Wine still plays prominent role, but February’s focus shifts to celebrating Walla Walla’s agricultural roots and culinary innovation
(WALLA WALLA, Wash.) — Wine and food go hand in hand during any given month in Walla Walla, but for the month of February food takes center stage. “February is for Foodies” is Walla Walla’s unique annual celebration of the fork, and it presents a once-a-year opportunity that no food and wine lover will want to pass up.
Presented by Seattle DINING!, February is for Foodies loads the calendar with events, including prix-fixe menus at most of the top local restaurants, food, wine, and chocolate pairings, as well as special lodging discounts at some of Walla Walla’s most notable hotels.
“Walla Walla’s culinary community draws inspiration from the valley’s agricultural roots, an abundance of seasonal ingredients, and an eagerness to collaborate with each other,” said Ron Williams, executive director of Visit Walla Walla. “From the Wine Country Culinary Institute, to renowned chefs, to countless artisinal producers, food is in Walla Walla’s DNA and February is for Foodies is a showcase of those talents and inspiration.”
February is for Foodies includes the fine dining, champagne, and chocolate of “The Sweetheart’s Package” at the historic Marcus Whitman Hotel, Waterbrook Winery’s unique culinary and wine experience with a sommelier and chef, a family-friendly spaghetti and game night at Olive Marketplace and Cafe, and a world-class meal accompanied by a live orchestra at Whitehouse-Crawford. And that is just a sampling. Walla Walla has so much more in store.
About Walla Walla:
As the unofficial capital of Washington wine country, Walla Walla is home to more than 120 wineries, a nationally recognized culinary scene, access to an abundance of outdoor recreation, and an arts & entertainment scene that rivals cities many times its size. This community of just over 30,000 residents is known for many things, including its friendliness and hospitality, the quality of its wine, and of course the famous Walla Walla Sweet Onion. An easy and scenic four-hour drive from Seattle, Portland, or Boise, Walla Walla can also be accessed via Alaska Airlines daily non-stop flights from Seattle. For more information and to begin planning a trip to Walla Walla, visit www.visitwallawalla.com.
Fun Food Events
Sixth Annual Fat Tuesday at Andrae’s Kitchen (Feb. 13): Savor the cuisine of New Orleans. Chef Andrae Bopp prepares a full menu of New Orleans-inspired dishes all day, including: Crayfish etouffee, gumbo, shrimp and grits, fried oyster po’ boys, shrimp po’ boys, red beans and rice, jambalaya, grilled andouille sausage, beignets, and more.
Fat Tuesday Celebration at Whoopemup Hollow Cafe (Feb. 13): Chef Bryant will host an oyster raw bar with fun bubbly offerings by the glass, and fresh oysters Rockefeller will be available, too. Treat yourself to the Mardi Gras Gumbo Trio, boeuf bourguignon with housemade ricotta gnocchi, and festive Mardi Gras accoutrement.
Valentine’s Dinner at Whitehouse-Crawford (Feb. 13): Share a world-class romantic candlelit dinner with someone special amid the elegant musical backdrop of the Walla Walla Valley Academy Orchestra. Cost is $85. Reserve by Feb. 7 at 509-525-1050.
Waterbrook Winery (Feb. 14): Blend & Grill Seminar with Sommelier Shawn Smith & Chef Daniel Juarez. Nibble on light appetizers and sip on your favorite wine while Chef Daniel divulges his best tips and tricks for grilling filet mignon. Then grill your own al fresco over our fire pits, creating your sumptuous entrée that will be paired with seasonal sides prepared by Chef Juarez. Shawn will then take you through the ultimate in blending experiences where you get to personally blend, bottle, and label your own bottle of vino to take home. 509-522-1262.
Chinese New Year Feast at Sipid Bites (Feb. 16): Celebrate the lunar new year with an uncommon six-course, family-style feast. Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m.
The Q Wood-Fired Grill Pop-Up Dinner @ Forgeron Cellars (Feb. 17): Offering a menu inspired by the wines of Forgeron Cellars gorgeous wines, this meal features an Italian slant with New World and French varietals. $50 per person.
A Tour of Tropical Island Cuisine at Whoopemup Hollow Cafe (Feb. 20-24): Caribbean-inspired dishes offered all week long for both lunch and dinner, including:. Jamaican pepper pot, Cuban sandwiches, jerk ribs and a variety of appetizers and desserts.
Month-long Dining Specials
Maple Counter: This hotspot is offering a special breakfast all month long: Two white chocolate raspberry pancakes with a choice of either two pieces of thick-sliced bacon or two sausage links. Also included is a bottomless cup of coffee and fresh-squeezed juice of your choice.
The Marc Restaurant: The Marcus Whitman Hotel’s signature restaurant will offer a five-course Chef’s Table for just $90 per person. Executive Chef Grant Hinderliter and Chief Sommelier Dan McCaffrey combine to create this multi-course food and wine celebration served around the hotel’s exclusive chef’s table.
Spaghetti & Meatball Night at Olive Marketplace and Cafe (Sundays): Enjoy pasta and board games every Sunday evening through February. Beginning at 5 p.m., these family-friendly offer spaghetti and meatballs for $16.
Passatempo Taverna: Mention February is for Foodies and receive 5 percent off any Appertivo menu item from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. daily, and enjoy weekly dinner specials throughout the month.
The Saint & The Sinner: One of Walla Walla’s newest restaurants invites diners to explore both the righteous and wicked side with a three-course pre-fixe menu for $30.
Sweet Basil Pizzeria: Enjoy any 18-inch pizza, breadsticks, and two salads for $30 all month, while sipping a rotating selection of Browne Family Vineyards wines for just $5.
Vineyard Lounge: Select from a special three-course menu and receive $10 off February Chef’s Table reservations.
Whitehouse-Crawford: Savor a three-course meal for just $38 at one of Walla Walla’s landmark restaurants. Bring your own bottle, and receive $10 off the corkage fee.
Whoopemup Hollow Cafe: Every Thursday, enjoy a new three-course offering for just $15 per person.
Barons Winery (Weekends): Seated vertical tastings of Baron highly-rated Cabernet Sauvignons every weekend in February. Each tasting will include pours of our ’11, ’12, and ’13 vintages. Cost is $15 per person.
Browne Family Vineyards (Feb. 9-10, and Feb. 14): Browne Family Vineyards will host a caviar and sparkling wine tasting Feb. 9-10. The event will include five delectable flavors of caviar and Browne Family’s own favorite bubblies. Then Browne Family Vineyards and their neighbors, Frosted Cupcakes, are working together to create Frosted Frenzy, Feb. 14. Guests will enjoy three wines paired thoughtfully with three delicious mini cupcakes.
Canoe Ridge Vineyard (Feb. 14): Perfectly pair Canoe Ridge’s wines perfectly with a selection of aged cheese from Walla Walla’s Monteillet Fromagerie and handcrafted chocolates from Bright’s Candies in our historic downtown. 509-525-1843.
Castillo de Feliciana Vineyard & Winery (Feb. 10-11 and Feb. 23): Celebrate Valentine’s Day by pairing chocolate and wine, Feb. 10-11. Castillo de Feliciana will offer a delicious chocolate fondue to every guest, and as a special treat, wine club members will enjoy chocolates from around the world. On Feb. 23, savor a night of wine and chocolate pairing as Master Chocolatiers Alex and Steve from Alexander’s Chocolaterie teach what makes chocolate so much more than just a sweet treat to enjoy with wine.
Eternal Wines & Drink Washington State: Mention February is for Foodies and receive 10 percent off any bottle purchases, and complimentary snacks will be provided all month long.
Goose Ridge Winery (Feb. 9-14): Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a special tasting of wine and cider. The tasting will not just include red wine and chocolate, but also Goose Ridge’s rosé and newly released Black Currant Cider. Tasting is $15 per person.
Henry Earl Estate Wines (Feb. 9): Join Henry Earl Estates for a fun night of painting in the tasting room with Brushes N’ Brix. All painters receive a free glass of wine free and enjoy extended happy hour pricing. Tickets are $30 per person.
L’ecole No. 41 (Feb.10, 17, and 24): February will bring three sweet events to L’ecole. Milton boutique chocolatier, Petit Noirs, will be at the winery offering samples and chocolates available for sale on Feb. 10. Pendleton’s Alexander’s Chocolate Classics, will be on hand with samples of their handmade chocolate to taste and purchase in Feb. 17. On Feb. 24, L’ecole will be celebrating its 35th anniversary with the Locals Open House & Bright’s Candies Pop-Up. Guests will sample Cougar Gold cheese and crackers and draw for prizes and discounts before leaving with their favorite bottle of wine. Walla Walla’s Bright’s Candies, a local tradition since 1934, will be at the winery with samples and chocolate for sale. And Walla Walla Valley locals taste free.
Mark Ryan Winery (Feb. 17): Walla Walla favorite T. Maccarone’s will be on hand as Mark Ryan releases three small production wines: 2015 Lonely Heart, 2015 Water Witch, 2015 Old Vines. $15 per person, waived with a bottle purchase of a new release.
Nocking Point (Feb. 10): Voted Best Winery in the 2017 Walla Walla Union Bulletin’s “Best of the Best” awards, Nocking Point is celebrating from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. on Feb. 10. All will enjoy merchandise discounts, wine specials, and live music by Debra Arlyn.
Northstar Winery (Feb. 23): February Vintage Friday offers Northstar’s 2011 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon for tasting and purchase, and paired with specialty gourmet cheeses from Cheese Louise. Musician Tara Tinsley will be entertaining from noon-3 p.m.
Plumb Cellars (Feb. 9): Taste wine club release wines as well as current releases at the bar, indulge in small bites and dance to live music by Rogue Lobster during the annual Valentine’s Party on Feb. 9. In addition, throughout the month guests of The Courtyard at Marriott receive a complimentary tasting if they say “February is for Foodies.”
Reininger & Helix Wines (Feb. 14): Taste flights of library wines from both Reininger & Helix brands after hours at the Wine Down Wednesday event. Cheese & charcuterie will be available with wine pairing options. 509-522-1994.
Saviah Cellars (Feb. 10-12): For the Love of the Rocks: Chocolate & Wine Pairing will indulge the senses. Enjoy a special flight featuring three terroir-driven wines from The Rocks District, and each wine will be expertly paired with gorgeous, hand-crafted sweet and savory truffles by Alexander’s Chocolaterie & Vino Bistro. $15 per person.
Skylite Cellars (Feb. 10-12): Pair the release of Skylite’s 2014 Malbec with custom cheese and chocolates. “Date Night” packages include tastings for two, custom Skylite cheese from Walla Walla Cheese Co., chocolates paired for Malbec, and tw0 glasses of Malbec for $30 per couple. “Romance Packages” also include a bottle of 2014 Malbec to take home for $55 per couple.
Tertulia Cellars (all month): Enjoy Perfect Pairing Plates with locally sourced bites selected to complement Tertulia’s estate wines. Also, take advantage of the February is for Foodies Case Special, which offers Tertulia’s 2011 Reserve Excelsior for $192 per case or $16 per bottle. And mention February is for Foodies and receive a 10 percent discount on all regularly priced bottles.
Three Rivers Winery (all month): Seattle Chocolate Company chocolates and house-made truffles accompany each tasting throughout the month. In addition, enjoy 10 percent wine purchases by mentioning February Is For Foodies, and 30 percent discounts on cases of our Rivers Red table wine (tasting room only).
Walla Walla Vintners (all month): Pair hand-crafted and unique bon bons from Almas, a chocolatier in Portland. Each bon bon was selected specifically to pair with Walla Walla Vintners wines.
Best Western Inn & Suites: $79 for a Single Queen Room, or $89 for a King or Double Queen, and includes a complimentary full breakfast. When making your reservations be sure to ask for “February is for Foodies” rate to redeem this offer. (509) 525-4700.
The Courtyard by Marriott: Reference “February is for Foodies” and receive a 15 percent discount off your reservation, and receive a free appetizer in the hotel’s bistro when mentioning F4F. 509-876-8100.
The Marcus Whitman Hotel: The Sweetheart’s Package — offered throughout the February — includes a one-night stay, a bottle of sparkling wine, chocolate-covered strawberries, and dinner for two at The Marc Restaurant for $209 per night.