Recently, a friend of ours invited Laurie and I to lunch at Wildfin American Grill, an Issaquah restaurant, for a celebration.
For many years, we had been good customers at FedEx Kinkos, the former building occupant. When a restaurant moved into the empty space, we were surprised and couldn’t picture how the FedEx Kinkos space could be retooled for a restaurant. We also saw a negative review on Google+.
Let’s just say that we had not been in a hurry to try it out.
What we saw and experienced during our lunch visit exploded our pre-conceived conceptions.
Later we learned that the Executive Chef, Dylan Keplinger, was raised in Seattle and moved to the Eastside several years ago. He attended the Art Institute of Seattle’s culinary program, served 4 years as sous chef at the Palisades and has been at WildFin since it opened.
Now the Executive Chef, Dylan loves what they have developed at WildFin. He is proud of the fresh seafood, the Copper River salmon and the fresh produce. With these fresh ingredients, they are able to offer a meal in Issaquah every bit as good as that offered by the best houses in Bellevue or Seattle.
Yet, they are able to price their menu well under the bigger city prices, to the point that a customer could eat there once or twice a week on a regular basis, not just for celebrations.
We arrived for our celebration to a warm, inviting, casual but upscale facility. Natural blonde woods, roaring fire and exposed ceiling beams created a look like a comfortable, up-scale modern ski lodge.
The menu was quite broad, with many choices of appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches and an emphasis on seafood.
Seafood sounded good to me. I ordered the Fish Tacos ($14.95). Wild Alaskan white fish was dusted with Cajun seasoning and flashed seared. It was served with a white corn tortilla and salsa. I have a big appetite and this is light food, yet the serving size was so large I ended up boxing some to take home. It was very light, tasty and with the right combination of seasoning.
Laurie had French Dip ($14.95). It was thin shaved prime rib on an herb butter toasted roll. With the right condiments and side dishes, Laurie thoroughly enjoyed it. The beef was so tender and tasty.
Our friend turned an appetizer into an entree. She ordered the Taco Tower ($15.95), a total of nine small tacos: ceviche prawns, Cajun fish and BBQ pork. Oh my goodness, that was so much food and so much of the same that it didn’t do well as an entrée. But they were good and got shared around.
The restaurant was busy and people seemed happy. I have no reservations in recommending WildFin to anyone.
Since our meal, we have learned that Dylan was promoted again. He has become the Executive Chef at WildFin’s new Renton location. We wish him luck in Renton. He has started a good thing here in Issaquah.
Issaquah’s WildFin American Grill is located at 835 NW Gilman Blvd Issaquah, WA 98027. Their telephone number is (425) 427-0127.