Blondie’s Plate’s proprietor Kim McDougall was a “self-proclaimed professional diner” before she opened her own restaurant in the town of Sequim on the North shore of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. But she took good notes, because when it came time to open her own restaurant, she got it right the first time.
A meal at Blondie’s Plate alone is worth the trip. On the Oly Peninsula, Bondie’s Plate is not alone in their commitment to fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. The small town of Sequim (pronounced “skwim”) has an abundance of truly excellent restaurants, and year-round farmers’ markets and farm stands. But Blondie’s Plate, while still one of the new kids on the block, has its concept down and a talented owner and staff that will make it a Sequim mainstay.
From the Bar
The Libations Menu is set up the way a cocktail menu should be—a page of specialty cocktails, then a page of spirits, with the brands and costs of each listed. (I like knowing what my favorite premium brand is going to cost without having to ask.)
Blondie’s signature cocktail is a Moscow Mule: vodka, lime, mint, ginger beer and Domane de Canton. The Mexi Mule, Jackass Mule, Marly Mule, Juniper Mule replaces the vodka with tequila, Jack Daniels, rum, and gin, respectively, and all are served in traditional copper mugs. And they’re delicious.
The wine list offers many of Washington’s finest wines, including local Wind Rose Cellars and Harbinger. A daily happy hour offers great deals on cocktails and appetizers.
But, do stay for a full meal.
From the Menu
The design of the food menu is as smart as the cocktail menu. “Start” includes flatbreads, dips, charcuterie and cheese plates, pan-fried oysters, sliders and crostini. “Garden” lists a seasonal veggie, a beet salad, a pear salad and a wedge salad. As expected, “Surf” includes seafood (steamer clams, calamari, salmon, and crab cakes), and “Pasture” includes beef, chicken, pork and lamb dishes. Under “Starch” there’s mac ‘n’ cheese, risotto, roasted potatoes and a homemade pasta. “Hearty” dishes can still be shared, but staff will point out these dishes are full meal unto themselves.
Sharing small plates is a great way to dine with friends, and that’s easy to do here. Many plates are what are considered entree size elsewhere.
We start with the grilled pear salad, with rocket greens, pickled onions, blue cheese, toasted pumpkin seeds and citronette. Grilling brings out the sweetness of the pear, yet stops short of being too soft. With apology to folks who don’t care for blue cheese, blue cheese and pears are “meant to be” and the pickled onions add yet more to the dish.
I always appreciate when a chef manages to get the breading in pan-fried oysters crispy while seemingly just waving the oysters over heat so that they retain their fresh, soft interiors. This dish does local Hama Hama oysters right.
Corn on the cob was the evening’s seasonal veggie. Four little wheels of corn on the cob arrive in a sauce of butter, lime and mild chili with grated parmesan. The lime in this dish was especially tasty.
The beet salad is sliced beets with crispy croutons of goat cheese and a sprinkle of gray seat salt. The arugula, green onions and olive oil add nice flavors and texture.
The Jack Mac ‘n’ Cheese is made with traditional elbow macaroni, buttered bread crumbs, roasted tomato pesto and various wonderfully gooey cheeses. Give this to a six-year-old and you’ll create a foodie for life.
The lamb T-bone with a pinot noir pan sauce arrives with the unmistakable aroma of pinot noir. It’s an extra thick cut, and perfectly cooked. You will “sop up” every bit of the pan sauce; the scent and rich flavor is truly that good.
Crispy skin salmon is a must-try dish. Cooked skin-side up, the salmon meat is moist, while the skin is crispy and just bursts with flavor. The ginger miso sauce isn’t too salty and the ginger accentuates flavor of the salmon and the sautéed vegetables.
While bursting at the seams, we still tried dessert. The bread pudding with whipped cream provided a sweet ending to a fabulous meal.
Exciting Beginnings and A Well Run Kitchen
Kim McDougall is originally from Forks, Washington, about 75 miles from Sequim (she’s also lived in Seattle). The recipes, she says, “Came out of knowing exactly what I wanted.”
She had the vision and has led the execution, but is quick to credit chef Nick Dorcy and sous chef Carlos Osorio for their hard work and talents, and doesn’t skip a beat in complimenting bar manager Ferrol Paulsen, Nicole Brown, and the rest of her staff. Our server, Laurie Joslin, was spot-on throughout; friendly and ensuring that our dishes arrived from the kitchen perfectly staggered.
Smiling, contented patrons, despite a full bar and full and dining room through the evening and a well-run kitchen attest that Blondie’s Plate will continue to be a popular addition to Sequim.
When you visit Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, don’t miss the chance for a meal at this restaurant. –Story and photos by Nancy Zaffaro
If You Go
Blondie’s Plate, 134 S. 2nd Avenue, Sequim, WA 98382, www.blondiesplate.com. Open daily for happy hour and dinner.
For more information about Sequim, www.visitsunnysequim.com