Date: July 6, 2007
Times Visited: 1
Wildwood is an upscale restaurant with Northwest cuisine. This is the place to go when you miss going out for steak or lobster and want a vegan version. Or, maybe you just want to eat art in the form of food.
We held a party of 15 with mixed eating habits and Wildwood couldn’t have been more accommodating. We were given the choice of two omni meals and one vegan meal and it wasn’t just any choice. We were given meal options and were allowed to make changes to the main dishes before it appeared on the menu.
As I said before, this is an upscale restaurant so if we were going to be charged $55 per person, whether they were eating meat or not, I wanted them to work to create a quality vegan meal. A $55 vegan meal without fancy mushrooms can be hard to craft. The options we were given for a vegan meal were: risotto, lasagna or ravioli. Risotto and lasagna were things I could make at home with a little extra time – ravioli, on the other hand, was something I was not a fan of making at home but loved consuming.
As for the soup and salads, we were only told there would be one vegan version of each, but weren’t given a choice in the decision. The salad would be mixed greens with a balsamic vinaigrette.
When we arrived to our private dining room I started to understand what “Northwest cuisine” really is – local and seasonal. Wine, hazelnuts, bing cherries, sliced salmon and breads and probably some cheeses were waiting for us as hor’dourves.
The vegan items on the menu were: Chilled cucumber soup with mint, Mixed green salad with hazelnuts and currants, Roasted carrot ravioli with pesto and sorbet with seasonal berries.
First, I opted for the cucumber soup, something I wouldn’t normally order being cucumber and a chilled soup. It was soothing and mild. The mint was a nice touch, though I would prefer the mint chopped smaller to extend into more spoonfuls. A bit of fresh ground salt and pepper (yes, they had spice grinders for both) was a nice touch to a cold soup. The dairy loving attendees opted for a spiral of cream added to their soup.
The salad option was beautiful! Tossed baby mixed greens with the perfect amount of balsamic dressing. Fresh herbs (dill, parsley and cilantro), dried currants and roasted hazelnuts also added to the salad. The omnis received fresh grated cheese.
For the main course: Roasted carrot ravioli with pesto and watercress. If I am ever on death row, this may be the main course I request as my last dish, minus the greenery and triple the ravioli. The ravioli itself was sweet and smooth with the warm roasted carrot and the pesto was a wonderful touch with the basil and garlic to bring it all together. The sauce also enveloped roasted shallots and baby turnips sweet and warm on their own.
Dessert was a berry sorbet with raspberries, marionberries, blueberries and nasturtiums. Like most all Northwest berries, it was perfectly sweet on it’s own. The nasturtiums were a beautiful visual addition to the dish; however their spicy nature didn’t mix as well as I would have wished with the sweet berries.
Overall, Wildwood was a fantastic venue for a large, fancy dinner party and did a surprisingly amazing job catering to vegans. Because of the price it’s not somewhere I would visit often, but would love to because of the quality of the food. I still have a hard time thinking our food, including the extra preparation, was worth $55. However, the private dining room, private wait-person atmosphere and being with good friends and family surpasses any price paid for such an experience. If you’re planning a fancy party, do not cross Wildwood off your list of choices. If you’re looking for a delectable, intimate vegan meal, call ahead to see what they can offer for a smaller group.
This is what fine vegan cuisine is.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Hours: Lunch: Monday-Saturday 11:30-2:30pm
Dinner: Monday-Thursday 5:30-9:00pm, Friday and Saturday 5:30-10:00pm, Family Style Sunday Supper: 5-8:30pm
Address: 1221 NW 21st Avenue