Tulalip Resort Casino: Great Food & Wine Combine for a Unforgettable Progressive Dining Experience
Zacchoreli Frescobaldi-Grimaldi contributed to this article.
Tulalip Resort Casino is an exceptional getaway, located just north of Seattle and an hour south of Bellingham. While the Resort offers to entertain you, you might also consider entertaining yourself – and your friends – by wining and dining with a “progressive style” approach during your visit and stay.
Progressive dinner parties were all the rage in the 1960’s and 70’s, but by the 1980’s they became as passé as disco music. Fortunately, “what goes around comes around,” and with at least five bars and eight distinctly different restaurants, the Tulalip Resort Casino adds new meaning to the progressive party.
Start with adult libations at the Tulalip, where if you can name it, they can make it (or open it)…and keep it coming. Cocktails, beer, wine, sake; they have it all! Combine that with the Resort’s restaurants, each with their own culinary traditions, décor, and expertly trained staff, and you have all the ingredients for an incredible food and beverage experience.
During a recent visit, our host, Allan Aquila, organized a Bacchanalia that began with facials and massages at the Resort’s luxurious T-Spa. Afterwards we met at the Destinations Lounge in the resort lobby. Reminiscent of the 1950’s, this chic venue’s décor and retro furnishings are meant for relaxation and indulgence.
We started with an array of shared hors d’oeuvres and a bottle of Domaine Huet Sparkling Vouvrayand the 2010 Domain de Chevalier Passac-Leognan, both served in the proper Riedel stemware. These contrasting wines each paired beautifully with the Mahi-Mahi Tostadas, a Trio of Tapenades (caramelized onion and gorgonzola, olive, and sundried tomato), and the Savory Cheese Cake, a four-cheese blend served with baguette and assorted crudités.
This wonderful first course was followed by a visit to The Draft Sports Bar and Lounge… a lively venue with plenty of televisions to watch your favorite teams. Our group enjoyed a flight of ciders and a seasonal spiced beer while watching the WSU Cougars football team play. We crunched away at Curve Ball Shrimp: large prawns wrapped in wontons, fried golden brown and served with red pepper jam-slaw and a peanut dipping sauce. Chicken and Parmigiano Cheese Poppers served with a zesty barbeque sauce paired nicely with the slightly sweet ciders and rounded out our sports bar menu.
For our pre-dinner repast we made our way to Journeys East restaurant. This is a comfortable and relaxing restaurant where the service, food, and beverages compete for each guest’s attention. Our pre-arranged menu included remarkable Steamed Halibut garnished with cilantro, ginger and scallions; Pork Potstickers, simultaneously savory, sweet, and spicy; and succulent Shrimp Sushi and a deep fried VIP Sushi roll that included eel, cream cheese, avocado, spicy tuna, rice, and was dressed with eel sauce. The three dishes paired marvelously with both the Hou Hou Shu, a sparkling sake, and the Kontiki Tears of Dawn sake.
Dinner was a lingering gastro-fest during our next stop at Blackfish, one of Tulalip Resort Casino’s fine dining restaurants. The lights are dim, the open kitchen is on view, the conversations spirited, and the food and wine menus remarkable. Comfortable furnishings and attentive staff make dining here a memorable experience.
We shared bottles of Evermore Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon, crafted by Chris Sparkman of Woodinville’s Sparkman Cellars. This nothing-short-of-spectacular Washington wine with its dark fruit flavors, herbal nuances, and sultry disposition paired beautifully with the menu that Allan planned. Smoked pork belly coated with crispy and sweet “holiday ham” glaze was served with a fantastic squash puree, toasted nuts and micro greens on a dark-red beet slice.
Following this course was a King salmon cooked over an open fire and served alongside an 8oz. Filet Mignon, roasted fingerling potatoes garnished with lavender and fresh thyme, and wild boar-wrapped asparagus. The decadent dish was finished with Kona coffee demi-glace and drizzled with Kona coffee Beurre blanc and spiced hazelnuts.
And any dinner party without dessert is incomplete, so don’t deny yourself the pleasure of the made-to-order rich Chocolate Soufflé, or the Triple Berry Crisp Sundae. We unapologetically abandoned our diet plans and lost ourselves in the flavors and aromas of these house-made confections; a fitting conclusion to an amazing evening of progressively fantastic culinary delights.
The next morning, we enjoyed a group brunch at the Resort’s Cedars Café, where the coffee and espresso drinks are a must, the food portions are generous, and the mimosas served aplenty.
For your next office party, special family event or just a get-together with friends, forget about cleaning the house and cooking all day long! Have a progressive dinner party at Tulalip Resort Casino instead, for an experience you won’t soon forget.
The Tulalip Resort Casino is located at 10200 Quil Ceda Blvd. in Marysville. Phone: (888) 272-1111 www.tulalipresortcasino.com
Photo credit: Zacchoreli Frescobaldi-Grimaldi