Semiahmoo's New Pierside Kitchen: 6 Must-Try Dishes & Drinks

By Leslie Kelly  |  July 8, 2014
Credit: Leslie Kelly

Semiahmoo Resort, north of Bellingham, might be the most gorgeously situated, under-the-radar dining destination in Washington State. Located on a slender spit, smack on the water's edge, the impressively updated Packer's Oyster Bar, pictured, and its elegant big sister, Pierside Kitchen, have a new culinary director who grew up in Paris, a lead bartender who has revamped the cocktail menu and a pastry chef who's knocking it out of the park and across the bay with her amazing creations. While most travelers heading north have B'ham or Vancouver, BC, dialed into their GPS, this restaurant's recent transformation makes it detour-worthy. Here are a few delicious must-try dishes and drinks. 

  • Credit: Leslie Kelly

    Cocktails at Packer's

    This bar and casual-dining spot with a knockout view of Drayton Harbor features a sophisticated drink list with a big-city sensibility, drawing on dozens of bitters and housemade tinctures. While the summer sun's shining, dive into the ultrarefreshing and nautically named Hoist That Rag, with muddled cucumber, Square One basil vodka and rosemary simple syrup.   

  • Credit: Leslie Kelly

    Oysters Rockefeller

    The oysters don't get much fresher than those grown in Drayton Harbor. These plump bivalves are amazing on the half shell with a migonette dressing that features chopped shallots and tiny diced apples. But they also stand up to the Rockefeller's creamy, fresh spinach topping. 

  • Credit: Leslie Kelly

    Chef's Garden salad

    These petite greens and edible flowers are plucked from the newly planted raised beds that culinary director Eric A. Truglas helped design. They're located near the kitchen, just outside the space that resort GM David Sullivan hopes to turn into an on-site brewery one day.

  • Credit: Leslie Kelly


    ​This hearty San Francisco-inspired soup is cooked to order in the Woodstone oven. It's a beautiful bowl full of Penn Cove mussels, clams and shrimp with chunks of halibut and a bit of chorizo in a complex saffron-spiked tomato broth that has us reaching for the grilled garlic bread to sop up every last drop.

  • Credit: Leslie Kelly

    Cedar plank-roasted salmon

    This pristine King fillet, caught off the Washington coast in Neah Bay, is so succulent and a little bit smoky, thanks to that cedar plank. Charred radicchio dressed in a balsamic reduction and a fantastic potatoes Anna are exceptional accompaniments to the fish. 

  • Credit: Leslie Kelly

    Chevre cheesecake

    Pastry chef Kristie George deftly displays a light touch with a dessert that often goes over-the-top on the richness scale. The tangy goat cheese comes shining through the velvety cheesecake and a scoop of huckleberry ice cream on the side brightens up the pretty plate.