Sunny, welcoming and right in the heart of wine country, both the staff and the delightfully bubbly owner of Heritage Restaurant + Bar greet guests with open arms. You can’t help smiling right back. Heritage offers modern American food cooked with care and using the highest quality seasonal ingredients. So seasonal and local that you can find Breanna on Saturday mornings at the local Woodinville Farmers Market choosing beautiful foods to take back to the restaurant. Woodinville residents Breanna and her husband Chris Brende, designed the restaurant (across from the Hollywood School House) to be a gathering place for all – somewhere where locals could hang and tourists feel right at home. And that’s exactly what it has already become. On any given day, you’ll find old friends catching up over lunch, families having dinner, celebrations, two-somes getting to know each other, and couples fresh from work (or working out). The private dining room, a rare Eastside commodity, is sought after.

The dinner menu is divided into sections: Shells & Shareables (the generous serving of tender Caramelized Sea Scallops is a popular starter), Salads (all four salads are delicious – the signature Wedge Salad is comfort food at its best), Meats, Seafare & Non-Meats (among a variety of entrees, the Flat Iron Steak and the Heritage Burger are equally yummy).

They also offer excellent vegetarian options and flexibility to accommodate vegan or gluten free. The “Farro Risotto” changes seasonally. This spring version featured english peas, spring onions, beet greens and mascarpone cheese with a summery variety of patty pan squash, braised baby fennel, sweet corn, heirloom tomatoes and escarole. For vegan dishes, try the cast iron fired marinated portobello mushroom; served with artichokes, tri-color quinoa, swiss chard and fennel sprouts.

We sat down with Breanna Beike, Chef & Owner, for some Q&A on her favorite spots to eat and play around town.

  • What do you think about when you think of Seattle’s Eastside?

“Community. My husband and I lived in Ballard and there is community there, but we moved to Woodinville 2 years ago and now I feel like I know what community truly is.

The North Shore school district, local businesses, the partnership among small businesses is pretty legit in Woodinville. I am honored to be a part of it.”

  • When you go wine tasting in Woodinville, what are your “must” tasting rooms to check out?

I love Long Shadows and a’Maurice Cellars. I also enjoy sitting on the patio at Patterson Cellars and Gorman Winery in the Hollywood District. And the hidden gardens at and beautiful surroundings at JM Cellars should not be missed. A true (and literal) hidden gem.

  • Best breakfast or brunch spot in Bellevue/Kirkland and/or Woodinville?

“Maltby Café in Snohomish. Any of their scrambles, toasted homemade bread, strong coffee and cinnamon rolls are all amazing. And Heritage’s brunch is pretty great, too. J

  • Favorite place for date night?

“We live right down the street from Ristorante Italianissimo in Woodinville. The service is amazing, they remember you when you walk in and during happy hour you can get a $15 bottle of wine and have a great happy hour date. Another fabulous hidden gem of Woodinville.”

  • What is the best hidden gem that you wish more visitors to the Eastside knew about?

Roadside farm stands in Woodinville and Duvall that operate on the honor system. They are pay what you can or list suggested prices. They have beautiful produce and flowers. You can usually only find them on weekends, but it‘s worth driving by during the week to see if they are open, especially in the summer.

These stands are part of that sense of community here that I love so much. The trust of a “pay what you can” farm stand. You don’t get that in Seattle.”

  • The Eastside has changed in the last few years. What is one addition to the area that you are loving?

“The many new restaurants, especially in the Woodinville area. But we need more. There are so many wineries and breweries here that we need more places to eat. But Woodinville feel like a boomtown. Things are happening here and all I can say is: Yes!”

  • What are the coolest or most iconic places on the Eastside? What comes to mind first and why?

Chateau Ste Michelle, Molbak’s and Delille Cellars’ Carriage House. I think of these first when I think of Woodinville. They are legit.”

  • Where is the first place you take an out of towner that is visiting you?

Molbak’s Garden + Home. This place is gorgeous. You can shop, have a cup of coffee or iced tea and sit in their garden area.”

  • Favorite place to catch a live performance, book reading or new art installation/exhibit?

“Chateau Ste Michelle for their summer concerts and the amazing art they have all over the property. And the Woodinville Heritage Society for their museum and their self-guided tours that take you through the history of Woodinville.”

“We moved to Woodinville first before opening the restaurant. We wanted community, more acreage, and less traffic. Then when we found a place to open a restaurant, it was a no-brainer to live and work here.”

  • Where is your favorite local destination for a staycation?

“Sammamish staying in any VRBO that is lakefront. And Willows Lodge. It’s here in Woodinville, but feels like a world away.”

  • Do you live AND work on the Eastside? If not, tell us where you live if not on the Eastside?

[photo cred: Duval Images and William Munoz]