Going out for food and beers is an absolute delight in Washington State nowadays. Smoking in bars and restaurants is no longer allowed, and we’ve discovered that many restaurants let you take your own wine along (for a corkage charge – perfectly fair). It’s almost like being back in Sydney :-}
I’m not honestly sure of the laws on the BYO wine, so we did a test run at our local restaurant, Katya’s Bistro and Wine Bar in Richland. This would be our third visit to Katya’s It’s only about a 10 minute walk from home, so very convenient. The balcony seating is enticing in the summer, but now it’s getting cool the funkily decorated dining room is the place to head.
Everyone eats early in this town – you get crushed in the line at the 5.30 dinner rush at most popular restaurants. So for us us, reservations are never an issue. We arrive at Katya’s about 8.15 just as everyone else is leaving, hand the bottle of Dog Point 2002 Chardonnay to the waitress, and take our seats. BYO definitely works, and within seconds we’re sampling the nutty, lean Marlborough chardonnay that cries out for a hunk of fresh salmon.
We share a crab cakes starter, which is lightly fried, very crabby and a perfectly sized appetizer. I then order a seared yellowfin tuna, and Jan gets the salmon fillet from the specials. Both appear promptly and the salmon especially is delicious and moist, topped with a delicate spicy sauce. The tuna is raw in the middle, and seared with big flakes of black pepper. It flakes easily and while not inspiring, is perfectly tasty.
My only quibble with this dinner is the rather dull portions of rice that we both get. This is great potato country, and some roasted reds or yukon golds would be a much better accompaniment than the bland, ‘tastes like its out of a packet’ savoury rice affair.
Katya’s is pretty much equidistant to Anthony’s from our house. While Katya’s doesn’t have the killer views or buzzy big town atmosphere of Anthony’s, from several visits to both, I think Katya’s has a clear edge on food quality. They cook fish well, with more care than we’ve found at Anthony’s. And as winter arrives, those meaty dishes with a fine red wine will be very tempting. Accompanied by spuds, of course ….