Local food fans on Bainbridge Island have two exciting new restaurant options. Hitchcock and Arbutus opened last week at either end of Winslow Way, each bringing their own twist to the farm-to-table concept that creates a direct link between producer and chef.
Hitchcock celebrates historic island roots
Hitchcock is a new restaurant inspired by the traditions of an historic Bainbridge family and the passions of a chef.
Chef/Owner Brendan McGill says that both the inspiration and the name of his new restaurant honor his wife’s family, the Hitchcocks, who have called Bainbridge Island home for more than one hundred years. Her great grandfather, Carl Hitchcock, came to the island in 1890 and settled on a piece of land near Manzanita Bay, some of which is now Williams Park. Five generations of the Hitchcock family have lived on Bainbridge, eating clams from the shores of Bay, and produce from island fields. McGill is bringing that island-grown heritage full circle with the opening of his new restaurant.
McGill deals direct with local farmers and fisherman whenever he can. “As soon as my remodeling sign went up, farmers started showing up at the door – I’m finding fantastic local growers to work with,” he said. He also is excited about his “sea to table” connections; a recent Facebook post mentioned getting fresh salmon one day out of the water from the Quileute tribe.
Now he’s applying all of his culinary training and experience to these local ingredients. A recent menu (the menu changes every day) featured Quilcene oysters on the half shell with green apple, lime and vodka for starters, a salad of Persephone Farm Greens with Pickled Shallot and Banyuls, a vegetarian entrée of Asparagus with Chevre Fondue and Pine Nuts, and a seafood entrée of Salmon with Farro and Rapini. For dessert, a coffee and saffron frozen custard. McGill explains that he
plans to make almost everything from scratch, including pasta, charcuterie, pickled and preserved products, and desserts.
Hitchcock is located at 133 Winslow Way East. Currently open for dinner only on Tuesday through Saturday from 5 pm to 10 pm, McGill plans to add lunch, and then a Sunday brunch. For information and reservations call 206-201-3789.
Arbutus offers European-inspired farm-fresh meals
Jade Castillo, owner chef at the island’s newest restaurant Arbutus, makes the farm-to-table connection as close as it can get – she raises much of the produce herself. Castillo also owns Manzanita Creek Farm on Bainbridge Island with her husband Michael Gutteridge.
Arbutus, which is located in the Winslow Way space previously occupied by Mon Elisa’s, offers quick European inspired dining and take-out. Fans of Mon Elisa’s pastas and sauces need not worry – Castillo purchased the pasta maker and the recipes along with the restaurant, so all of Elisa’s favorites are still available to eat in or in the freezer case to take home.
In addition, Castillo has created a casual menu for all-day dining, or to grab and go on the way home or to the ferry. Arbutus’ menu features a collection of salads, soups, sandwiches and pastas, along with the fabulous crepes Castillo has been selling at the Bainbridge Farmers’ Market.
Recent menu offerings include a spinach salad with apricots and Port Madison chevre, a seasonal shellfish salad, along with sandwiches featuring grilled chicken, tri-tip steak or grilled vegetables on Pane d’Amore bread. There are crepes, both savory and sweet, breakfast dishes on the weekend, and a collection of fresh pasta and sauces made daily.
Arbutus is open weekdays 11am to 8pm, Saturdays from 8am to 8 pm, closed on Sunday. It is located at 450 Winslow Way E. Castillo suggests that if you’re in a hurry you can call your order in ahead of time at 206-780-3233.