurant’s menu is vegan and 100% of items are gluten-free and lard-free.

JACK NIEMANN’S BLACK FOREST STEAKHOUSE German, Steak 638 Peace Portal Dr., Blaine 360.306.8342 Black Forest Steakhouse offers a versatile dining experience. It’s fancy enough for special occasions, anniversaries, and graduation celebrations, but it’s also a place you’ll want to go to any day. Black Forest cooks their steaks different than most other steakhouses: They broil them in a 1,600-degree oven, leaving the meat tender and flavorful.

LOMBARDI’S Italian 21 Bellwether Way, Ste. 112, Bellingham 360.714.8412, This waterfront bistro pairs classic Italian eats with a standout wine list and idyllic views of the Squalicum Harbor. Their menu features ingredients both local and imported, with items like sauces, dressings, and desserts made in-house from scratch. Keep an eye out for events including wine dinners and monthly wine club meetings.

MAPLE.BAR Coffee Shop

NORTHWATER Regional NW 4260 Mitchell Way, Bellingham 360.398.6191, From breakfast to late night dinner, northwater’s 185-seat restaurant features a diverse menu of Pacific Northwest dishes made from locally sourced and sustainable ingredients. The restaurant’s waitstaff is personable and enthusiastic — eager to answer our questions about ingredient sources and what desserts they’d recommend.

OISHII Asian 424 W. Bakerview Rd., Ste. 101, Bellingham 360.671.6007, The next time you find yourself craving Asian fusion, head to Bakerview Square for sushi, teriyaki, noodles, and more. “Oishii” means “delicious” in Japanese and —as any of their longtime regulars will tell you Bellingham’s Oishii Teriyaki & Rolls more than lives up to its name.

4252 Cordata Parkway, Bellingham 360.441.5440 | Head to Maple.Bar for a cozy-yet-cool atmosphere, great coffee, and perfectly-sized

once the chocolate has fully melted remove it from the heat, mix in the rest, and let cool. Then melt it once more to temper. The trick is to vigorously stir throughout the process and keep the chocolate from rising above the target temperature of 88–91° for dark chocolate or 85–87° for white!

Go on, Ganache! If you find that most chocolaty desserts are sweet but not quite chocolaty enough, then ganache is perfect for you. Ganache is made by melting chocolate into hot cream and tastes delicious—it is temperature-sensitive, but easy to re-melt and adjust to your ideal taste! Act hastily in this process; don’t let the cream get too hot, or it will separate and even burn the chocolate.

Spice Things Up Crave sweets with a little kick to ‘em? Stray away from conventional chocolate delights and try your hand at spicy chocolate! Cayenne, cinnamon, paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, chili powder, and condensed chili sauce are all additions guaranteed to spice up your favorite chocolate creations.

Make Sure That Choco-love Lasts Don’t store chocolate in the refrigerator! Moisture in your fridge can lead to “sugar bloom” and cause sugar to rise to the surface. Chocolate tends to pick up the smells and taste of the food it sits around, so try keeping it in a sealed container at a temperature below 70°F. If you need to keep your treats around for longer, go ahead and store them in the freezer for up to six months.

February 2024 83


Local Find

The Foodie Language of Love Bry’s Filipino Cuisine & It’s The Sweet Things WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY LEIGH HELLMAN



Matamorosa set out to be a chef; it just sort of happened. Coming from different corners of the world—Worthley from Maine and Matamorosa from the Philippines—they both ended up at Bellingham Technical College in 2017 and 2018. Matamorosa was pursuing an associate’s degree in the culinary program while Worthley was enrolled in the pastry arts program. The rest, as they say, is history. Worthley started a cottage kitchen bakery in 2018, which moved into a commercial kitchen space in 2020 and began to pick up more customers, despite the hardships of being a small business during the pandemic. Matamorosa continued through a variety of positions at local kitchens and banquet events before deciding to apply to the Bellingham Farmers Market to sell his homemade Filipino food as a side gig, which ended up being so successful that he quit his full-time kitchen job and started his own food business in 2020. Along the way, they got married. Bry’s Filipino Cuisine began as a secondhand food truck bought off Craigslist that was renovated almost entirely from the tires up. Community funding helped the business get off its feet, which is something that Matamorosa will always be grateful for. “It wasn’t even just about the money,” he says. “It was more about knowing that there are so many people in our community who care, love, and give so much hope to us.” He credits his wife for being his core support throughout his struggles, even while she was making the major move from a kitchen to a storefront with the opening of It’s The Sweet Things bakery in downtown Bellingham. “Nothing means more to me than being able to share my passion, gift, and training with the community around me and I am so thankful that I get to do that each and every day,” Worthley shares. Despite having drastically different menus, the couple finds a way to bring American and Filipino flavors together. Matamorosa’s food highlights culinary traditions from the Bicol region of the Philippines—where he is from—with coconut milk, smoke from shredded coconuts, and shrimp paste in his Bicol Express and smoked coconut chicken (ginataang manok) dishes, while he utilizes salmon in other dishes to add a Pacific Northwest flair. He also offers Filipino staples like chicken or pork adobo (tender meat coated in a savory and tangy glaze) and lumpia (Filipino egg rolls). Worthley bakes cheesecakes, cookies, cupcakes, bars, cakes, and pastries with rich, classic flavors like salted caramel, blueberry lemon, vanilla bean, German chocolate, strawberry champagne, and carrot spice. But she also incorporates more tropical flavors like mango into her desserts, and offers several 84

items made with ube (a purple yam native to southeast Asia with a mild and sweet flavor that is a popular ingredient in traditional Filipino sweets). Ube is also an option for her creamy milkshakes, a new item along with artisan truffles. These days, Worthley and Matamorosa have a lot to look forward to. It’s The Sweet Things continues to grow and raise its profile in the community as a truly small-batch, artisan environment that uses time-honored techniques to create unexpected and mind-blowing flavor combinations for its customers. With its devoted local fans, Bry’s Filipino Cuisine will be opening its new brick and mortar restaurant at 1151 North State Street in downtown Bellingham in February 2024, just in time for Valentine’s Day and the anniversary of the food truck’s original launch. In the midst of all of these changes, they are both committed to maintaining the passion and dedication that first catalyzed them on their journeys. “What motivated me to become a chef is taking care of people,” Matamorosa says. “There is nothing more rewarding than working very hard to make sure that we give the best quality of food and service and, as a result, make everyone happy.” “I love being able to bake for important celebrations and memorable moments, and making someone’s day a little brighter with delicious treats,” Worthley adds. “Delicious food and desserts are kind of our love language.” It’s The Sweet Things, 1206 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, 360.255.9998, Bry’s Filipino Cuisine, Bellingham, 360.223.1022, t

Special Advertising


ON RICE THAI CUISINE Thai 209 N. Samish Way, Bellingham, 360.714.9995 2200 Rimland Dr., Bellingham, 360.738.9995 1224 Harris Ave., Bellingham, 360.676.9995 Ask any college student: On Rice is the place to go in Bellingham. With its affordable lunch specials and three locations around town, it’s easy to enjoy one of On Rice’s flavorful Thai dishes. All dishes are available with chicken, pork, beef, seafood, or tofu and can be made as spicy as you want them to be.


4876 Haxton Way, Ferndale 360.383.0777, This award-winning restaurant offers elegant dining and an intimate atmosphere. Prime-grade steaks are broiled at 1,800 degrees to lock in the natural juices and finished with a special steak butter. They also have an extensive wine list. This dining experience rivals any of the big-town steakhouses in quality and service without the big-city price tag.

STORIA CUCINA Italian, Pizza 109 Grand Ave., Ste. 1, Bellingham, 360.734.1929, Storia Cucina offers a simple, no-fuss menu meant to reduce decision-fatigue and prioritize quality over quantity. All pasta is made in-house on an imported Italian pasta extruder, and ingredients are as local as possible. The restaurant itself is bright, cheerful, and tastefully decorated, certain to lift your spirits even on a drizzly autumn night.

WAKE ‘N BAKERY American 6903 Bourne St., Deming 360.599.1658, Wake ‘N Bakery is a staple rest stop along Mount Baker Highway. If you’re in need of a sweet treat and hot coffee to bring the feeling back to your numb fingers, this will fit the bill. Whether you’re traveling to or from the mountain, watch for its signs as you pass through Glacier — the cafe is about a block off the highway.

WANIDA THAI CUISINE Thai 1213 Dupont St., Bellingham, 360.746.8642, 3200 Northwest Ave., Bellingham, 360.393.3138, Bellinghamsters who love Thai know the name Wanida! Now with two locations, Wanida Thai serves up authentic Thai food from appetizers, soups, noodles, curries, and stir-fry. Whether you’re satisfying a craving with Phad Thai or trying something fresh like their Papaya Salad, you won’t be disappointed by their menu.

Skagit Valley Food Co-op Deli + Bakery



Co-op has been providing good, healthy food to the community for over 50 years. What you may not know is that it’s also home to an award-winning Deli + Bakery! We make food right, and we make it right here. We’re proud to put the Skagit Valley Food Co-op name on food we handcraft in our kitchens using fresher-than-fresh ingredients: dips and dressings, hummus and

hand-cased sausages, soups and salads, pizzas and pastries, and droolworthy deli sandwiches. If we made it, you know it’s good because we know great food starts with the best ingredients, and we won’t settle for anything less. Our deli recipes are hand prepared using fresh, organic, local, and nutritious whole food ingredients, so you can enjoy meals that are unquestionably delicious.

February 2024 85


Wine Pick of the Month




CALICO CUPBOARD American 901 Commercial Ave., Anacortes,, 360.293.7315, 720 S. 1st St., La Conner, 360.466.4451, 121-B Freeway Dr., Mount Vernon, 360.336.3107,


MONTH Bayernmoor Cellars Blanc de Pinot Noir Estate Sparkling Wine 2020 Puget Sound AVA, WA WRITTEN BY AMBERLEIGH BROWNSON



town west of Interstate 5 and south of Bellingham, is home to the picturesque estate vineyards of Bayernmoor Cellars, an up-and-coming Puget Sound winery. Bringing honor to Washington State’s fourth-oldest and second-largest AVA (American Viticultural Area), Bayernmoor Cellars is a humble, family-owned operation producing juice that rivals the likes of its southern brethren in Willamette Valley. Bayernmoor knocked Great Northwest Wine’s esteemed Platinum Awards out of the park with a staggering nine wines over 90 points, two of which were doubleplatinum. Not only does Bayernmoor Cellars employ sustainable and organic growing practices, they partner with an iconic Washington winemaker: Brian Carter. Impressive all around! This particular sparkler (perfect to celebrate the season of love!) is a heady expression of Pinot Noir Clone 777 (a personal favorite of mine) and happens to be Owners Larry and Kim Harris’s very first vintage, created by chance. During 2020’s growing season, their estate Pinot Noir did not get quite ripe enough for a still red, so they decided to try their hand at a méthode champenoise (traditional Champagne method where second fermentation occurs in the bottle), with fabulous results! Larry says he will not 86

always make this wine—only when the year is right. You can purchase the wine online or when visiting their tasting room in Woodinville. For $45 this is a tremendous choice for your special occasions. Tasting Notes: Buttermilk biscuits and ghee scents are followed by mild clover. Palate opens with bright lemon, pineapple rind, and white pepper and finishes with yellow rose essence. Pairing Suggestion: Oysters/Apple Cider Mignonette, New England-style Clam Chowder, Black Eyed Peas, Cornbread, Cream of Asparagus, Butter Chicken, Apple Pie. t Photo by Sharon Beth


Since 1981, Calico Cupboard has been serving the purest, most heart-healthy, and high-quality ingredients. Using freshly milled, organicallygrown, whole grain and unbleached flour, the cafe aims to promote its local farmers and gratify your body in the process. Sit down for breakfast or lunch, or just order from the bakery and grab an espresso to go. Calico Cupboard will leave you full, but feeling homey, healthy, and happy.

THE FAIRHAVEN Deli 100 N. Burlington Blvd., Burlington, 360.746.3183, Offerings at The Fairhaven are diverse enough to please every palate, and the flavors of each ingredient are carefully considered. Rotating specials and seasonal dishes make each visit unique and exciting.

POIRIER’S ON THE RIVER Gastropub 416 Myrtle St., Mount Vernon 360.588.4515, Poirier’s on the River is an ideal combination of high-end, fine dining, and English pub fare. Try traditional pub selections or more unique seafood choices. Additionally, Poirier’s on the River looks to accommodate all tastes with gluten-free dishes. Of course, a pub isn’t complete without beer and Poirier’s on the River completes the dining experience with numerous taps of local and European brews.

RAILROAD PUB & PIZZA Pizza, American 122 S. Spruce St., Burlington 360.982.2133,

MEET OUR SOMMELIER Amberleigh Brownson

Amberleigh Brownson has been a local sommelier and international

Railroad Pub & Pizza in downtown Burlington has all the charm of a rustic pub with quality food and drinks. The menu boasts several artisan pizza options on a 24-hour aged malted dough crust, as well as soups, salads, and sandwiches. The bar offers a multitude of taps for craft beer and ciders. The wide garage-style windows open in the summer, and the central fireplace heats the space in the winter. It’s a great place to watch a game, drink a beer, and eat some pizza.

wine judge in Whatcom county for eight years. She is a four-time award winner from Wine Spectator for her wine program and wine pairing dinners, and has become an opinion leader in the Washington wine world, particularly in Whatcom County.


416 1st St., Mount Vernon 360.336.0951, Ristretto doesn’t have a kitchen, but the baristas know their way around a panini press. You can also order breakfast all day, fresh salads, hearty

Dining Guide Taste bagels, or one of the baked goods brought in three times a week from nearby bakeries.




CYNTHIA’S BISTRO American 65 Nichols St., Friday Harbor, 360.298.8130, Located in a renovated 1920s home, this local San Juan Island staple is known for their innovative menu selections. You can enjoy lunch, or even an extended breakfast, daily in spring and summer. They are famous for their brunch, but you might try stopping by later in the evening for their dinner menu — a special treat.

DOE BAY CAFÉ American 107 Doe Bay Rd., Olga 360.376.8059,


Whether you’re heading toward the San Juan Islands or don’t mind taking a trip for an unbelievable meal, be sure to make reservations at the ever-popular Doe Bay Café. This iconic cafe has stuck to its mission of providing world-class seafood and vegetarian dishes.

FRIDAY HARBOR HOUSE Regional NW 130 West St., Friday Harbor 360.378.8455, It’s hard to beat the view of the ferry landing, marina, and San Juan Channel from Friday Harbor House — the hotel and restaurant provide a sweeping panorama of water and sky. In addition to the delicious food menu, Friday Harbor House is one of the few island restaurants to offer a full bar at brunch every day of the week.

ISLAND SKILLET Homestyle 325 Prune Alley, Eastsound, 360.376.3984 Beloved by loyal patrons for its large portions and casual, customizable meals, Island Skillet is a must-stop for anyone visiting Orcas Island. A rustic metal rooster outside the entrance sets the tone. Start the day with a skillet breakfast complete with a bottomless cup of coffee. Sandwiches rule the lunch menu, and you can choose from a lengthy list of sides and customizations for most items, so you can totally have it your way.

SALTY FOX COFFEE American 85 Front St., Friday Harbor 360.622.2486, Items on the menu at Salty Fox are quick to whip up, but still healthy and satisfying. It’s an ideal stop for ferry riders on a time schedule, along with the locals who stop in for breakfast or lunch. Guests can take anything to go, including sealed wine and beer, much of which is locally made on the island.

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In the colder months, Bellingham’s Ashuri Baklava & Cafe brings an unusual delicacy to the forefront: quince! They’ve created a Poached Quince Dessert served with vanilla ice cream and salted pumpkin seeds, which goes perfectly with their hot cardamom coffee. This dessert is only available while the quinces are, so act fast! While you’re relaxing at the Railway Cafe in Blaine, there’s no shortage of delicious drinks to sip on. We recommend the Upside Down Coffee, where the coffee is foamed instead of the milk, creating a deliciously layered drink you’ll love. The Carne Bowl at Fairhaven’s newest Puerto Rican restaurant, J’s Kitchen, is packed with flavor. This dish of slowroasted pork with rice, beans, and tostones goes well with a San Juan Stormy cocktail and an empanada on the side! Start your morning off right with a quick stop at Hammerhead Coffee for one of their signature drinks. The Birch, Please, a toasted birch bark latte with your choice of milk and a biscuit sandwich is just the pick me up you need to get your day going.



Battle’s Kitchen in Ferndale has some of the best Cajun food around! For a delicious combination of handbattered chicken strips and fried shrimp with a dinner roll and Cajun fries served with a Cajun sauce, try out their Cajun Surf & Turf.


The soft doughy goodness of fresh bao is unbeatable. At Redlight Kitchen and Bar in Bellingham, the Crispy Eggplant Bao will knock your socks off. Comprised of hand-battered eggplant with jicama, toasted peanuts, cilantro, and scallion, this dish will fulfill your steamed bun dreams.


Need a sweet treat to start the day off right? Head to the Lynden Dutch Bakery in the historic district of town. Give the Poffertjes a try—spiced mini pancakes topped with powdered sugar and the bakery’s worldfamous Dutch butter icing.


If you’re looking for a fresh slice, try this pizza with a twist! Pizza Twist in northern Bellingham serves up fresh pies and wings with Asian-inspired flavor. Their popular Chicken Tikka Masala Pizza is loaded with veggies, seasonings, tikka masala sauce, and chicken.

February 2024 87

Agenda Final Word


Ken offers Valentine’s Day hope to those whose inner child refuses to grow up



I warned my future wife, Lisa, during our first date 18 years ago that my sense of humor was only marginally within accepted societal norms, and that’s on a good day. In a moment of full disclosure, I confessed to her, “My brain is broken.” I hear voices in my head—loud, often irreverent voices competing for my attention. Each is yelling “Pick my punch line,” at wildly inappropriate times, like the courtroom, weddings, funerals, and yes, even during marital relations. For me, pulling a clever punchline is painful. I start to physically shake with confusion when I get “the look” from those with even a modicum of properness. The more socially inappropriate the moment, the louder and more insistent the voices become. Here’s a perfect example. In today’s world of personal pronouns, they initially clamored for “doe ray me.” That’s wrong on so many levels. Fortunately, my rarely used “humor check valve” stopped me out of respect for others. But this is the daily battle inside my head. Only ten percent of the punch lines may see the light of day. However, let there be no mistake. The rest are happily partying in my head. I may simply opt instead to self-identify as “us” to publicly honor their importance. My wife didn’t believe me at first even though I emptied my personal outbox. Topics covered included that I always leave the toilet seat down, I manscape on Mondays, and the use of underwear depends upon my mood. None of these reveals fazed her. I even shared a wholly inappropriate prank as a summer law clerk (before I was offered a permanent position). To show solidarity with my secretary, I switched name tags while working late 88

one night—named partners became secretaries and secretaries enjoyed the prestige of corner offices. I arrived the next morning to appreciative staff, and, thankfully, laughter. As I regaled Lisa with these stories over a baked potato and a beer, she didn’t flinch. “Holy cow,” I thought, “she has wicked potential.” Throwing caution to the wind, I decided to go “Full Monty” by sharing a legendary family prank from the mid- ‘70s. My family had just finished dinner at the High Country, a now-defunct restaurant at the top of our iconic Bellingham Towers (then a hotel). As we exited the restaurant, no one was in the elevator but us, which apparently inspired my nine-year-old sister to push all the buttons. Thirteen to be exact. Collectively, we rolled our eyes and groaned. Little sis, that single sip of wine was a sip too far. But how quickly things changed. When the doors opened on floor 13, the carpet was blue, and I noticed the hotel had placed a blue upholstered chair next to the elevator (for guests to rest while waiting). An insignificant observation at first, that is until floor 12, when I noticed the carpet and upholstery were red. Instantly, I recognized an opportunity to cause harmless trouble. When the doors opened to floor 11 and the color theme was blue again, I sprang into action. I grabbed the chair, and from there until floor five, we switched chairs. Red chairs were switched to blue floors and blue chairs were switched to red floors. Harmless family humor, right? Naughty perhaps, but not legendary. That came next. The legend was born between floors 11 and five. The elevator was slow. So slow that my head voices had too much time to unionize and

lobby. “There is certain to be a lobby full of irritated guests and hungry diners,” they argued, “we need an innocent ‘nope, it wasn’t us’ excuse.” That’s when I had a humor epiphany. I thought, “Hey, let’s reenact the opening of ‘Family Feud’,” where the families sit, stone-faced, before being introduced. What happened next is family folklore. We kept the last four chairs, and when the doors opened to a lobby full of WTH looks, there we sat as if nothing was amiss. We stood and walked calmly without facial expressions through the crowd, through the hotel doors, and only then did we burst out in laughter. Even the voices were happy. I was right about our first date. Lisa was desperate. Fast forward, we celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary last month. In the intervening years, she had to lay down strict rules. I am prohibited from using humor before 5:30 a.m. or her first cup of coffee, whichever comes first. And no photos. I forever lost that privilege when I left to go to Starbucks early one morning, and I noticed that she was sleeping face down, buck-naked, uncovered, looking like an adult version of the old Coppertone ads. I couldn’t help myself. I took a photo, which I then sent to her (while waiting in line at Starbucks) with the text message, “Don’t move, I’ll be right back.” Thank goodness we were already married. Her punishment options were limited. Lisa, I celebrate you in my life every day. Because of you, I do not fear growing old. I do not fear death. I hope my last breath on earth is the breath that I can’t take because I am laughing too hard with you. Happy Valentine’s Day, sweetheart. You had me at, “You seem harmless for a lawyer.” t

It’s not just a meal it’s an experience. OPEN SUNDAY & THURSDAY 5PM - 9PM FRIDAY & SATURDAY 5PM - 10PM RESERVATIONS RECCOMMENDED Call (360) 384-7070

We’ve Got That OPEN DAILY AT 8:00AM

Choose from appetizers, burgers, soups, sandwiches, seafood, pasta and more. Look for a new daily special each month. Your appetite and your wallet will thank you.


From pork rolls to General Tso’s chicken, Panasia features delicious appetizers and entrées. • I-5 Exit 260 360-383-0777

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