We’re part of the 5 million Canadians that have been crossing the border each year to take an outbound flight to a US destination. Shaving $200 off of our airline fee, we recently flew out of SEATAC airport when we headed down to Los Angeles for the Whitecaps playoff match. For the return, we decided to stay overnight in Seattle before heading back to Vancouver, breaking up our final day of travel. Cedarbrook Lodge was recommended to us and we were invited to enjoy a tasting menu at their Copperleaf Restaurant.
Cedarbrook is located about 5 minutes away from the bustling Seattle Tacoma Airport, between the 99 and the I-5. A few roads in from the major thoroughfares, airport hotels and discount breakfast joints, it sits on 18 acres of reclaimed wetlands near Bow Lake. It looks as through a lodge from Tofino or Whistler was planted in the middle of an urban oasis with its wooden beams, local artwork, and courtyard garden ponds.
The 104 rooms have free WIFI, big tubs, comfy armchairs, king beds, coffee makers, a safe that fits a laptop, and more. Each of the individual lodge buildings in the cluster has a ‘living room’ area with books and snacks available as well.
Copperleaf is Cedarbrook’s restaurant that is open daily for lunch, happy hour, and dinner. We didn’t know what to expect when we were sat right down in front of the fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows looking out at the wind plucking leaves off of soggy trees. Our server introduced herself and we got right down to business with a 7-course tasting menu.
I posted on Twitter that we were having a 9-course tasting menu and with the amuse-bouche, bread, and all of the extras, it seemed that way. Regardless, 7 courses kept our taste buds dancing for a full 3 hours as we went on a local culinary journey — with Washington State wine pairings.
We started out with soup but my photos didn’t turn out. They are still worth listing here as they were smooth and creamy without being heavy at all. The sparking wine pairing cut through the richness of the soup to start us off on just the right note. Throughout the rest of the meal we traded bites of each other’s dishes (when they were different) to each get a sample of the menu.
Putting all of the ingredients on the plate together in one bite, my salad tasted like a crisp apple pie, even with a sliver of parmesan on top of my fork. It all worked well with flavours mixing and balancing out the sweetness of the wine.
The scallop wasn’t locally-sourced (I was wondering why they didn’t get it from BC) but it was great with the hazelnuts and pomegranate which made for a sweet, crunchy, juicy pairing.
While the partridge also wasn’t local, it had an interesting story behind it and our server explained exactly how it came to be on our plate. For the second time in the meal all elements on my plate came together and formed deliciously flavourful bites. I absolutely loved the gingerbread with preserved huckleberries with the partridge.
John is usually the one who orders lamb when we go out but we each kept the plate that was put in front of us (for this round) and John wouldn’t give up his chicken. My lamb was prepared two ways, each very tender, and I enjoyed it with the figs which also provided a change-up in texture.
I traded John for his chocolate dessert since I’m not a huge fan of bananas but I did try his chiboust which was perfectly smooth and creamy. I loved the torte and the drops of caramel on my plate. The pretzel ball was soft with a crunchy crust of salt. I could have had 5 of those along with some caramel for dipping and be happy.
A great way to the end the meal. We dunked our doughnuts into the Theo’s Chocolate, which is a Seattle staple. I’m not sure how we fit all of that in but powerful punches of flavour from modest portions, we made it through the meal. Well fed and well wined, we finished off the night by the fireplace sipping our bual and chatting with our server about how we all need to get Nexus passes to make our border trips quicker.
The tasting menu at Copperleaf varies but a 5-course option is listed for $75 or $100 with the wine pairings. The Happy Hour (4:30pm to 6:30pm) menu has options under $10 for food and wine. The next time you want to relax before or after a flight out of SEATAC consider the quick hop over to Copperleaf at Cedarbrook. They even have an airport courtesy shuttle.