Whole Roasted Trout
Fish fans can check out the Whole Roasted Trout with Roasted Lemons & Walnut Sauce ($16). This dish offers nice big chunks of fish, and the roasted lemons—tangy and light—can be eaten rind and all. Even the walnuts in the sauce are roasted, then puréed with bread, oil, garlic, and lemon juice.
Like several of the menu items, Roasted Radicchio (with Hazelnuts, Buttermilk Poppyseed Vinaigrette & Buttery Crumbs, $12) is served at room temperature, as some would say the flavor is fuller when not too warm. The creamy poppyseed vinaigrette plays off the bitter radicchio, while the hazelnuts and breadcrumbs provide textural contrast to the “slippery” leaves.
Sardines on Toast
Toast is currently a popular menu item at restaurants, with The Whale Wins serving up its own: Sardines with Curried Tomato Paste & Shaved Fennel on Toast ($8). The sardines themselves are rich, meaty, and oily against the creamy-textured curried tomato paste—with the fennel offering a light and fresh counterpoint.
Der Belsnickel ($10) commands attention from the cocktail menu. Made with fernet, brandy, egg, cinnamon, and allspice, it’s a fall drink that's creamy and somewhat cider-like, with the star anise tipping off the licorice notes.
At Boat Street Café, the Roasted Pork Rib Chop (with pickled raisins) gets rave reviews. At The Whale Wins, the Braised Pork with Winesap Apples, Onions & Mustard ($14 small, $20 large) may follow in its footsteps, with an accompanying mustard sauce, bold and bright, as a complement to the juicy, tart apples.
Spot Prawns with Roe in Anchovy Butter ($16) are absolute finger food, accented by the tiny eggs on top. Any leftover anchovy butter begs for slices of Columbia City Bakery bread to sop it up.
Wild Black Huckleberry Eton Mess
A traditional English dessert typically made with strawberries, this Wild Black Huckleberry Eton Mess ($8) features a favorite Pacific Northwest fruit. Originating at Eton College in the 19th century, the “mess” contains meringue pieces and the freshest of whipped cream, making this a fairly light and refreshing treat.
Inside The Whale Wins
A look down the counter to the bar at The Whale Wins. Upon entry, the bowls of roasted items and desserts on display look tempting.
A View from the Outside
From the outside, looking into The Whale Wins. Note the artistic light fixtures spelling out HELLO in two directions.