For those of you who have never been – Winthrop, Washington is a tiny town located in the Methow Valley – just east of North Cascades National Park. It’s a tourist destination with a Wild West theme; a cross-country skier and mountain bike rider’s paradise; a gateway to hundreds of miles of little used trails; a popular stop for motorcycle riders in the summer; and one of my favorite places in Washington. The community in the valley is made up of an eclectic mix of hard-core athletes, farmers and ranchers, retirees, internet millionaires, artists and craftspeople, transplants and locals. It’s a left leaning place with enough conservatives to keep things interesting. I love the Methow Valley. On occasion I have been tempted to hug the ground.
It’s also a hard place to run a small business. And I know. I did it for seven years. Which is why I appreciate Jon Brown and Joanne Uehara – owners of Arrowleaf Bistro in downtown Winthrop – for what they have accomplished and for what they turn out of their kitchen night after night.
The menu at Arrowleaf leans toward French – with Jon’s charcuterie skills often featured in homemade sausages, Pate, and smoked meats. Based on the season, the menu may include duck, venison, or lamb. This is a “from scratch” restaurant and the extra steps Jon takes – like making his own beef stock for the French Onion Soup – say a lot to me about his passion and commitment to cooking. Jon and Joanna source local ingredients whenever possible – including local beef. The menu changes with the seasons and daily specials often feature fresh seafood.
We ate at the Bistro last Thursday and the stand-out entree of the evening was chicken fricassee – a half chicken in the most luxurious dijon cream sauce imaginable. Nobody could keep their spoons out of it! The other favorite at the table was bacon wrapped pork tenderloin with potato vegetable hash drizzled with a honey sauce. Honey on vegetables… Marvin was in heaven.
Joanne runs the front of the house beautifully and the service is always top-notch. The wine list is excellent (try Lost River Winery’s Massif) and there is always local art to admire on the walls. If I do my math correctly, I believe 2012 is Arrowleaf’s 5th Anniversary. Congratulations, Jon and Joanne, and best wishes for another year of inspired cooking. We are looking forward to our next dinner with you.
253 Riverside Avenue
Winthrop, WA 98862