Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Arrowleaf Bistro, Winthrop, Washington

Dining out in the Methow Valley has been an up and down battle. My favorite restaurant closed after a couple of years and since then it has been hit and miss. But if we want to do something kind of fancy without hitting the wallet too hard we go to the Arrowleaf Bistro in Winthrop.

Last weekend was Winthrop's Balloon Roundup. It ends on Saturday night in downtown Winthrop when they close off main street and light up a hot air balloon. It is really cool to see one up close and in the dark. After we watched them bring down and deflate the giant balloon we wandered down the street to Arrowleaf.

We were seated immediately at a window table in front of the restaurant. They started by serving a lovely white bread from the Rocking Horse Bakery with a sweet, herb butter. We ordered their Corn and Wild Rice Fritters with Cherry Mole to start. They were a bit dry but I enjoyed them with the sauce. (I'm still looking for the perfect Corn Fritter!)

For my entree I enjoyed their locally raised beef steak with a roasted shallot vinaigrette and served with hand cut frites. Very tasty. The beef is not completely organic but it has been grass fed and then finished with corn. The steak and frites are always a winner at Arrowleaf. My partner ordered the Vegetable Pot Pie and when it appeared out of the kitchen it looked impressive enough to get the notice of another patron. However, it was less impressive to the palate. A simple vegetable stew in a creamy sauce, poured into a large pottery serving bowl, covered with a large piece of puff pastry, brushed with egg for a golden finish, and then baked until done. Nice to look at but only average in flavor.

I haven't tried anything on their dessert menu yet but I did notice that they were offering a Creme Brulee, a Stout Cake with toffee crumbs and chocolate fudge, and a local Pear Strudel. Everything sounds pretty good to me but I'd probably go with the Pear Strudel. They grow wonderful pears in the Methow Valley.

If you'd like to try a glass of wine with dinner the Edna Valley Syrah was fantastic!

So when in Winthrop please give the Arrowleaf Bistro a try.

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