Not all fine dining experiences are created equal. There are many fancy restaurants that offer roughly the same menu as any other, hike up the prices, and call it fine dining. With kids, our dining experiences usually involve ketchup and bibs, so if my husband and I have the rare opportunity to eat out sans kids, I want it to be an experience. Since this is a luxury we can rarely afford, I like to live vicariously through TV programs like Master Chef, Top Chef, and Chopped. What I love about the food created on shows like these is that it’s always a break from the norm, a step above the rest, a creative take on an old favorite. So if I’m going to spend over $100 on dinner for two, it had better be that kind of experience!
Eating at the Barking Frog restaurant in the wine country of Woodinville, Washington, provided the level of excitement this amateur foodie was craving. It was not just a meal, it was a culinary adventure! The Grand Marnier Prawns with lemongrass vinaigrette starter offered the perfect combination of sweet, tangy citrus and delicate, salty prawns to whet your appetite and leave you ready for the next course. The Grilled Sixteen Ounce Washington Rib Eye entree, served with roasted bone marrow in a joint on the side and accented with a veal demi glace, provided a welcome departure from the typical restaurant steak. A dessert of the Barking Frog’s house made Meyer Lemon Ice Cream, which tasted much more like lemon meringue pie than its sorbet counterparts, made a perfect end to a superb dinner experience. And with many more interesting and unique offerings on the menu, I left daydreaming about which culinary combination I’d try next time!
The exciting food was equaled by the Barking Frog’s excellent staff. Our waiter made us feel welcome from the moment we sat down, and his knowledge and honesty about the food was refreshing. If we asked about an item on the menu that he knew to be too adventurous for the typical palette, he didn’t give us the standard everything-on-the-menu-is-wonderful reply. Instead, he shared with us the details of the dish in such a way that was neither condescending nor vague. The sommelier impressed us with his extensive but relatable knowledge of which wines at every price point would highlight our dinner without overwhelming it. We even met the Chef de Cuisine who introduced himself to us personally.
At the Barking Frog, we were treated like royalty. For one night, I got enjoy food that was truly unique, and that alone is enough to leave me wanting more!