Chuckanut Manor turns back time

  • By Anna Poole / Herald Restaurant Reviewer
  • Thursday, July 22, 2004 9:00pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

BOW – Back when gasoline was one-third of today’s price, road trips were a part of our summer and roadhouses were part of the excursion. They offered great food and a place to stretch before the next leg of the journey.

On the Saturday I visited Chuckanut Manor, just outside Bow, it served as a rest stop for a historic car club. The parking lot was filled with gleaming vehicles, including a 1915 Ford touring car, a 1929 Packard, a 1933 Rolls-Royce and, my dream car, a turquoise 1956 Ford Thunderbird convertible with white leather interior.

I enjoyed my stroll around the parking lot and across the expanse of lawn, where guests can eat outdoors, before entering the spacious and cool restaurant.

Chuckanut Manor was built in 1934 as a private home and purchased in 1963 by John and Carolyn Paulson. They expanded the restaurant in 1968 and the family still operates it as a bed and breakfast and restaurant. Because the manor sits on a hill, there’s a complete view of Samish Bay. The dining room’s span of windows provides an unbroken view of the natural beauty.

The restaurant specializes in seafood, with Penn Cove mussels, Samish Bay clams and oysters, Dungeness crab, wild king salmon, calamari, shrimp and scallops filling the menu. There’s also a double-cut pork chop ($19.95), rack of lamb ($28.95) and pasta selections on the dinner menu.

Most of the customers, including the car club members, ordered seafood. The lightly breaded and grilled oysters ($10.95) appealed to me. I completed my order with a house salad ($4.25) and pan-fried potatoes. Every meal at Chuckanut Manor begins with complimentary flat bread and a small bowl of spinach-artichoke dip.

Like the era when Chuckanut Manor was built, the service pace of the restaurant is more leisurely, so I relaxed and enjoyed the view, my tasty appetizer and a bloody mary ($4.50). There are more than 20 wines available by the glass ($4.25 to $6.50) and an excellent wine list that includes bottles from Washington, Oregon and California ($30 to $200). In addition, there are more than 20 single malt scotch whiskeys available as well as seven beers on tap ($3.25 a glass).

The service was attentive, and my server checked on me twice before my order arrived. Shredded greens accented with tomato quarters were circled with a creamy blue cheese dressing and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. A lightly seasoned mixture of green and red bell pepper strips and thin onion slices topped the perfectly browned Yukon gold potato quarters. The grilled oysters sat on fresh cabbage leaves. This lunch was as delicious as it was beautiful.

A scenic drive on a warm, sunny July day with a stop for great food in an attractive, striking restaurant – no wonder road trips were popular.

Herald restaurant reviewers accept no invitations to review, but readers’ suggestions are always welcome. Reviewers arrive unannounced, and The Herald pays their tabs.

E-mail Anna Poole at features@heraldnet.com.

Chuckanut Manor Seafood &Grill

3056 Chuckanut Drive, Bow; 306-766-6191; www.chuckanutmanor.com

Specialty: seafood

Hours: Tuesday through Thursday and Saturday lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., dinner 4 to 10 p.m.; Friday lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., seafood smorgasbord, 5 to 10 p.m.; Sunday brunch, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., dinner 3 to 9 p.m.

Price range: expensive

Liquor: full bar

Smoking: non-smoking

Reservations: highly recommended

Disabled accessibility: some barriers

Credit cards: American Express, Master Card, Visa

Chuckanut Manor Seafood &Grill

3056 Chuckanut Drive, Bow; 306-766-6191; www.chuckanutmanor.com

Specialty: seafood

Hours: Tuesday through Thursday and Saturday lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., dinner 4 to 10 p.m.; Friday lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., seafood smorgasbord, 5 to 10 p.m.; Sunday brunch, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., dinner 3 to 9 p.m.

Price range: expensive

Liquor: full bar

Smoking: non-smoking

Reservations: highly recommended

Disabled accessibility: some barriers

Credit cards: American Express, Master Card, Visa

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