My top recommendation in Winslow for a meal. The best way to experience this eclectic restaurant is to pick a price for a tasting menu. Chef Brendan McGill has a lot going on in the kitchen (pickling, fermenting, preserving, roasting, grilling, etc.), and a well-rounded meal here will reveal most of those cooking techniques. If you’re going to select one dish off the menu, look for the perfectly cooked Pleasant View Farm Duck Breast ($26). The duck has a crisp edge to the nice layer of fat, and comes with sauerkraut, elderberries, gin, and pickled mushrooms.
Pegasus Coffee House
Arrive early in Bainbridge and I bet coffee might be on your mind. Luckily, there’s a local roaster that also has a coffee shop serving food throughout the day (and occasional live music at night). Breakfast is a good bet at Pegasus Coffee House, with baked eggs (a.k.a. Baked P-Egg-asus) a menu mainstay to accompany the coffee. I liked the Baked Eggs in Red Chile ($7), which is two eggs baked in housemade red chile sauce and topped with cheese. It comes with toast, or an English muffin.
Blackbird Bakery is a popular meeting place on Winslow Way in the center of the commercial core. The breads here are good, so you might find a simple order of “Toast” tempting (it comes buttered, with a side of housemade jam), but after numerous people steered me to it, I recommend the Downtowner ($3). Sort of like a kouign amann, the Downtowner’s caramelized vanilla sugar turns this pastry into a sweet, buttery treat.
Fork and Spoon
For a quick, informal lunch, check out Fork & Spoon. This sister restaurant to Blackbird uses the bakery’s bread, making soup (or salad) and a sandwich a good bet. I ate the Bacon & Veggie Sandwich ($8.25, or $4.75 half), served on delicious whole wheat oat bread. The sandwich offers nice contrast between crispy bacon and creamy avocado, and comes with Butler Farm greens, shaved sweet onion, and house green goddess dressing.
For a retro breakfast or lunch experience, turn up Madison Avenue and you’ll soon see the old-fashioned Madison Diner on the west side of the street. This 1948 stainless steel dining car shines inside and out, featuring old-fashioned booth and counter seating, and attracting locals both young and old. When in a diner, I can’t resist something like a “Wafflewich!” ($9.99), which is two scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese and two strips of bacon sandwiched between Belgian waffle halves.
Hitchcock Delicatessen and Charcuterie
Adjoining Hitchcock Restaurant is Hitchcock Deli. Given the quality of the restaurant’s charcuterie, it’s not surprising to find superb sandwiches here. (Note it’s also a market where you can buy meats, fresh eggs, wine, and more.) I sampled three sandwiches and loved them all, but most recommend the Pastrami ($9.50, or $12 “piled high”). A bit non-traditional with pickled red cabbage, it’s bright and delicious, served warm on rye with Swiss cheese and Russian dressing, along with a side of chips.
The Four Swallows
The Four Swallows was early to the scene of the farm-to-table movement. Featuring Northwest and Italian cuisine, a meal here is comforting, with seating in a rustic farmhouse setting. I recommend finishing dinner with the house special dessert: Bread Pudding ($8). A generous portion of almost creamy bread pudding comes topped with vanilla ice cream and is candied up with irresistible caramel sauce.
Restaurant Marché brings French countryside to Bainbridge Island, serving onion soup, moules frites, trout meunière, and more in a contemporary setting. (There’s a chef’s counter, so ask ahead if you want seating there.) I loved the delicate parsnip flan, but also recommend the Salade Niçoise ($15). Using high-quality ingredients, it’s an elegant affair, and a delicious one at that, featuring seared tuna instead of the canned variety.
Mora Iced Creamery
Across from Restaurant Marché on Madrone Lane is the highly acclaimed Mora Iced Creamery, owned by a lovely couple from Argentina who want to bring smiles to customers’ faces throughout the year—warm weather or cold. Mora makes its own base and sells scoops of ice cream from covered dispensers, as each variety requires different refrigeration. Don’t let this dissuade you from tasting, though, as Mora staff will oblige each time you request a sample. With all the great flavors (I was wowed by marron glacé, sabayon, pink grapefruit, and so much more), I couldn’t resist a Triple Scoop (a Double Scoop is $5.65, plus .69 for the waffle cone) of green tea, raspberry sorbet, and dark chocolate.