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“It's really not for everyone - more theater than anything else”

The Herbfarm Restaurant
Ranked #8 of 113 Restaurants in Woodinville
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: USD 189 - USD 245
Cuisines: American, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Description: The Herbfarm is America's only 5-Diamond Restaurant north of Napa Valley and east of Chicago. With working farm and restaurant 20 minutes from Seattle, the restaurant offers 26 different 9 course dinner menus each year.Creed: The Herbfarm believes that no dish can be better than its ingredients, and that the best ingredients are usually local. Freshness is ephemeral, and geography expresses itself in the taste of the food--sometimes subtly and sometimes profoundly. The foods and wines of our region share a similar motherhood of soil and weather, making for a happier culinary marriage than those from dissimilar climates. The Herbfarm believes that chefs who cook with local ingredients--season by season, year after year--develop a more complete understanding of the foods than chefs who do not. This understanding can give rise to greater expressions of the food, its preparation, and enjoyment. The Herbfarm believes that supporting local farmers, foragers, cheesemakers, wineries, ranches, and fishermen helps preserve local foods.
Reviewed 14 August 2017

I ate as part of a business outing on a Wednesday evening; we dined in the "Founder's Room" and were the only patrons in the place as it is not normally open on Wednesday evening except for private parties.

It is rather odd to review a place like this where the meal is in excess of $300 per person and all aspects of the ambience and service are simply "over the top". And, really, who am I to give it anything less than 5 stars when "experts" regularly bestow it with top accolades including the AAA Five Diamond Award.

I guess I would say this: What you are really paying for is the ambience and the "experience". It's a genre of dinner theater. With apologies to the "foodies" out there, the food, while certainly unique, and served with a lot of pomp and circumstance, is just really not all that satisfying.

The theme during the week when we dined was "Land of Totems", and the idea was to mimic the food that the native people of the Pacific Northwest would have eaten prior to European settlement.

Most of the courses were unique, and consisted of items and ingredients I am unlikely to encounter again. That's not, however, to say that they were all pleasing to the palate. And some servings were laughably small, including a "salad" with 2-1/2 leaves, 3 nuts, and 1 fiddlehead.

There is a LOT of waiting around. A course is brought out, it can be consumed in a matter of 3-5 minutes even if you eat slowly and elegantly. Then you wait 20-25 minutes for the next one. After 2-1/2 hours, you're beginning to wonder "is this EVER going to end?", but the wine and the company (provided it is company you enjoy) make it tolerable. The entire experience runs about 4 hours depending on how you measure it.

And speaking of wine . . . I'm not a wine snob and am utterly incapable of going on and on about hints of this, or overtones of that, or all of the other incomprehensible pretentiousness of winespeak. Let's just say they served wine, and it tasted fine to me, but I'd be just as happy with Kirkland-branded wine from Costco. As far as I am concerned, they could substitute in the Costco wine and I'd never know the difference and I doubt most patrons would either, and they'd make a higher profit margin. Sorry if a sommelier is reading this and is gasping for air.

So, for me, I view Herbfarm as a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list activity. I can say that I have done it. The experience provides me with some fodder for cocktail party conversation. But I likely will not return. As far as I am concerned, perhaps I'd be more satisfied with a nice burger from Red Robin. It'll cost me 95% less (literally) and I'll be in and out in an hour.

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Thank kwa829
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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11 - 15 of 231 reviews

Reviewed 5 August 2017 via mobile

The "100 Mile Dinner" was a gastronomic experience like no other. 9 course food, wine, and beverages ALL raised, grown and produced within this distance of the HerbFarm. This is for adults with sophisticated palates and diners who can adventurously allow the incredibly talented staff to stimulate all your senses with their presentation of food paired with wines from the Pacific Northwest. Each guest is warmly welcomed by hosts/owners Ron and Carrie. Our group of three women were seated with unknown guests from all over the country who provided wonderful opportunities to exchange experiences while enjoying this dining phenomena. Four hours fly by as Chef Chris Weber performs his magic before your eyes. Presentation is key and the ambiance, complete with Spanish guitar being played live, relaxes and enhances each meal course. You will not want to leave behind the good company and elegant flavors bursting within you.

Thank Fern P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
carrievandyck, Owner at The Herbfarm Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 6 August 2017

Thank you Fern, it was our pleasure serving you!

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Reviewed 4 August 2017 via mobile

One of the most interesting restaurants I have ever been to. Your dining experience will take 4 hours. No kidding. They are famous for 9 course meal using edible flowers and herbs from their garden. Your meal will start with a tour of the garden. Beautiful dining room and great creative dishes. Can't say I like all of them, mainly because I wasn't keen on the ingredients. Not a fan of beef cheeks. Where else will u be served a turnip marinated in bear fat. Do I need to say more?

Thank Sultan2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
carrievandyck, Owner at The Herbfarm Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 6 August 2017

Thank you for your comments. We look forward to your next visit!

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Reviewed 3 July 2017

This farm to table restaurant serves seasonally themed cuisine (Christmas, Spring, etc.) in a prix fixe format with wines to match each course. The servers of both the food and the wine are extremely well informed and pleasant. This 3 hour meal will pass in a blur as your enjoy each course.

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Thank Randall S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
carrievandyck, Owner at The Herbfarm Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 5 July 2017

Thank you. It was our pleasure to serve you!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2017

I would not even bother to write a review of this place if it wasn't so incredibly expensive and incredibly bad. What a combo.
This 9 course "gourmet" meal was best served to the pigs on display in the herb garden.
The braised duck wing (a boneless duck wing) was the highlight of the dinner. Very tasty. The bread was also good.
That's it. The rest of the meal was primarily servings of inedible and tasteless mush. The sea asparagus was particularly sad. The bear fat donut was fried dough which you would find at a carnival. This is supposed to be gourmet?
Crispy salmon skin was another loser - who came up with this ?
We have eaten at michelin starred restaurants around the world - this place would only receive 3 stars down, Just BAD!

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1  Thank Thomas C G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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