On Saturday, April 8, we drove over to the west side of the state for an excursion to celebrate Lynn's birthday. On the trip, we had some memorable meals and wines. Here's what we did.

Saturday, April 8 - We drove over on I-90 and then I-5 to Stanwood, just east of Camano Island. There, we had lunch at Shima Sushi, owned by a man who had a sushi restaurant in Bellevue and then retired to Camano. Excellent, very fresh. In the afternoon, we went to La Conner where we had dinner at the Oyster and Thistle. We had broiled oysters with a Macon-Fuissé.

Sunday, April 9 - From La Conner, we stopped at Edison to check the art scene and had lunch at Slough Food, a sandwich and soup place. Lynn had soup and I a panini, with a nice Rosé from Corsica. In the afternoon, we checked in at the Chuckanut Manor. There, we had a nice, cozy cabin overlooking Samish Bay. Dinner at the Manor consisted of broiled oysters with a tasty 2015 Lemelson Pinot Gris from the Willamette Valley.

Monday, April 10 - That day, we drove up Chuckanut Drive to Fairhaven for soup and panini at the Colophon Cafe with a Barnard-Griffin Sangiovese Rosé. In the evening, we had dinner a couple of miles north of Chuckanut Manor at the historic Oyster Bar. We had a selection of raw oysters and steamed mussels accompanied by a 2015 Domaine Vatan Sancerre (a Sauvignon Blanc from the upper Loire).

Tuesday, April 11 - From Chuckanut Drive, we headed south to Everett where we stopped at the Schack Art Center, followed by lunch at Anthony's at the Marina where we had clam chowder and Cadaretta "SBS" Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon Blend. In the afternoon, we checked in at the Sorrento Hotel in Seattle. For dinner, we went down to Western Avenue to have dinner at Nijo Sushi with Martinis and Cosmopolitans.

Wednesday, April 12 - We had heard buzz about Ethan Stawell's Sitka and Spruce so we decided to give it a try for lunch. It was decidedly different, with an industrial warehouse decor and unconventional dishes. Lynn had grilled parsnips with a Cor Cellars Gewürztraminer-Pinot Gris, and I smoked smelt with a Beaujolais Villages. In the evening, we had dinner at the Sorrento's Dunbar Room. We had steak (after all the seafood, we were ready for red meat) with a Argentina Malbec. 

Thursday, April 13 - This was Lynn's Big Birthday. We had lunch at the Sunset Club with Lynn's brother and some long time friends. Our wines were a nice Languedoc Chardonnay and a tasty Moulin-a-Vent from Beaujolais. The evening was an extra special dinner at Canlis, Seattle's iconic restaurant, now run by the third generation of the Canlis family (we used go when it was run by the first and second generations). We were back to seafood, with the signature Canlis salad, grilled oysters, seared scallops and soufflé, accompanied by a superb, precise 2014 Simon Bize Savigny-les-Beaune Blanc, Premier Cru, Aux Vergelesses.

Friday, April 14 - That day, we went to the Eastside for a visit to the Bellevue Arts Museum and lunch at Blue Sushi, where our meal was accompanied by a fine Hakutsuru Superior Junmai Sake. In the afternoon, we checked into the Baymont Hotel in Kirkland, close to Woodinville. Dinner was at The Tandem Wine Bar in Woodinville, owned and run by bicycle and wine enthusiasts. He had king salmon with a tasty Grenache (75%) dominated Gigondas from the South Rhone Valley.

Saturday, April 15 - In the morning, we drove to Esquin to pick up wines I had ordered (as the former owner, I still get the employee discount). Then we went back to Woodinville to visit wineries. JM Cellars was having its Wine Club Spring Release party. Lunch was at Sushi Connections (we couldn't seem to get enough sushi) followed by winery visits at Adams Bench, DeLille Cellars, Savage Grace, Davenport Cellars and William Church. The wines will be reviewed in the June issue of the Review of Washington Wines. Dinner was at The Commons, a noisy, crowded madhouse of a bar where we had chicken pot pie with The Walls Pinot Noir Rosé.

Sunday, April 16 - We got up early, loaded up our SUV with six cases of wine and our luggage and drove back home to Walla Walla, arriving in time for lunch.

Next Week - Our Annual Rosé Roundup and the May issue of the Review of Washington Wines on Monday, April 24.