It’s winter time in a COVID world and many of us find ourselves dining outside or in covered outdoor seating areas. With a nice heater and some ambient lighting, this type of dining can be very romantic.

When Columbia Hospitality announced their inaugural Puffy Jacket Pop-Up Dining Series and invited me to dine at one of their many restaurants and resorts, I jumped at the chance!

Bringing my amazing boyfriend/photographer along for the culinary experience, we chose Salish Lodge & Spa in Snoqualmie, Washington, as it was one of the closest restaurants to his home. I have been to Salish a few times for a round of drinks at The Attic, taken many visitors to see Snoqualmie Falls, but I’ve never had the chance to dine there. Needless to say, I was VERY excited.

I have to say right up front, whether I am at Salish as a blogger or there as a patron enjoying the drinks and the views – the staff is TOP NOTCH. The staff have always made me feel welcome, even when I bring my visiting family in after a long hike and we no doubt stink to high heaven. This night was no exception, and while I was there as “media” and my poor boyfriend (who I hope willingly) takes all my photos for me as entrees were brought out. Yes, we are that couple if you ever see us in public and I am working. I think I am more embarrassed than he is, but feel free to make fun of me. 😉

Alright, onto the evening! Sorry if this sounds like a recipe blog at this point.

My boyfriend Kyle and I were seated outside under a clear tent to protect from….the rain (shocking, I know). Heaters were lit and kept us warm throughout the evening. So warm that I didn’t even need to wear my puffy jacket the entire time!  We each started the evening off with a glass of wine (I highly recommend their House chardonnay!) and chatted with our waitress, the general manager and the food and beverage manager. Everyone we spoke with across the board said they had just taste tested all the food on the Puffy Jacket menu and it was so good, they all wanted to be dining with us that very moment.

Proof I was wearing a puffy jacket for a little bit to go with the dinner theme!

First on tap, we had the chance to try all the drinks on the Puffy Jacket menu. All of them were so different and all of them were divine.

The Weekend Getaway: Bourbon, Scrappy’s Chocolate Bitters, Smoked Bada Bing
Spice Apple Smash: Apple Cinnamon Infused Vodka, Bada Bing, Cider, Lemon
Bee’s Knees: Rye, Salish Honey, Cardamom, Cloves (served warm)
Toasted Toddy: Anejo Tequila, Salish Spicy Hot Milk Chocolate, House-Made Marshmallow (served warm)

Give me all the drinks!

For our starter, we each chose the “Washington” Onion Soup, made with Walla Walla Onions, Beecher’s Reserve, Sherry and Peasant Bread. They also brought out their warm bread and butter (which by the way, have I been living under a rock my whole life, they sprinkle coarse salt on top of the butter….genius). The cheesy, rich, gooey decadence of this soup could almost be a meal in and of itself. But make sure you don’t order just the soup because there is so much more waiting for your taste buds.

Ooey gooey Beecher’s Cheese…..

For our entrée, Kyle and I both ordered the Palouse Cassoulet, braised chicken, elk sausage, pork belly and farro. This was hands down, one of the most flavorful, mouthwatering and savory dishes I’ve ever had. The perfectly cooked chicken, the gamey taste of the elk, the melt in your mouth like butter pork belly all surrounded by the nutty farro – if you like to eat meat perfection, you must order this dish.

Palouse Cassoulet

To finish off our evening, we decided to share the S’mores Doughnut and some decaf coffee. The S’more Doughnut is a chocolate cake doughnut with Olympic Mountain Vanilla Ice Cream, Nutella Chocolate Fudge, Pecan-Hazelnut Streusel, Marshmallow Fluff and a little spout of Kahlua that you pour onto your decadent dish yourself. This was full on campfire S’mores on an elevated level.  I’m probably going to have to workout three times a day to burn off all the calories I consumed, but it was worth every single bite.

Death by chocolate!

We loved our entire experience so much, I asked to speak with the chef to personally praise him. It’s always so cool to me to meet the brains behind what’s on your plate. THANK YOU CHEF!!!!!

I highly, HIGHLY recommend going to Salish or any one of Columbia Hospitality’s restaurants offering the Puffy Jacket Dining Series. Support your local restaurants and you will be richly rewarded with the most delectable dinner you’ve ever had!

The Puffy Jacket Dining Series is running February 19, 2021 – March 27, 2021 from 5-9 p.m. at Salish.

Kyle and I in full food coma after our dinner!


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