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The Resort at Port Ludlow and The Fireside Restaurant

Your place to leave it all behind

Unless you are going to a group conference, you're at the Resort to relax. No different than any other getaway. But something is different here. Part of it is the location, the silence, the natural beauty. There's plenty to do if you want - hiking, beachcombing, kayaking, or just slowly walking around the area. Other important tasks are worth doing as well - napping, reading for pleasure, sitting in front of the fireplace in your room, nodding off.

 

The Resort has 35 rooms and two suites, each with a fireplace and jetted tub. Enjoy the tub privately or push open the indoor windows to look through your room and out the windows toward water, marina, and mountain views. The showers have been renovated and bathrooms are large. There's something decadent about having a spacious bathroom.

The lobby is small with both a staircase and elevator accessing upper floors. An intimate area just off the lobby has a fireplace and minimal seating. Down the hallway, complimentary coffee and tea service is available in the Marina Room. The event rooms have been repurposed, as GM Dan Ratigan explains: "Group meetings were 35% of our business before the pandemic. That has pretty much closed off. We'll host a few small gatherings of 4-5 people, or a family. The Marina Room is being used for the coffee service, with minimal seating, and the Sun Room is used as overflow dining for the restaurant and for people to pick up pre-ordered food. On weekends, they can still use that room, but the dining room is also open for brunch."

GM Dan Ratigan, by Andrew Wiese

Location comes into play in terms of how the Resort has stayed busy this summer. "We're off the beaten path. People are nervous about traveling in planes and trains, but they'll drive somewhere local. We're a true getaway without any downsides. We were closed for ten weeks and took that time to deep clean, figure out how to go above and beyond to keep guests and staff safe, measured all the spacing, and developed company guidelines based on CDC and public health recommendations."

As they reopened, it felt normal despite new protocols. "It was a busy time, but never looked it, which increases that feeling of getting away. We have a large veranda, so even with increased spacing, the dining room and veranda were full. People were always around the Resort and the Marina was busy; there were times kayaks were totally booked. The golf course also did well this summer. We're fortunate to have all the space we do."

Marina view from guest room

The Fireside Restaurant has also stayed busy. Although they have stopped dining room breakfast Monday through Friday, lunch and dinner are available daily, and the public can order take out or eat in the Sun Room which is full of natural light. Hotel guests can also use that room, or their room, or their own patio. Brunch is available on weekends.

Before becoming the Inn's General Manager in March of 2019, Dan was the Executive Chef starting in 2007 and he retains that title. "Being the GM has been a blast. Aaron, my Chef de Cuisine, has been with me every step of the way and Kyle, our Sous Chef, has been here a few years." Dan has always loved the connection he has with local farmers and enjoys the creative aspect of finding out what they have fresh and coming up with how The Fireside can incorporate it into their menus. "We work on ideas together. I do miss being on the line on a busy Friday night, but like the growth that change brings."

Chef Dan creating, courtesy of Resort at Port Ludlow

Because menus change frequently and are made up of mostly raw product from local farmers and fishermen, they are able to accommodate most diets. "We keep an eye on reservations and note when people say they are celiac, vegetarian, or vegan. There may be something on the menu already that fits their needs. If not, we can create a new item. If we know ahead, no problem. But we can also make quick adjustments. Nothing really comes through a processing facility; we take raw product and create dishes here. I find that lentils from the Palouse and small batch wheats and flours taste so much better."

If you care about where your food comes from, eating at The Fireside gives you that added boost. Supporting local producers is key and Dan loves it when something new comes along. A local farm, Kodama, has a biodome and this summer he was able to get three bananas grown in Chimacum, less than five miles away; not a normal occurrence. An amazing dessert ensued.

Country Natural Beef Flat Iron with Finnriver Habanero Cider Demi-glace, courtesy of Resort at Port Ludlow

These days it's difficult to make hard plans, but Dan and his team are hoping that the first half of the year will see updates to the guest rooms. When Jefferson County moves into Phase 3, they'll consider starting intimate wine + farm pairing dinners. Thanksgiving will include an a la carte menu for sit-down dinner service as well as a family-style take out option. Christmas Eve has always been a big day at the Resort, and they expect the same for this year.

"Mainly we want people to know they can feel safe and comfortable being here and enjoy what the Resort and The Fireside have always provided," says Dan. Total relaxation and delicious, inventive, fresh food. Quite the combo.

Connie Adams/November 2020

The Resort at Port Ludlow
One Heron Road
Port Ludlow, WA 98365
360-437-7000
877-805-0868

Fireside Restaurant
360-437-7412

portludlowresort.com

Beach walk

 


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