Destination: Vashon Island

Bramble House Makes Comfort Exciting

Lia Lira's seasonal fare is at once homey and surprising—and only a 20-minute ferry ride away.

By Allecia Vermillion August 14, 2018 Published in the September 2018 issue of Seattle Met

Chef Lia Lira’s egg yolk raviolo, mixed pea salad, and Wagyu New York strip.

Image: Amber Fouts

A renovation gave this 1940s cottage on Vashon Highway new life as a restaurant, but the homey vibe lingers in tables clustered in the former living and dining rooms, the mismatched china, and chef-owner Lia Lira’s tendency to step out of the kitchen to talk wine or take orders, the way home cooks often do double duty as servers. Bramble House’s orderly list of starters and mains feel as comfortable as the environs but Lira, a Vashon native, has the culinary chops to make Northwest familiars like king salmon feel as undiscovered as the dishes she made in her days in highest-end kitchens like Jean-Georges in New York.

Steamed clams in white wine is unexpected and textural thanks to a dose of arugula-basil pesto and a shower of frisee. An oversize raviolo comes filled with egg yolk, dusted in parmesan, and served in chicken jus—only the halo of spinach wrests it back from indecent levels of decadence (the sticky toffee pudding, however, goes there without hesitation). Seattleites often view Vashon as a suburb, separated by only a few miles of water, but its proximity and the (relatively) sane waits for the 20-minute ferry ride offer a flash portal to a quieter pace usually found farther north in the San Juans—and dinner that feels like you truly got out of town. 

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