Destination: Port Townsend

Finistère Celebrates Each Season with Pasta

From mussels to oyster mushrooms, Canlis alum Deborah Taylor puts the Olympic Peninsula on full display.

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

Deborah Taylor’s falafel with fava beans and  garlic scapes; baby beets come adorned with chevre and dandelion greens.

Image: Amber Fouts

The cheerful address in Uptown long home to Sweet Laurette’s has a restrained new color scheme and a menu that feels deeply connected to the surrounding farmland and oyster beds. You can certainly order a la carte, but chef Deborah Taylor’s $50 tastings are at once a special occasion and a bang-up value. They begin with a scattering of small plates—maybe mussels escabeche on tiny planks of buckwheat, perhaps deviled eggs, always the chicken liver mousse—followed by one of Taylor’s housemade pastas, an entree, and dessert, all to share.

At Finistère, those pastas are Taylor’s preferred platform for presenting whatever’s seasonal without a lot of fuss; the chef extrudes her own strozzapreti, made of nothing but flour and pureed nettles, and tosses it with long slices of oyster mushrooms and broccoli greens. Each verdant bite of pasta curls like a fiddlehead and comes garnished with cheese and a burst of mint, as much a tribute to the season as the little bouquet of daffodils atop each table. Meanwhile, her husband, Scott Ross, circles the dining room, exuding a hospitality honed in past chapters, when the couple worked at higher-end restaurants in New York and Seattle. The dining room isn’t particularly fancy, but the adjacent bar feels more casual still—even better, the courtyard’s shaded with umbrellas.

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