Nov. 11, 2009

Rob LeRoy's Guide to Bellingham, Part 3: Dinner

For part 3 of my "Guide to Bellingham" I will direct the reader to my favorite places to eat dinner. Keep in mind, some of these are also open for lunch...it is just a matter of personal preference that I usually choose them for dinner.  These restaurants lean heavily toward Italian, "American" and pub fare...  Though food quality is the main criteria, each of these restaurants has a unique character and style that add to the overall experience.  As with entries in my other guides, you won't find any corporate cookie-cutter fat farms in here. These are all locally owned businesses that help make Bellingham such a great place to live.

Part 3: Bellingham's Best Restaurants for Dinner

  • Mambo Italiano:  Located in one of the oldest, most unique buildings in downtown Fairhaven, Mambo offers incredible Italian cuisine. It's a pretty laid-back place, like most of the places on this list.  Try the tortellini carbonara. Cream sauce, peas, ham and cheese tortellini….and LOTS of garlic. Be careful with the Caesar salad- it's great, but the default setting comes with anchovies. I find them disturbing and a little horrifying. What am I, a cat? 1303 12th St. Bellingam, WA 98225 (360) 734-7677
  • Le Chat Noir (The Black Cat): Upstairs from Mambo in Fairhaven's Sycamore Square building, The Black Cat feels like a 19th century French bistro...or the inside of a pirate ship. Admittedly, they aren't known for always having the best service or consistent food quality. However, the location and style are ultra-cool, and the gouda-stuffed chicken with pesto cream sauce is on my top 5 list of favorite foods in the whole World. It's really incredible...  1200 Harris Ave Ste 310 Bellingham, WA 98225 (360) 733-6136
  • D'Annas: Located in the heart of downtown Bellingam, D'Anna's has some of the best Italian food in the city. It has a cozy, welcoming feel, and is usually busy. They have fresh-made pastas, with rotating specials. Try the lasagna or the chicken masala…with a Peroni from the tap.  1317 N. State St., Bellingham, WA 98225 (360) 714-0188
  • La Fiamma:  Known for its wood-fired pizza, La Fiamma is a perfect example of Bellingham's progressive vision. The architecture and décor are modern and sort of industrial, but they recycle everything! The straws are made out of corn, and the utensils are all-in-one hybrids with characteristics of forks, knives and spoons. They've got outdoor seating with heat lamps… The pizza is their specialty, and it is fantastic. They also have some really good soups and desserts. Try the tomato bisque, the hummus plate and the BBQ chicken or Sofia pizzas. 200 E. Chestnut Bellingham, WA 98225 (360) 647-0060

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  • Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro: Known across the far-reaches of the known Universe for their ridiculously strong and tasty beer, Boundary Bay also has excellent food.  Hardly classified as "pub fare", the menu at Boundary has a wide variety of tasty choices, made up largely of local and organic ingredients. This isn't hippie food- it tastes really good! Start with the hummus plate...and definitely try the Yam-alechilada, regardless of how hard it is to pronounce. ("yam-ale-chill-ada") Don't forget the Oatmeal Stout! Follow them on Twitter for updates on beer selections and events.  1107 Railroad Ave. Bellingham, WA 98225 · (360) 647-5593
  • Chuckanut Brewery: Recently hailed as America's "Best Small Brewpub," Chuckanut is becoming known for great beer. They also have some really good food. My favorite is the Yam Burrito. Similar to the Yam-Alechilada at Boundary, though different enough that I like to alternate between the two.  The atmosphere at Chuckanut is a little quieter than Boundary.  And then, of course, there's the beer. My favorites are the Vienna Lager and the Brown Ale. Follow them on Twitter for beer and event updates.  601 W. Holly St., Bellingham, WA 98225 (360) 752-3377
  • Herb Niemann's Steak House (Formerly The Black Forest): As a former employee from waaaaay back, I know a lot about this place. As anyone who has worked in restaurants knows, it doesn't take long to get sick of the food where you work, and it is rare to visit a place after you've worked there. Herb Niemann's is SO good that I will take any opportunity to eat there, even after all these years. That's especially significant, given that the place is out in Everson, about 30 minutes NE of Bellingham.  However, the drive is actually one of the best reasons to go- taking you East toward the towering Mt. Baker, past rolling pastures and the Nooksack River.  It's the steak, though, that really does it. Wow! People come here from all over the World and say that they've never tasted better. The combination of a special aging process and a unique blend of spices makes these steaks extraordinary. The homemade Caesar dressing on the salads makes a perfect partner.  If you like spice, try the Cajun steak...you'll taste it for hours...but in a good way. Note, this is not a place where you need to dress up. It's surprisingly casual, given the food quality. It's has a very...distinct character.  203 W. Main St. Everson, WA 98247  (360) 966-2855

Follow these links to read Part 1: Breakfast, Part 2: Lunch, Part 3: Dinner, Part 4: Dive Bars, Part 5: Live Bars, Part 6: Classy Pubs

Thanks for reading!  Please leave your comments below. If you have any questions about Bellingham or real estate, in general, please feel free to email me directly at rob.leroy@exprealty.com or call me at 206.883.6668

This post simultaneously published by Rob LeRoy at theRealEstateNovelist.com

Rob LeRoy is a Seattle real estate agent and social media marketing coach with eXp Realty.

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