WOODINVILLE, WASH — It's the little restaurant with big expectations.
"Our mission every night is to try to create the best dining experience in the world." Said Carrie Van Dyck, co-founder of The Herbfarm in Woodinville.
The restaurant has been dazzling diners since they opened more than 30 years ago. It's an experience that begins long before you come to the table.
"Part of the evening's beginnings is a little bit about the history of The Herbfarm. Then we go through the gardens where we learn about some of the items that will be in your dinner that night. At the end, you get to visit Basil and Borage our pet pot belly pigs and that's always fun for people."
Inside, the restaurant feels like an old-world county-inn with no detail overlooked.
"People are invited to tour the building, to tour the wine cellar. We want people to feel comfortable like they're coming into our home when they arrive."
But the star of The Herbfarm is the food. The kitchen doubles as a stage where guests can watch the chefs prepare the nights courses.
"It's a nine-course meal, it's matched with 5 wines. The course are all small so you don't have too much to eat, but it is over a period of 4 hours. We have menu themes that change every few weeks and within those themes, the menu gets changed as well. The chef really focuses on what we can get out of our farm as well as various local farmers, producers, fisherman." Said Van Dyck.
The Herbfarm’s Chef Chris Weber ads, "The themed menus, the idea of trying to pinpoint seasonality on three-week bases does separate this restaurant from a lot of other ones."
The menu and the food change so much, even the most frequent diners have a hard time having the same thing twice.
"After all these years of doing this I'm constantly amazed and surprised by the various course that come out and how beautiful they are and how tasty they are."
The Herbfarm's high standers come with a high price. But when your goal is to be the best restaurant around, for many, the experience is well worth it.
"It's really about putting the guest first before anything else." Said Weber.
The Herbfarm is the 2018 winner for Best Destination Restaurant in the 2018 Best Northwest Escapes contest sponsored by Washington's Playground.
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