It’s been a couple of years since we’ve written about Nell Thorn Waterfront Bistro & Bar. So, on my recent trip to La Conner, WA, I went there for dinner. Usually, I sit in the bar area because it is first-come-first-serve and has Happy Hour, which is on weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. This time, I sat in the dining area which has excellent views of the Swinomish Channel. During the summer months, they also have seating on the outside deck.
The bar and the dining area have a different feel. The bar area is more casual with cozy seating nooks, a bar, and long table in the center. The dining area is more formal and with the ambiance of a “special night out.” The restaurant focuses on local and sustainable farm to table meat and produce, which means their menu often changes and they have daily specials. They also serve craft cocktails, wine, and craft beer.
Nell Thorn’s is a 12-minute walk from La Conner Marina’s north basin and a 3-minute walk from the south basin.
Tip: Nell Thorn’s is a local favorite, and we highly recommend making reservations.
Where: 116 S. 1st St., La Conner, WA 98257
What: Lunch, Dinner, Happy Hour
Happy Hour: Happy Hour is during the week from 3 to 6 p.m.
Special Events: Throughout the year Nell Thorn has wine dinners and holiday dinner specials.
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday dinner from 4 to 9 p.m.
This is what I ordered.
Nell Thorn – Locally Sourced and Always Delicious
Wild Gulf Prawns
I like to drink local wine, so I started with a glass of Lost River Winery’s Western Red. Little did I know, it would pair perfectly with my appetizer which was Wild Gulf Prawns ($16) sauteed in butter with squash, greens & leeks. The combined flavors of this dish were amazing and matched perfectly.
For dinner, I had the Hanger Steak with Frites ($28) with a demi-glace and spicy ketchup. The steak was cooked to perfection (medium rare for me). The portion was huge and could be easily split between two people, especially if they are sharing an appetizer.
Lemon Angel Island
They have a range of wonderful sounding desserts like Nell’s French Chocolate Cake, Skagit Mud, and Nell’s Panna Cotta. One of my favorite deserts is the Salted Caramel Pecan Tart, but I wanted to try something different, so I opted for the Lemon Angel Island ($7) with an angel food cakelet enrobed with lemon custard. After the large meal, this was the perfect choice as it was light with bright notes of lemon.
All of these items I would order again.
Note: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary meals for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.
Lara Dunning is a member of the Waggoner Cruising Guide team and has made one trip up the Inside Passage to Ketchikan, AK. She is enthusiastic about small town living, and you can read more about her discoveries at Small Town Washington. She has been published in Bainbridge Island Magazine, Northwest Travel & Life Magazine, Wander With Wonder, and Whidbey Life Magazine.