FrontRunners: Pine Dining

A warm and inviting light glows in the new restaurant at the Alderbrook Resort & Spa (800.622.9370, www.alderbrookresort.com), a sprawling property set on the south shore of Washington’s Hood Canal. First opened in 1913, Alderbrook closed for nearly two years to undergo a multimillion-dollar makeover. The upgraded resort, which reopened in June 2004, includes 77 guest rooms, 17 two-bedroom cottages, a 3,500-square-foot spa, and a golf course, but the highlight for many guests might be a meal at Alderbrook’s waterfront dining establishment.

The Restaurant at Alderbrook overlooks the Hood Canal and the pine-covered Olympic Mountain range in the distance. Tom Black, formerly of the Barking Frog in nearby Woodinville, set the tone at Alderbrook during its first year of operation, when he designed the menu and served as chef. This spring, he turned the kitchen over to Matthew Whinihan, who continues Black’s emphasis on regional ingredients with such dishes as Hood Canal cioppino, which includes clams, mussels, and oysters harvested from the waterway beyond the windows.

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