Random Musings

Dinner at The Herbfarm

The Herbfarm is a Pacific Northwest treasure. What began as a farm in Fall City is now a world renowned dining establishment in the heart of Woodinville wine country. The Herbfarm is owned by the dynamic husband and wife team of Ron Zimmerman and Carrie Van Dyck. Four nights a week Ron and Carrie and their trusted staff lead a room full of diners through a 9 course meal that stretches out over almost 5 hours. The menu changes monthly and features the best local ingredients and local wines.

I had my first opportunity to dine at The Herbfarm a couple weeks ago and partake in the Indian Summer menu that is currently being featured. Dinner at The Herbfarm is preceded by a tour of the garden and the wine cellar. Carrie guides the visitors through the garden letting them smell and taste various herbs including chive, anise and lavender that will be included in the upcoming meal. Ron answers questions and shows everyone interested through the restaurants deep and truly impressive wine cellar.

Dinner at The Herbfarm is truly a marathon. Things start very slow as Ron regales guests with the restaurant history and the head chef and sommelier explain each coarse and the accompanying wines. The theater continues as each and every member of the staff is individually introduced. This whole process seemed a little long to me.

The food served at The Herbfarm and the wine pairings are truly breathtaking. The highlights on this particular night were a buttermilk fried rabbit served with a Pinot Noir from Patricia Green and Alaska Weathervane scallops served with Delille Cellars Chaleur Estate Blanc. Both were inspired matches that worked brilliantly. Guests also have the opportunity to upgrade their wine selections to include special bottles from the cellar and this is laboriously explained early on in the service. I sort of felt like I was being sold to. The dinner wrapped up close to 11pm with a variety of dessert courses and cheese plates.

I certainly understand why The Herbfarm has become a destination for food and wine lovers who visit the Seattle area. The dinner is expensive at $245 per person but you leave knowing you got your moneys worth. In my perfect world a dinner like this would transpire in 3 hours not 5. I get the attraction but for the most part my dining preferences are more along the lines of a wedge salad and a nice filet. Perhaps someday meals like those The Herbfarm serves will be more in tune with my desires. All that being said I am delighted I had a chance to experience The Herbfarm.

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