clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Bateau Is One of America’s 38 Best Restaurants

The Willows Inn on Lummi Island also makes critic Bill Addison’s list of essentials

Sliced medium rare steak, a bone, and fries, on a plate.
Bone-in chuck-eye steak and fries at Bateau.
Bill Addison/Eater

Last year, Eater’s roving restaurant critic, Bill Addison, called Bateau one of America’s best new restaurants; today, with his fourth annual definitive list of America’s 38 Essential Restaurants, Addison upgraded the French-inspired steakhouse to one of the country’s best, period.

Notably, James Beard Award- and Eater Award-winning chef-restaurateur Renee Erickson’s airy, whole-animal abbatoir is also the only dedicated steakhouse on the list — even Chicago, known for its meaty mastery, doesn’t have any representation in this particular genre.

“Seattle obviously isn’t a bastion for chophouse culture in the way that Chicago or New York or Dallas are, but the first time I ate at Bateau I knew it was the steakhouse of the future,” Addison told Eater Seattle. “Its approach makes so much sense. In a time when the food industry is thinking about issues of waste and notions of whole-animal cooking, why not bring the butchering in-house? Why not serve limited numbers of filet mignons, rib-eyes, and New York strips, and encourage diners to try new and equally appealing cuts of beef? It’s obvious but groundbreaking, and the excellence by which it meets its aims makes Bateau an easy choice to include as a modern dining essential in America.”

This isn’t Erickson’s first 38 rodeo; her Fremont restaurant The Whale Wins appeared on the first two editions of Addison’s guide, before being cut last year.

More details about Bateau and 37 of its exquisite counterparts — including The Willows Inn on Lummi Island, which maintains its spot in the upper echelon for the second year — awaits at the full list of America’s 38 Essential Restaurants.

Bateau’s commitment to whole-animal butchery allows it to serve unusual cuts of beef, like this lean yet tender velvet steak from the cow’s heel.
Bill Addison/Eater

The Willows Inn

2579 West Shore Drive, Lummi Island,, WA 98262 (360) 758-2620


1040 East Union Street, , WA 98122 (206) 900-8699 Visit Website