January 14, 2009

Respite from "Wildness and Wet" in King County

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The Victorian poem Inversnaid, by Gerard Manley Hopkins, extolls the savage beauty and energy of pristine wilderness; it's become a staple of Sierra Club promotional literature:

Degged with dew, dappled with dew
Are the groins of the braes that the brook treads through
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.

It's doubtful that the residents of low-lying property around Seattle would see things as romantically. No delicate brook, that swollen Raging River, coursing wildly from Preston down to the Snoqualmie. No brook, either, in the southern part of the county, where the Corps unleashed the furious White from Mud Mountain Dam on the unsuspecting town of Pacific 25 miles downriver. Torrents and tumult everywhere, the suburban, farmland flip side to Seattle's wet and snowy Christmas.

Fortunately, incompetence stops at river's edge. In Fall City, the storied Colonial Inn (known to viewers of Twin Peaks as "The Roadhouse") has been updated by new owners and transformed by consultant Arnold Shain (whose Restaurant Group clients include Dragonfish, Pearl, 0/8 Seafood Grill, Goldbergs, Enotria, Trader Vic's and Daniel's Broiler). Cameon Orel was hired as both chef and GM of the rechristened Fall City Roadhouse; she welcomes guests and runs the kitchen with equal aplomb. Her philosophy is "farm to table," a concept that's well-received by nearby Full Circle Farm and River Valley Ranch, among many others. Orel's tasty meatloaf ($14) includes housemade pork sausage as well as beef; she could forage the beet and goat cheese salad ($8) on a short walk.

Upstairs, there's a comfy B&B with seven rooms should you decide that the river's rising too fast to make it back to town.

Fall City Roadhouse, 4200 Preston-Fall City Rd., 425-222-4800 Fall City Roadhouse on Urbanspoon

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Posted by Ronald Holden at January 14, 2009 5:00 PM | TrackBack

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