Summer Guide To Al Fresco Dining & Water Views

One of the best ways to enjoy summer is dining at a restaurant where the scenery is as fine as what’s on the plate. To greet the official arrival of summer and to serve as a guide from now through the fall, here’s a sampling of our region’s best dining destinations, from casual outdoor seating to high-end dining experiences with stunning views. Bon appétit! -KELLY LENIHAN

Anthony’s Homeport 704 Columbia St. NW
Budd Bay Cafe 525 Columbia St. NW
Dockide Bistro & Wine Bar 501 Columbia St. NW
Waterstreet Cafe & Bar 610 Water St. NW
Anthony’s at Point Defiance 5910 N. Waterfront Dr.
Boathouse 19 9001 S. 19th St
Cliff House 6300 Marine View Dr
Sel 229 St. Helens Ave
The Fish Peddler on Foss Waterway 1199 Dock St
The Social Bar & Grill 1715 Dock St
Chambers Bay Grill (University Place) 6320 Grandview Dr. W.
CI Shenanigan’s Seafood & Chop House 3017 Ruston Way
Duke’s Chowder House 3327 Ruston Way
Fish Brewing Pub & Eatery 5108 Grand Loop
Harbor Lights 2716 Ruston Way
Katie Downs Waterfront Tavern & Eatery 3211 Ruston Way
Lobster Shop 4015 Ruston Way
Ram Restaurant & Brewery 3001 Ruston Way
Wildfin American Grill 5115 Grand Loop
Island View Public House & Market 7102 Ray Nash Dr. NW
JW @ The Boatyard 3117 Harborview Dr.
Morso 9014 Peacock Hill Ave
Netshed No. 9 3313 Harborview Dr
The Green Turtle 2905 Harborview Dr
Tides Tavern 2925 Harborview Dr
Topside Bar & Grill 215 Wilkes St
Sorci’s Italian Cafe & Enoteca 1012 Ryan Ave
Windmill Bistro 16009 60th St E

Meet Reknowned Chef Roy Yamaguchi

Culinary pioneer Roy Yamaguchi is regarded as an international culinary visionary and the creator of Hawaiian fusion cuisine. The founder and owner of Roy’s restaurants will be Saint Martin’s University on Nov. 3 to host Saint Martin’s Gala 2018: Hawaii and Pacific Islands.

Born in Tokyo, Yamaguchi had his first taste of seafood bought fresh at seaside piers on Maui, while visiting his grandparents. It is these fond memories that would shape his future career. At 19, he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New York as a master chef. After moving to Los Angeles, he served as executive chef at La Serene. Yamaguchi then decided to head closer to his roots. He moved to Hawaii and opened the first Roy’s in 1988.

Yamaguchi’s numerous accolades include the prestigious James Beard Award. He hosted six seasons of the television show Hawaii Cooks with Roy Yamaguchi. He is also the author of three cookbooks.

The following are excerpts from our interview with the renowned chef.

What is your best-kept cooking secret?
A lot of hard work at the end of the day. I love what I do. We make sure that people come first. Our people and the people who come through the doors are always the priority.

Why is good food important to the next generation?
Cooking with your kids is important because then they get used to having good food. I recommend bringing kids to the restaurant early so they learn to talk with the server—and also learn about manners and nutrition. Food is an international language, it’s a tool to connect all of us.

Why is the presentation of your dish so important?
People eat with their eyes. We like [the dishes] to look picturesque so our guests savor every bite.

Why are you excited to be cooking at the Saint Martin’s Gala?
I’m excited to be a part of the educational environment. At Saint Martin’s we will be able to have fun and do some inspirational cooking.

What should our readers know about you?
I love music and I’m a drummer. Playing the drums is like working in a kitchen. Everyone plays a part in the production of food in the kitchen, and in a band everyone plays a part in the harmony of the band.


For Additional Information and to purchase tickets:
Saint Martin’s Gala

Taste of Tacoma: The Taste Cooks!













Learn to Cook from the Best Chefs in the Northwest at The Taste Cooks! Take a look inside a professional chef’s kitchen at The Taste Cooks! presented by Uber Eats and Albert Lee Appliance, at Emerald Queen Casino’s Taste of Tacoma® presented by BECU, at Point Defiance Park on June 22-24 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.  The Taste Cooks! stage will provide high-energy culinary demonstrations by some of the Tacoma area’s best and entertaining chefs.

Chef Thierry Rautureau aka ‘The Chef in the Hat’ will take the reigns as emcee for The Taste Cooks! bringing a new level of excitement and interaction to the stage with his extensive culinary experience, and, engaging and unique personality.  “I am very excited to participate in the Taste of Tacoma for the first time.  I look forward to socializing with many great local chefs, whom I have not had a chance to meet, and also to have fun engaging with the audience at the Taste!” Rautureau said.

The Taste Cooks! lineup changes each day, with chefs eager to share their delicious handpicked recipes. The Taste Cooks! kitchen stage is a fully-equipped professional stage, courtesy of Albert Lee Appliance. During the chef demos, the audience can get a real ‘taste’ of what it’s like to be inside a professional chef’s kitchen. All recipes will be available for the audience to take, to try at home.

The Taste Cooks! features ‘more mystery cook-off’s this year with select chefs competing in The Taste Cook-Off! where their culinary skills will be put to the test. The competing chefs are given 30 minutes to create a masterpiece from three mystery ingredients, a basic pantry, and a large selection of produce, kindly donated by Charlie’s Produce.

Three lucky audience members will be selected to critique each chef on their dish and performance. The criteria: creative use of ingredients, presentation, tastiness and overall entertainment. The winning chef will be announced live and will receive a $100 donation towards the charity of their choice.

Notable chefs participating on The Taste Cooks! stage include return crowd favorites, Jon Maley (ChūcH), Saffron Hodgson “The Aussie’ (, Hudson Slater (Tacoma Yacht Club), Taani Maama (Boathouse 19), and, new to The Taste Cooks! are Sam Mardis (Chambers Bay Grill), Shawn Tibbitts (Tibbitts@FernHill), Jeff Pratt (Goodwill’s Neighborhood Bistro), Jo Seoung (Hilton Garden Inn), and more!

NEW!!!  The Taste Experience Package, combines two of the Tastes’ premier attractions, South Sound Bites + Craft Beer & Wine Tasting at one discounted price. The Taste Experience Package includes:

  • Trip through South Sound Bites – 1 Plate with 5 ‘Large Tastes’ for a great cause benefiting Emergency Food Network – includes a bottled water.
  • VIP Fast-line access to South Sound Bites
  • Craft Beer & Wine Tasting Starter Package – souvenir tasting glass and 5 beverage tickets – beer or wine.

Taste of Tacoma 2016

With Metro Parks Tacoma Destination Point Defiance project underway, Emerald Queen Casino’s Taste of Tacoma® presented by BECU has taken steps to ensure an easy and affordable option for guests by providing a FREE Taste Express from Tacoma Community College to the festival and back. Park FREE & Ride FREE. It will run throughout the day (6/22-24) starting at 10:30 a.m. to take guests to & from the festival (guests should note there may be a wait during peak hours of the event). The last shuttle will depart Point Defiance Park 30 minutes after closing each day. Festival hours are Friday & Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11am to 8pm

For more information:


Truckaroo: Washington’s Food Truck Event

Mark your calendars to join us at the Washington State Food Truck Association’s annual Truckaroo event, on June 16th from 11am to 4pm. Their mission is to celebrate the uniqueness of street food while incorporating local ingredients, to promote the interests of small business owners, and to raise funds for the association’s legislative efforts. The Washington State Food Truck Assoc. advocates for all mobile food vendors and hopes to continue its local and state-level policy work. Their work demonstrates how street food can bring communities together.

Truckaroo will take place at the Bates Technical College- South Campus. Bates offers one of the only culinary food truck education programs in the state. This acclaimed program is run by a previous student, Chef Richard Houle. It consists of 40-credits and covers everything from sanitation and food safety basics to cost control, food truck menu development  and creating a business plan.

The Washington State Food Truck Association will also partner with USO Northwest to continue to support our military service members and their families. The partnership provides programs and services designed to meet the individual needs of today’s military. The USO operates two of its own food trucks as well, mainly for special events that are aimed to provide support to those who need it the most.

The whole family can enjoy food trucks, trailers, carts and pop-ups, locally made beverages, and traditional street entertainment on campus, and kids enter for free. The food vendors also offer a military discount. Advance tickets can be purchased for $5 through Eventbrite:

They need sponsors, local artisans, street entertainers, demos, and volunteers to make this event possible.  If you’d like to participate or find more details, visit the website here:    Twitter: @wafoodtrucks


Happy Belly’s Healthy Options

Since 2014, Happy Belly has been offering unique, healthy options to South Sound residents in search of fresh, delicious meals. Happy Belly owner and executive chef Jennifer Johnson has created a thriving casual-dining establishment that has a loyal following and new converts every day. It features Johnson’s unique perspective on balance in daily living and feeding one’s mind as well as one’s body through a variety of nutritious foods.

Johnson is always looking for new flavor combinations for her dishes. “I am inspired by the way the senses work together—the smell of crushed tomato leaves, the ultra-sweetness of fresh pineapple, salty sea water, the dry feel of crumbling tobacco leaves, the silky feel of apple skin. I create food I wished was made for me and that I want to share with others,” she says.

This spring, Happy Belly is all about revitalization and renewal. Coming out of winter, the focus will be on lighter dishes and herbjuice fusions. “We’re excited for the coming sun and citrus,” says Johnson, noting “a kaleidoscope of color and flavor in blossoms and berries, mint, basil, cilantro, ginger, tropical notes and earthy beet, turmeric and greens.”

In addition, Happy Belly’s Kitchen Self-Sufficiency class series starts up again in March. The series will help you sharpen your knife skills, discover alternative flours and sweeteners, tackle multimeal preparation, and explore flavor combining.

For Johnson, connecting with and caring for her guests and staff has brought her more success than she could have ever imagined. “Listen to the community. They’ll tell you exactly what is needed,” she says. “Then my job is to deliver it in a creative, tasty and affordable way that keeps bringing them back. Also, smiles, kindness and positivity are contagious. Everyone can use more of it.”


For additional information:
Happy Belly
1122 Market Street

South Sound Community Wine Dinners

There is always a buzz when new upscale dinner options come along in Olympia. This fall the Percival Restaurant at South Puget Sound Community College started offering quarterly wine-paired dinners. The Percival is a venue for showcasing the advanced culinary artistry that students in the Culinary Arts program have developed.

The first wine-paired dinner took place on Nov. 16. In attendance were nearly 50 college and community members, including SPSCC President Tim Stokes. “I was beaming with pride for our students, chefs and culinary team,” he said. “They delivered a true gastronomic experience.”

The menu featured a triple cream brie, fresh wild king salmon, pomegranate key lime granita, Snake River Farms wagyu striploin and a chocolate cream tart. Among the featured wines were TruthTeller’s Viognier, Shea Wine Cellar’s Pinot Noir and Woodward Canyon’s Cabernet Sauvignon, bringing the flavors of the Yakima, Willamette and Columbia valleys to the event.

Professor and chef Scott McLean prepared the exclusive menu and pairings along with the students and catering staff. “They put together a fabulous paired dinner that rivaled the major food scenes in Seattle and Portland,” said program dean Val Sundby-Thorp. “We also want them to build their resume and experience so they can graduate and enter into the industry with relevant, exciting and professional experience.”

Before joining SPSCC’s program in 2016, McLean was the executive chef at the Marcus Whitman Hotel and Conference Center in Walla Walla. His long career of opening restaurants and leading other chefs brings incredible value to the Culinary Arts program.

While the Percival Restaurant plans to continue its quarterly winepaired dinners (next dinner scheduled for Valentine’s Day), it is also open to the community for lunch from Monday to Thursday. The restaurant also offers special reservations, catering, and event and meeting space.


For additional information:
Percival Restaurant at SPSCC

Dave & Buster’s Brings Fun To Auburn

Dave & Buster’s first Washington state location is now open in Auburn at The Outlet Collection Seattle. The restaurant and entertainment mecca boasts more than 44,000 square feet of arcade games, state-of-the-art sports viewing, and one-of-a-kind food and drink offerings all under one roof.

“We’ve had our eyes on the Seattle area for a while now, and the South Sound is an ideal place for Dave & Buster’s first location in the Evergreen State,” said Dave & Buster’s Auburn General Manager James Hartung. “We look forward to introducing the region to what we’re all about—an exciting environment to eat, drink, play and watch sports.”

There is no other attraction in Auburn quite like Dave & Buster’s, where guests can experience hundreds of dynamic games, a chefcrafted menu, innovative cocktails and the state-of-the-art D&B Sports Bar filled with dozens of massive HDTV screens. Guests can play more than 190 of the latest arcade games like Injustice Arcade.

The mouth-watering menu combines fun and flavor in American fare with items including Ancho Caesar Lettuce Wraps, the Carnivore Pizzadilla, legendary burgers like the Buffalo Wing Burger and the all-new BBBacon Burger (featuring three types of bacon!), and new dishes like the Hawg-A-Saurus Loaded Cheese Fries and Dynamite Fried Shrimp.

Dave & Buster’s offers one-of-a-kind cocktails like you’ve never seen before! The extensive beverage menu includes favorites like Adult Snow Cones, CoronaRitas, Tiki Drinks, Luxe LITs, a Strawberry Watermelon Margarita made with strawberry-flavored ice cubes and Glow Kones featuring a blinking, flashing glow cube.

The new location’s D&B Sports Bar is the ultimate destination to catch all of Washington’s favorite college and professional teams. With screens everywhere you look and “better than the stadium” seating, you’ll feel like you’re at the game!

Dave & Buster’s also features multiple private event spaces to provide an ideal atmosphere for any occasion. From corporate events and meetings to birthday parties and team building activities, the Dave & Buster’s team will work with every size and budget to make planning easy, so you can focus on the FUN!


For additional information:
Dave & Buster’s Auburn
1101 Outlet Collection Dr SW, Auburn

The Star of the Neighborhood: Cooks Tavern

Named by readers as a new favorite in the ShowCase Magazine 2017 readership poll, Cooks Tavern has quickly risen to stardom with its cozy neighborhood atmosphere and mouthwatering menu. Located near the Proctor neighborhood in North Tacoma, Cooks Tavern will easily become your go-to spot any day of the week for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Cooks Tavern offers patrons a solid assortment of dishes that celebrate the food of the Americas, with a healthy shot of comfort foods. From Montreal to Memphis to Machu Picchu, a new menu is debuted every four months celebrating the food, beverages and cultures of a different region of North, Central or South America. Its summer of 2017 offering of Cuban-inspired entrees took your taste buds to the Caribbean with flavorful bites such as shredded pork, grilled Bistec de Palomilla, spiced and grilled gulf shrimp, plantain chips, and grilled pineapple.

If your tastes prefer to stay closer to home, the dinner menu includes a choice of small and large plates that will elevate any day. You’ll always find a fine roast chicken, a cast iron griddled steak and a simply grilled local fish. The perfect pairing for any of these meals can be found in a Northwest beer on tap or bottle of wine. For the more adventurous, a selection of cocktails inspired by the region of the rotating menu may be a better fit.

Breakfast fanatics can satisfy their appetite at any time of day. “One of our foundations as a neighborhood restaurant is to always have breakfast on the menu,” says owner Peter Levy. The morning menu rolls out at 8 a.m. featuring “not so early bird” specials, fresh-cracked egg omelets and Belgian waffles, a few of which transition to dinner offerings as well.

“We’ve been very happy to become part of this community,” says Levy. “Everyone has been so genuine and appreciative.” And that’s a two-way street for Cooks Tavern. The restaurant has hosted four fundraisers since opening in June 2016 to support two local elementary schools, the Children’s Museum of Tacoma and a school in Tacoma’s sister city of Cienfuegos, Cuba.


Cooks Tavern
3201 North 26th St, Tacoma

Ten Favorite Washington Wines

The best wine is one you love to drink and share! Although Washington wine country has been producing premium wines for only a scant 50 years, each year these winemakers deliver an ever more impressive portfolio of world-class wines. With the holidays just around the corner, which wine will you be serving?

Abeja, pronounced “ah-BAY-ha”
Chardonnay, Walla Walla Valley, 2014
Elegance and richness balance with a pleasing acidity. Aromas of ripe stone fruits and crème brûlée tantalize the taste buds with nicely flowing flavors, lending a long and crisp finish.

DeLille Cellars
Cabernet Sauvignon, Shaw Red Mountain Vineyard, 2014
Spicy notes of blackberry, plum, incense and black cherry tease the palate. After an hour in the decanter, rich flavors and firm tannins broaden and deepen magnificently.

Otis Kenyon Wine
Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, 2013
Earthy white pepper battles with rhubarb and ancho chili to come out on top, only to hit your taste buds with candied ginger and cranberry sauce.

Cadence Winery
Camerata Red Mountain Cara Mia Vineyard, 2011
A cabernet-dominant blend yields dark, deep black licorice aromas. Rich, vibrant cherries and blackberry flavors are framed by perfectly integrated tannins and a long, savory finish. This wine will unfold gracefully for years to come.

Betz Family Winery
La Côte Rousse, Red Mountain Syrah, 2015
Combining grapes from four unique vineyards, this wine features delicate notes of lavender and iron with fruits leaning toward blackberry and raspberry, boysenberry and pomegranate. Tannin and acid are abundant, balanced with a smoky meatiness.

Matthews Winery
Sauvignon Blanc, Columbia Valley, 2016
Pleasantly exuberant, this sauv-blanc delivers big, ripe flavors heavy on tropical fruits—pineapple, guava, mango, grapefruit—layered with spicy, green aromatics and an abundance of food-loving acidity.

Two Vintners
Syrah, Some Days Are Stones, 2013
Elegant and expressive, its layers of plum, rose petal, orange peel and bacon flavors meld harmoniously and extend into a long, polished finish.

Lauren Ashton Cellars
Cuvée Arlette, Columbia Valley, 2011
A luxurious Bordeaux-style blend, its depth and complexity echo aromatics of raspberry, black currants, cocoa and caramel with hints of spiciness and minerality. The tannin structure is focused and elegant.

Gamache Vineyard
Malbec, Columbia Valley, 2012
Up front, aromas of ripe plum, barrel spice and herb are followed by sweet black fruit flavors. Medium acidity balances the density of the wine. A long finish persists with plum and clove.

Chateau Ste. Michelle
Riesling, Columbia Valley, 2014
Dry, crisp apple aromas and beautiful fruit flavors with subtle mineral notes lead to a crisp acidity and an elegant finish.


Basilico Ristorante Dabbles in Cocktails

Basilico Ristorante, known for hand-made pastas and traditional Italian fine dining, has recently added aperitifs, digestives, liqueurs, and a couple of cocktails to its menu. Until now, the restaurant has had an extensive wine list to pair with your Pappardelle in Wild Boar Sauce, but has not been able to serve a Martini or glass of Limoncello to cap off your meal.
Owner Giampaolo Falchetti, who purchased the restaurant from friends in 2015, had gone back and forth about whether to add liquor, but he finally decided to take the leap “when I was back in Italy this year and visited Venice.” It brought him back to his days in college in Venice, walking around the city, grabbing a traditional Venetian Spritz before dinner.
“The Spritz is just fun,” Falchetti says. “You don’t see it often around here. It’s a nice balance of aperitif: a little liquor, a little sweet, and it doesn’t numb your palate.” A Spritz is a fizzy, bittersweet beverage made with Aperol or Campari, some Prosecco, and a splash of sparkling water. It is traditionally garnished with olives.
As Falchetti was thinking about how to implement this, he focused specifically on what you might find at a restaurant in Italy, with a couple of nods to the United States. There are 8 cocktails available, and they are all prepared with Italian or Washington local ingredients. Included are some classics like a Martini, a Bellini, and a Lemon Drop with an Italian twist (it’s made with limoncello). You won’t find, however, Cosmopolitans, Manhattans, or a Chocolatini. “This is an Italian restaurant,” Falchetti demurs, “I want to give people the Italian experience, and I don’t want the drink to clash with the food we are serving.”
On the list of liqueurs and digestives, you will also find a varied selection of grappa, a liquor made from the left-over grape skins and seeds from crushing wine, traditionally taken as a shot after a filling Italian meal. “We selected several high end grappas that have been aged and mellowed a long time, so you can tell they are strong, but they won’t burn as much going down as some of the more common grappas,” Falchetti says.
For people who are feeling adventurous, the serving staff is always ready to give advice on whether to try an Amaro Cynar, or a Nocino liquor. And, Falchetti is enjoying the adventure of incorporating this new service into his restaurant.

For more information, visit