The Inn at Langley
1 May 2006

A couple of weeks ago, my husband took me to Whidbey Island for my birthday... we stayed at the Inn at Langley, which has gorgeous views of Puget Sound as well as one of the most well known restaurants in the area (which goes by the same name). Saturday night, we completely indulged in an amazing meal at the Inn with a couple of our friends to celebrate. It's one of the restaurants around Seattle I've wanted to try for several years now, particularly after reading Hillel's review on Tasting Menu. Chef Matt Costello starts each meal with a short discussion on eating locally, and walking through the night's 6-course tasting menu detailing where each of the main ingredients comes from and how the flavors are intended to interact. You then get to watch has he, and his team, prepare your meal in the open kitchen that fills about half of the room. The food starts to come and wow. What an amazing meal.

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The meal started with a small amuse of salmon and asparagus, soon followed by the appetizer... a foie gras with a fennel aspic topping and perfectly fresh rhubarb... the tart sweetness of the rhubarb a wonderful balance to the pure buttery texture of the foie grass. Our pescatarian friend got an equally amazing fresh avocado and melon alternative.
Inn at Langley Inn at Langley
The soup, a creamy onion, was nothing to write home about, but the flavors were quite nice... creamy and satisfying. But the halibut was one of the best I've ever had. The flesh was incredibly moist and soft, perfectly complemented with tender, almost sweet, mussels, and slightly crisp asparagus spears and english peas. This dish was the perfect food incarnation of spring.
Inn at Langley
This was followed by a cheese course, with a gorgeous Fourme Ambert (blue) cheese, lightly topped with strawberries and balsamic... always one of my favorite combinations.
Inn at Langley
And then. The dessert. Modestly described on the menu as a "tasting of chocolate" we watched Matt prepare three separate chocolate dessert, each of which could have been a complete treat on it's own.
Inn at Langley Inn at Langley
Matt, of course had specific names for them, and went into detail about each one. But we had two bottles of wine and champagne, so I no longer remember exactly what they were... there was something like a molten chocolate cake, something like a flourless chocolate cake and something like white chocolate chip cookie dough... other than absolutely amazingly delicious.
Inn at Langley
We certainly went to bed that night full and content. The next morning, breakfast (included with the price of the room) was also served in the restaurant... buffet style, but unlike any buffet I've ever had! Again, you get to watch as the chef makes small servings of each dish... fresh quiches with local ingredients, puff pastry topped with seasonal fruits or chocolate and nuts, the lightest most delicious scones you are likely to eat, a gorgeous selection of cheeses (perhaps the same as the cheese from the night before?), fresh orange juice and other fruits... mmm.
Inn at Langley Inn at Langley
You can eat in the light filled dining room, or even better, fill up a tray and take it back to your room and nibble as you look for whales.
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What a treat! Thank you Cameron!

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