Gardner’s Seafood & Pasta
111 Thurston Ave NW, Olympia
Located in a historic building with exposed beams and hardwood floors, Gardner’s is a downtown Olympia favorite. The establishment’s 11 tables are candlelit for a setting that is both elegant and intimate. Executive Chef, Leon Longan, has been creating soups, sauces and desserts from scratch for more than 25 years. The menu reflects the selection of choice local and seasonal ingredients.
Delicately flavored razor clams are a worthy starter. The tender seafood is lightly breaded, quickly fried and simply presented in butter gently laced with lemon. Stuffed mushrooms, steamed clams and Dungeness crab dip are laudable appetizer alternatives.
Gardner’s offers a choice of soup or salad with every entrée. Mixed greens with fragrant honey-orange vinaigrette are accented with sliced almonds, Asiago cheese and fresh mandarin orange segments. Savory shrimp, crab and clams are abundant in the eatery’s New England-style seafood chowder.
The portabella mushroom ravioli are earthy and satisfying. It’s complemented by a flavorful olive oil and garlic sauce, and a splash of sherry adds depth and complexity. The dish is studded with sautéed button mushrooms and parmesan. Sautéed scallops are quickly seared until golden and served on a rich, garlicky cream sauce with caramelized shallots, lemon and a hint of fresh dill. The accompanying five-cheese scalloped potatoes are baked until crispy around the edges. Other entrees include chicken piccata, beef tenderloin and fettuccine Alfredo.
From the dessert tray, marionberry cobbler contrasts sweet-tart fruit with succulent topping. The decadent peanut butter cup brownie is rich and intensely flavored. Both are served with a generous scoop of Olympic Mountain vanilla ice cream. Lemon mousse, apple bread pudding and white chocolate cheesecake are also available.
Gardner’s is just a block from Olympia’s waterfront. Exceptional food and outstanding service make it a popular destination—a suitable venue for a special occasion or a celebration of everyday living.