Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sightseeing in Walla Walla

We had planned to get into town yesterday afternoon in time to do a little sightseeing, but it was not meant to be. So we slightly modified our plans today to get as much in as we could starting with breakfast. The lovely lady at Vintage Cellars recommended we try Clarette's Restaurant, and we're glad listened. Nice home-style breakfasts, and I was happy to try their strawberry and apricot syrups on my pancakes.

After breakfast we drove around town a bit trying to get our bearings. We stopped at the Chamber of Commerce hoping to get some suggestions, but found we had all the info we needed so off we went to the airport to look at a few wineries. Tastings in wine country are a funny thing. This place is open only on Saturdays from 11:00 to 4:00 while another is open "most days" 10:00 to 5:00. Or they may be open only be appointment. Or from Friday thru Sunday, or...well you get my point. We discovered we should come back after 1:00 in order to find most of the tasting rooms open so we decided to head to L'Ecole.
L'Ecole has a lovely tasting room situated in an old schoolhouse. The grounds were manicured, the insides nice decorated, and they had a lot of souveniers available to purchase from hats, shirts to pencils and magnets. The wine was wonderful (as we knew it would be) and we purchased two bottles of their 2007 Estate Syrah, a bottle of chocolate syrup made with their Merlot that may or may not be a thank-you present for someone kind enough to water our plants, and a magnet.
Since it was now after 1:00 we headed back to the airport area but first we decided to take a look at Fort Walla Walla museum. We just did a drive by, and I'm sure it is an interesting and worthwhile stop for anyone (else) who would care to visit.

So as I said, we headed back to the airport and stopped at Dunham Winery (beautiful interiors and landscape, but we didn't buy any wine), Patit Creek Cellars where we purchased a 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, and then Tamarack Cellars where we bought a bottle of their 2007 Cabernet Franc.

Honestly, we were getting a little tired of tasting wine, but I did want to stop at Otis Kenyon whose tasting room was downtown, and our friend Rick Semple was adamant that we eat at that little french bistro he couldn't remember the name of. So we stopped at the motel room to drop off our purchases so they'd stay cool in the a/c and drove downtown. I'm not sure if I liked the tasting room at Otis Kenyon. It was a bit stark which is fine, but there was an unpleasant musty smell to their shop -- it was quite a surprise. Their wines were nice, and we bought a bottle of their 2006 Merlot. The lady who worked there was very helpful when I mentioned we had been recommended by our friend to eat somewhere downtown but did not know the name. As soon as I said french bistro she blurted out Brasserie Four, right across the street! And off we went.

We decided to sit outside, and our server (Zach) was kind enough to put down the awning so Paul's head wouldn't get burned. Zach was a recently transplant to Walla Walla from Olympia. He moved here for a slower paced life which is kind of how I picture Olympia, but I digress...

We had a wonderful meal! Assorted olives and bread to start, I had the salmon quiche with mixed greens, Paul ordered their spicy salami pizza, and we washed it down with a bottle of red from Tertulia Cellars. Afterwards Paul had an espresso (Stumptown) and I had a real honest to goodness creme brulee. Not that fake stuff where they sprinkle sugar on top and do a flame torch blow-by, but a lovely crunchy crust of caramelized sugar that snapped when I hit it with my spoon.

So now we're back in the room. We're red, we're tired, and we're probably a wee bit tipsy. Sounds to me like a successful trip!


  1. I'm headed to re-water your plants right now!!

  2. ok, I had to type muftoq in order to post that comment. is that fair? what is that???

  3. I lived in Walla Walla for a couple of years. It wasn't on the scene as it is now! I've always wanted to go to that Brasserie Four spot! Glad you had a great time! : )