The newly remodeled Alderbrook Resort and Spa shines on Hood Canal
Looking for a mini-break with fresh breezes, comfy beds, delicious Northwest cuisine and excellent drinks?
Located on Hood Canal just under two hours from Seattle, Alderbrook Resort and Spa is a favorite getaway for many locals and a sought-after destination for tourists. The resort has recently completed a full interior remodel that includes an upgraded dining room and refreshed menu, plus a brand new all-day café, The Drinkery.
The remodeled restaurant has gorgeous, light-filled views of Hood Canal and cozy gray leather banquettes where you can cuddle with a glass of Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut and a plate of local oysters on the half shell. Tables are thoughtfully angled to best enjoy the 180-degree view. For larger parties, there is a private dining room sectioned off from the main dining room by gray-stained barn doors.
Midweek visits to The Drinkery include an option for afternoon beer tastings on Tuesdays and wine tastings on Wednesdays.
“We want to engage our guests as much as possible,” says Beverage Manager Victoria Martens.
Try a pint of the Hood Canal Oyster Stout, created in partnership with Potlatch Brewing. New Executive Chef Sara Harvey hand-shucked seven pounds of oysters to have enough shells for the brewing process. Full of sweet smokey notes and briny umami flavors, there’s no grit in this smooth stout; the shells were securely wrapped in cheesecloth.
The Drinkery offers daily pours of their “house” wines, rotated quarterly. For the re-opening, they featured the Maryhill 2019 Winemaker’s White and the Isenhower Cellars 2019 Photobomb Cabernet Sauvignon out of Walla Walla. “The Photobomb is not too big of a Cab,” says Martens, adding that they wanted glass pours that were approachable and affordable.
For those who want a bigger, bolder red, try the private label Pandion, a Bordeaux blend made especially for the resort by Avennia Winery. It pairs beautifully with the 16-ounce Ribeye or Raikes Beef Meatball Marinara. (Owner Jeff Raikes comes from a ranching family in Nebraska.)
Martens notes that guests, especially those coming from outside the area, want a full Northwest wine experience. Their wine list is about 85% Northwest with a few special California bottles and select imports.
There are many comfortable indoor and outdoor spaces to relax with a carefully curated beverage at Alderbrook. The Staircase is a gingery bourbon-based homage to a favorite cocktail memory of owner Tricia Raikes (the key is a healthy splash of punt e mes, an Italian vermouth). Settle up with one of these near the fire and you just may be visited by one of the resort’s resident cats.
The Bloody Mary — garnished with a green olive and fat poached prawn, among other delicacies — is the all-time favorite cocktail of resort guests. Martens laughs that its housemade proprietary recipe is a “labor of love.”
Martens and Harvey are planning to debut a seasonal foraged cocktail program by next summer. They hope to create a new culinary experience, inviting guests into the foraging process and the chef’s garden to pick the ingredients for the cocktails and then make them together. Martens is also working on an expanded mocktail menu.
“Signature Alderbrook,” says Martens, “is all about the experience and the journey.”