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Port Townsend Report

PolarBear | Aug 29, 200404:20 PM

Wanted to say thanks to etoiledunord for the great suggestions, I didn't see the notes from kim c and John until just now, but thanks also, will put the Belmont on the list for next time. We started planning our next trip even before we had to head south to the Hamma Hamma River after just 3 days in PT.

Our stay at the Bay Cottage on Discovery Bay was just perfect, we had the entire spatious bottom floor of the main house that connected to a nice patio for lounging.

First evening ate on the deck at Fins, great view. Started with the Fricasee Escargot ala Bourgignone, interesting combo with a red wine reduction that actually worked pretty well. We shared our entrees, Seared Alaskan Day Boat Scallops and a roasted beet, shaved fennel and orange salad (24.00) and the Portuguese Fisherman's Stew (20.00). The scallops and salad were excellent, she didn't care for the stew as much as I did, it wasn't the quality or quantity of the fish and shellfish which were both fine, but rather she would have preferred a chiopinno style broth to the saffron. Sampled two glasses of very nice local wines but neglected to write down the names.

Second day drove down to Port Ludlow then back up to Port Hadlock and explored Marrowstone Island. As dinner time was approaching we popped into Ajax to check out the menu and ask about the specials for the eveing, then drove around to the resort that is an old alcohol factory that is being remodeled. Very nice grounds and interesting old buildings. We stepped into Nemo's to see what was being offered that evening. They have a large elegant dining room, high back booths with a superb view of the water and marina, but the place was virtually empty. We decided the vibes were better at Ajax. Everything at Ajax is unusual, the reservation desk in the anteroom is the front end of an old car ('58 Caddy?), at first glance around the dining room you figure it must be a funny hat day event, until you visit the restroom and see hats covering every wall all the way up and hanging from the ceiling, a step stool is provided for reaching the high ones and a sign encouraging you to take one to wear during dinner. Definitely a fun place. We started with a dozen of the kumamoto oysters on the half-shell which were OK but not as good as I'm sure they were earlier in the season. There had been a week or so of very warm weather prior to our arrival so we were aware
that the season was coming to an end. We had a halibut entree that was cooked to perfection and the crab cakes, both were very good.

For lunch that day we had visited Provisions, a wonderful European style deli with unique sandwiches, desserts, cookies, etc. and had a picnic under a big old tree near the docks. For lunch the next day we ordered a pizza from Waterfront downtown which we enjoyed immensely on one of the park benches along tree lined Water St. Also, when downtown, be sure and check out the wine shop, can't recall the name but it's in the 900 block of Water St. across from Waterfront Pizza.

Our last night was Thursday and we hadn't bothered to make reservations anywhere since none of the places seemed to be really crowded the previous evenings. We headed for Wild Coho since my wife had her heart set on seeing how far we could get eating our way through all the small plates (23 of them) being offered on Five-Dollar Thursdays (all plates $5). Unfortunately, they were booked solid for the evening. It seemed like half of Seattle decided to come to PT for dinner that night. With our trusty Chowhound recs in hand we headed for Lonny's, packed with a wait of at least an hour, back to the uptown area to Lanza's on Lawrence St. There were several open tables and we were seated immediately. Italian wasn't our first choice but we figured we'd find something interesting on the menu and make the best of it. Sadly, we'll never know. After being completely ignored for 10-15 minutes we got up and left. It wasn't that they were scurrying around trying to cope with a busy night, but rather non-challantly meandering about, waiters, waitresses, water and bus boys alike. No water, no menus, no eye contact, it was like we weren't there, and shortly, we weren't which turned out to be the best thing that happened to us.

I recalled that etoiledunord had posted that Silverwater Cafe on Taylor next to the Rose Theater was a good lunch spot and added that it was also nice for dinner. Couldn't have been more right on. We were seated immediately, even though they were almost full service was prompt and attentive, very professional. Again sorry, can't recall what my wife had and didn't make note of the great local wines I sampled, but the Prawns with Cilantro Ginger-Lime Butter were simply out of this world. If we'd had another night in PT I would have been back for more, and wouldn't have shared them the second time. Sorry dear, order your own and I'll finish any that you leave. We will definitely make Silverwater a must whenever we're in the area.

One final note, we took Hwy 20 through Chimicum on the way back to the HH River. We stopped at the Cimicum Cafe to check out the menu and their pies, which looked great. We weren't ready to eat yet, but the breakfasts were obviously a hit, the place was packed.

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