Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant

Written by on January 26, 2014 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Deer Harbor, Orcas Island, Washington

Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant Porch Entry

How I heard of this place: Initially, we were told of the restaurant by Michelle, our first greeter on the island, at the Visitors Center. Having determined that it was right on the same property as our Inn, it was a given that we would simply have to make a reservation!

Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant

Type of cuisine: American cuisine, kept simple and hearty through offering local and seasonal produce from the Island. “Since 1982, the Carpenter family has pursued the Deer Harbor Inn’s tradition of quality and service. Craig and Pam Carpenter moved to Orcas Island after many years in the restaurant industry stemming from Boise Idaho, Reno Nevada, and Friday Harbor. Their two sons Matthew and Ryan grew up in the restaurant business and have followed in their father’s footsteps.

In 1998, Matt “Chef” and Ryan took over the restaurant and catering operations bringing a renewed energy and enthusiasm to the Inn’s history. They purchased the restaurant from Pam and Craig in 2006.

Our commitment remains to uphold the standard of using only the freshest seafood, choicest steaks and seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Ambiance: With the ease and comfort of Grandmother’s home, the Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant welcomes diners into its fold.

Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant Wood Stove

A wrap-around porch leads from the gravel driveway to the large house on the property of the single units and lodge available for guests to stay the night. The tree-lined property, over which one can see the water and small islands in the distance is a gorgeous view as you enter the establishment.

Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant View

Indoors, the sliding glass door opens up into a large room with pink-toned carpets, tiled ceilings and white linen tablecloths.

Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant Indoors Ahead

To the right, a separate dining area for a single, larger party,

Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant Inside Right

whilst maintaining the integrity of a cozy, old world home. We took our seats and proceeded to peruse the menu.

Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant Tablescape

What I ordered: To start, we were offered a basket of freshly warmed bread and a ramekin of miniature balls of butter.

Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant Bread & Butter

Each entree comes with the daily soup and salad, each of which is presented family style, in larger serving dishes to share and enjoy as we please. This evening’s soup selection was a vegetarian Split Pea,

Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant Family Style Split Pea Soup

and the salad a lovely mix of field greens, tomatoes, sliced almonds, Parmesan cheese and lightly tossed in a house made vinaigrette.

Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant Family Style Salad

For our main entrees, my husband had been looking forward to the Smoked Salmon Fettuccine ($25) since our arrival at the Visitor Center, having heard that it was the most popular menu item and a must-do at the Inn Restaurant. The house-smoked salmon came served over pasta with tomatoes and green onions in a cream sauce.

Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant Smoked Salmon Fettuccine

Looking for something different with which to supplement our dinners, I selected the Wild Salmon ($26), grilled salmon topped with a dill beurre blanc sauce and served with seasonal vegetables and a scoop of mashed potatoes.

Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant Grilled Salmon

Having been too full, and forced to refuse dessert the previous night, we saved room for both of the house made desserts on this culinary adventure. My husband and I shared the Vanilla Ice Cream Sundae with house made chocolate sauce and topped with whipped cream,

Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant Ice Cream Sundae

and the hot, tart Blackberry Cobbler served a la mode!

Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant Blackberry Cobbler

What I loved: Surprisingly, the two appetizers: both the split pea soup and the fresh salad. My favorite parts of the meal were the beginning and the end, the tart blackberries in our cobbler served warm and bubbling against the frozen sweetness of the vanilla ice cream and diabetes-inducing chocolate sauce!

Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant Salad Single Serving

Why I loved it: This family-run establishment truly lives up to its name. Each member of the family has his/her part to play, and the friendliness, the ease and warmth with which we were welcomed was consistent with our experience on the entirety of Orcas Island. Combine that with good food and a cozy space, and you have yourself a winning combination!

Cost: High ($22 – $40 per dinner entree)

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