4900 Stone Way N., Wallingford
Probably the best thing about Bamboo Village, besides the fact that they do dim sum all day long, is that it doesn't get as crowded as the other dim sum spots in town. Read: You can always get a seat, and you won't be rushed through your meal, so you can do all the lingering (and deciding you want just one more dish) you like. Fan favorite dishes include the shumai, humbao, and fried taro from the dim sum menu, and regulars rave about the roasted duck with rice. And while it's definitely a love-it-or-hate-it kind of thing, taste-wise, it's more than worth ordering the mango jello with cream, which arrives shaped like a jiggling fish.
The Whale Wins
3506 Stone Way N., Wallingford
Don’t be fooled by the sweet nature of the light, airy space—Renee Erickson’s James Beard award-winning menu is nothing if not serious, with many of the simple-but-innovative, vegetable-centric dishes (there’s always a roasted vegetable on the menu) coming straight to the table from a wood-burning oven. Relying on seasonal ingredients from local sources, the menu changes daily, though it stays true to chef Renee Erickson’s Southern European style, with dishes like a roasted chicken, crepinettes with ricotta and fried cucumber, and sardines on toast with a curry tomato mayo.
2501 N. Northlake Way, Wallingford
The first major selling point for Westward is that the restaurant can be approached from the water—regulars stop by on boats, kayaks, or paddleboards and tie up on the dock during dinner. That said, it's also entirely worthy destination for landlubbers—the menu is inspired by the Northwest, with a heavy emphasis on fresh oysters and seafood dishes (like albacore crudo, salmon gravlax, and black cod) that rotate daily. Little Gull, their market concept next-door, is one of the best places in the city to get fresh market fish for home cooking—though it's equally nice for a glass of wine and an appetizer. In the evenings, they offer drink service at the Adirondack chairs around the fire pits.
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