After seeing the menu in the Starlight Lounge at the Rose Theater, I put the Silverwater Cafe on my dining list for my next trip to Port Townsend, WA.
The cafe has been a thriving Port Townsend restaurant for 27 years. In a small town, that means they are doing something right. The restaurant had humble beginnings. It started as a food cart that sold fish n’ chips near the old ferry dock. Soon after, they moved indoors and served lunch and dinner. In the early 90s, they transitioned to a larger space – the Elks building. This move also included a year-long renovation which included an expanded dining area with 30 tables and the Mezzaluna Lounge. In 2013, they partnered with the Rose Theater for the Starlight Lounge which offers a full bar, appetizers, and small plates all made by the Silverwater Cafe.
The atmosphere is cozy chic with soothing earthy tones, a brick walk, dangling green plants and local art. The cafe serves Mediterran-inspired dishes including pasta, risotto, and polenta, as well as, elevated Pacific Northwest fare like fish & chips, ahi, and salmon. They buy locally, and recycle everything they can, even their fryer oil is turned into fuel. They have a pre-theater 3-course menu, daily and nightly specials, a kids menu, and a lounge with small plates and libations.
(Photo above is courtesy of Silverwater Cafe.)
Where: 237 Taylor St. Port Townsend, WA 98368
What: Lunch, Dinner, Lounge
Specials: Daily specials for appetizers and entrees and nightly specials are Monday Meatloaf, Tuesday Pot Roast, Wednesday All You Can Eat Spaghetti, Thursday Prime Rib or Steak. Anyone can order from their $18 3-course Pre-Theater Menu served daily from 5 tp 6 p.m.
Frequent Diners Program: Patrons earn one point for every dollar. Once you reach 200 points, you receive a $10 award voucher for the next visit, and a free dessert on your birthday and anniversary.
Hours: Monday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m for lunch. The restaurant closes from 3 to 5 p.m., then reopens from 5 to 9 p.m. for dinner. The Mezzaluna Lounge is open Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m.
This is what we ordered.
Tempting Cuisine at the Silverwater Cafe
Silverwater Cafe has a great selection of mouthwatering appetizers including chowder, five salads, and savory dishes like tempura prawns, sesame snap peas, sesame ahi. We had a hard time deciding what we wanted to order. Some contenders were the Buttermilk Fried Artichoke Hearts with Parmesan cheese and chipotle aioli ($13), Dungeness Crab Cakes with caper rosemary aioli ($14), and the Calamari Al Aromano with fried calamari tossed with oven-roasted tomatoes, red onion and basil ($15). We decided on Chevre Heaven ($12), which is a mixture of creamy goat cheese blended with warm roasted tomatoes, pesto, capers, artichoke hearts and Kalamata olives, and served with toasted bread. I’m not a huge olive fan, but this dish was just as it was named–heavenly. It had bright Mediterranean flavors that blended perfectly. I think it is a dish to cruise to Port Townsend for.
Fish & Chips
Fish & Chips is the cafe’s first menu item and after thirty years of perfecting the recipe they’ve got some serious bragging rights. Thus the name “Our Famous Fish & Chips.” We ordered a 2-piece Fish & Chips ($13). It came with two fresh Lingcod pieces dredged in a lemon & dill batter and fried. The fish was moist, and we enjoyed the slight herbed flavor of the crispy batter.
The contenders for our next entree were the Tuscan Steak Salad with pickled onions, blue cheese, tomato and basic vinaigrette ($20), Fish Tacos with chili rubbed red snapper with house made pico de gallo, cilantro ginger lime cabbage, tomatoes, lime and soft corn tortillas ($17), and the 1/2 lb. Angus Beef Silverwater Burger ($13) with a choice of add-on cheeses and avocado. We decided on the burger and added on Swiss cheese and sauteed wild mushrooms ($16).
Silverwater Cafe’s Special Menus
The Silverwater Cafe offers a daily Pre-Theater Menu, which anyone can order from and is only available from 5 to 6 p.m. The meal starts with a cup of soup, chowder, or a Caesar salad. The second course is a choice of fish, sirloin or pasta. The meal wraps up with dessert or cheese plate. It is served 7 days a week and costs $18 per person. In comparison, our meal cost $23 each, so this option is a good savings.
The Mezzaluna Lounge, on the second floor, has a shorter version of the menu, martinis, specialty cocktails, wine, and beer.
The Silverwater Cafe also offers daily and night specials which are regularly posted on Facebook. Their nightly specials are:
- Monday – Meatloaf
- Tuesday- Pot Roast
- Wednesday – All You Can Eat Spaghetti
- Thursday- Prime Rib or Steak
If you are traveling with children, the Kids Menu has sure-to-please items like grilled cheese, cheese pizza, mac & cheese, a veggie plate, noodles prepared three ways, fish & chips, and grilled chicken.
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, Experience Anacortes, Northwest Travel & Life Magazine, realfoodtraveler.com, WanderWithWonder.com, Whidbey Life Magazine.