Chef Matt Costello is cooking hyper-local, avant garde and insanely delicious food out of a small kitchen in a 30-seat restaurant, and it’s the next place you must go for a weekend away. The Inn at Langley is hardly a secret – even though the owners don’t advertise, the Whidbey Island destination was recommended to me on several occasions by friends and colleagues. I was expecting a relaxing weekend away with my wife, but I was not prepared to have one of most surprising, innovative and delightful meals I’ve had in quite a while.
A few weeks back, my wife and I booked our stay at the inn, cashing in a Rue La La deal we had purchased a month prior. The deal included a night’s stay at the Inn at Langley as well as dinner and wine pairing for two at the attached restaurant. Even from my first call to make our reservations, I could tell that this place exuded the type of warm hospitality that is often absent in the typical passive-aggressive Seattleite interactions. When we arrived and were shown to our room, we were stunned in disbelief – the “cottage suite” included in our package was a 1400 square foot apartment overlooking the sound, beautifully appointed and peacefully serene. And, if this were a travel blog, I’d go on and on about the room, the amenities of the inn and the charming little town scattered around it. But, you’re here for the food, so I’ll get right to it.
Dinner started quite leisurely, just as the sun was falling low in the sky. We were the first to arrive for the night’s seating, and we were greeted warmly by Stephen McClure, the restaurant’s sommelier. He handed us each a glass of champagne dotted with basil seeds and we took a seat in the garden as the other guests trickled in. Sitting in that manicured garden, watching the sunset and sipping champagne, I felt a million miles from home: relaxed, refreshed, civilized, and centered. It’s a great way to begin any meal.
We were shown to our table which was one of just a handful in the restaurant’s petite dining room. The room is divided by an oversized stone fireplace, and flanked by tables of two and four laid out around the perimeter. However, the main focus of the room is