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6 Great New Reasons to Drive to Woodinville

By Leslie Kelly
April 9, 2014

In the past five years, Woodinville Wine Country has added 40 tasting rooms to its roster, meaning there are now a whopping 80 tasting rooms just 25 minutes from Downtown Seattle. So it's official: Woodinville Wine Country is blowing up. Why the growth? While Eastern Washington is the grape growing region of record for the state, many producers have decided to take their New World-style wines to the people, opening second tasting rooms in Woodinville. To further feed the expansion, the dining scene in this pastoral suburb has also upped the ante. The horse barns and farm stands are now interspersed with wineries serving pizza and panini, specialty stores where you can pick up picnic goods, restaurants serving sassy Southern fare and sumptuous spreads at upscale dining spots. Here are a few of our favorite new reasons to drive to Woodinville right now. 

  • Brunch at Barking Frog

    Let's start the day with a crab cake Benedict, shall we? This fabulous rendition of the classic swaps out the English muffin for a moist cake made with Dungeness crab. Right now, it's being topped with first-of-the-season asparagus, pictured. If you're arriving around the lunch hour, try the outstanding lamb burger, topped with pickled onions. Either way, don't miss the excellent Bacon Bloody Mary. On weekends, this hot spot at Willows Lodge attracts a mix of day-tripping families and oenophiles. 14580 Northeast 145th St; 425-424-2999

  • Pork at Project V Distillery

    We love this spirit maker's vertically integrated mission, using the spent grain from the distilling process to feed pigs that are turned into chops, shoulder cuts and sausages that fill the freezer at the tasting room in this Warehouse District tasting room. If you can't wait until you get home to try the savory stuff, head over to Callahan Cellars, where on weekends, they make a wood-fire pizza featuring Project V's sausage, paired up with red onions, mozzarella and pecorino cheese. 19495 144th Ave. NE. #A-130;  425-398-1738

  • Boozy shakes at The Commons

    This modern diner has been a big hit since it opened for breakfast, lunch and dinner last year. We like to hit it for a mid-afternoon palate cleansing glass of Theo's chocolate milkshake. Or, if it's the cocktail hour, we'll go for the Diego Chanca, made with orange and coffee bean-infused rum, allspice Drambuie, pineapple, and Snoqualmie's vanilla bean ice cream. So cool. And when you're ready to get back on the wine tasting trail, there are a half dozen tasting rooms within walking distance. 14481 Woodinville Redmond Road NE; 425-892-7012

  • Deep-fried dill pickles at Hollywood Tavern

    We're a sucker for the crispy, cornmeal crusted pickle slices at this revamped roadhouse. The slam-packed place is from the same folks who feed the discerning diners at Westward and Skillet, so it's no big surprise that the food here is built for comfort. Order a round of these as a starter before diving into the big fat po'boy stuffed with a Dungeness crab cake, fried oysters and bacon. 14508 Woodinville Redmond Road NE; 425-610-7730

  • Brick oven pizza and more at Novelty Hill/Januik

    This is one of the most beautiful tasting rooms in the Woodinville area, a stylish setting with a contemporary vibe that includes an outdoor bocce court and a picnic area that looks like it belongs in Paris. On weekends, the kitchen fires up the Woodstone pizza oven and cranks out some incredible pies including one topped with house-made marinara and meatballs. There's also an extensive catering menu that can be ordered in advance, including cheese boards and charcuterie assortments. Just the thing to enjoy with the award-winning Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and more from veteran vintner Mike Januik. Come summer, there's a popular Wine Wednesday happy hour with live music. 14710 Woodinville Redmond Rd NE; 425-481-5502

  • Panini picnic at Chateau Ste. Michelle

    This pioneering winery started the whole Woodinville movement when it turned a historic hunting lodge into a working operation in the late 1970s. It remains one of the absolute essentials on any trip to this pocket of wine country - especially if it's picnic weather. The tasting room offers various grab-and-go options but there's also a selection of panini made to order. Choices vary often, but if you're lucky, you'll find the Argentinian Chorizo Sausage, caramelized onions, roasted peppers, and chimichurri in between a toasty bun. Enjoy it with one of the bottles of Ste. Michelle wine you can't find anywhere else - ask the tasting room staff for suggestions. 14111 NE 145th St; 800-267-6793


Places Mentioned

Barking Frog

Us Pacific Northwest • Woodinville

Food26 Decor24 Service25 Cost$51
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