Finistère, quite possibly a destination restaurant in the making for sleepy Port Townsend, unlocks its doors tomorrow for dinner, walk-ins only; brunch will come later, as will the ability for diners to make reservations.
Given Finistère’s proximity to the farms and small producers of the fertile Olympic Peninsula, the fare will draw heavily from the region, with seafood as the main focus. Taylor also hopes to plant a culinary garden in the future. Sample menus involve items like stone fruit and tomato gazpacho; Penn Cove mussels escabeche; fried Washington oysters with saffron-chili aioli and fennel salad; black cod with corn, farro, and tomatoes; agnolotti with eggplant, basil, chevre, and roasted sweet peppers; and olive oil-poached coho salmon with spinach, clams, beans, and savory.
Excitement around Finistère’s opening has built for months, as the restaurant’s origins — from the owners’ impressive resumes to their focus on the local bounty to their successful $25,000 Kickstarter campaign to their space’s simple elegance — inspire comparisons to other high-end success stories off the coast of Washington, like The Willows Inn, Ursa Minor, and Aelder. Finistère even earned an honorary mention on Eater’s national list of anticipated fall openings.
From their work experience, the wife-and-husband owners of Finistère, Deborah Taylor and Scott Ross, appear ready for the weight of the expectations. Taylor most recently finished a two-year run as executive chef at Ethan Stowell’s excellent Staple and Fancy and has also worked at heavy hitters Canlis, Eleven Madison Park, and Per Se. Ross, who will oversee the front of house, has spent time at respected institutions like Tilth and the Four Seasons.
Replacing Sweet Laurette’s at 1025 Lawrence Street, Finistère will offer a chef’s tasting menu alongside its a la carte dinner menu and, eventually, brunch.