Picturesque Pacific Northwest scene with a gorgeous steely blue lake in the foreground and classic city and mountain views in the background all enveloped in the warm embrace of a sunny day. These are glorious on their own and are made even more glorious when sitting on the newly reopened patio of the Beach Café in Kirkland.
Nestled in the pristine Carillon Point, Kirkland’s Woodmark Hotel and Still Spa hired a new chef in late 2019, right before the world shut down due to the pandemic. The year hiatus allowed the new Executive Chef Brian Doherty and the F&B Director Arlis Cerreti to reimagine the dining experience of the Beach Café as well as created some of the most elevated fast-casual + grab-and-go food in town across the courtyard at Carillon Kitchen. Chef Brian’s technique is French but his years in the PNW show with an immense amount of knowledge and passion for regionally inspired cuisine. His cooking philosophy begins with sourcing “very best seasonal ingredients and designs dishes that highlight and elevate them to reflect the essence of the Pacific Northwest”. This philosophy can be seen throughout his menu with the addition of a variety of seafood dishes and elevated local seasonal favorites such as morel mushrooms, huckleberries, and Beecher’s Cheese.
My experience at dining at the Beach Café was nothing short of perfection. Upon arriving all of the staff was warm and friendly; almost sing-songy with their greetings. With an expansive bar, intimate dining room with just about every booth having a view of Lake Washington, and an inviting patio—there is no bad table!
The food is substantial and approachable, yet sophisticated. Everything is extremely fresh and seasonal. Seared wild scallops floating in a banner of pea puree with morels sprinkled across the top. A heap of sweet corn gnocchi interlaced with spring’s best asparagus, fava beans, and english peas. Akaushi (a Japanese Wagyu breed of cattle) burger piled high with honey peppered bacon, Beecher’s Flagship cheese, tomato jam and avocado. Want something on the sweet side? For brunch, their french toast is made with the chef’s choice of pastry ranging from apple fritters to chocolate croissants and their baked Alaska is a delight with your choice of gelato—torched a la minute. Overall, the food is consistently delicious, the service is good and the atmosphere is a delight with wonderful views and good vibrations.