In the heart of unassuming little Lopez Island, in the lovely San Juan Islands sits the fantastic hyper-farm-to-table focused Ursa Minor. After hearing numerous rave reviews, I found myself in the San Juans last month and finally got the opportunity to dine at this darling restaurant. Just one year old, Ursa Minor has already made a name for itself and impresses locals and Pacific Northwest visitors alike with its palpable commitment to local farmers and the bounty of the region. The menu here evolves with the season, changing weekly and sometimes even daily. It highlights beautiful, in season, farm fresh fruits, vegetables and meats as well as last year’s preserved ingredients. Here is just a peek of the culinary awesomeness that awaits!
Housemade Coppa and Broth of Land and Sea (a rich sipping broth, made with a bone broth base – made from pork, chicken, and halibut bones – enriched with shiitakes, seaweed and other dried veggies from the Ursa Minor larder.)
Lopez-caught smelt cured with apple cider vinegar, rolled up with a chili paste made from dried eggplant, dried paprika peppers, dried figs, dried tomato skins (all of which are dried in-house).
Grilled Kale, Malt, Chili & Cured Yolk
Salish Halibut, Roasted Cabbage & Potatoes
After Dinner Caramels: House-made caramels rolled in a dried oyster mushroom powder.
This experience was not one I had intended to blog about; if I had I would have taken MANY more photos and made this a much longer piece. But, I went spontaneously on a whim and had such a wonderful experience that I felt compelled to share it. So, the next time you find yourself in the San Juan Islands, don’t miss Ursa Minor. It was most definitely the culinary highlight of my trip to the San Juans. Read How to Have the Perfect Weekend in the San Juan Islands on my blog for more recommendations in this magical area!