Jefferson County is nestled on the northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula, a short trip from the Washington state metropolitan area of Seattle-Tacoma. The Victorian seaport of Port Townsend and neighboring hamlets are well-known for their hospitality and attraction for tourists. The area is especially renowned for the romantic atmosphere, drawing many couples for engagement, wedding, honeymoon and anniversary celebrations.
When it comes to romantic settings, these three restaurants are standouts. They all have fine reputations as the location of first dates, marriage proposals and anniversary celebrations.
Castle Key Seafood & Steak Restaurant
As part of the Manresa Castle Hotel complex, Castle Key offers a beautiful setting, award-winning food and romantic charm. The restaurant is decorated in authentic Victorian antiques that epitomize the elegance of Victorian high fashion decor. It is perfect for a couple seeking romantic ambiance.
Castle Key is proud to have an award-winning chef and crew who present elegant meals in this distinctive setting. They offer a wide-range menu, with a full spectrum of prices.
Salads range from $6 to $10. Appetizers range from $8 for steamer clams to an $18 cheese plate for two: Artisan and imported cheeses served with seasonal fruit, caramelized pecans, croccantini, and warm bread. Entrees start at $12 for two-piece Halibut fish and chips, $26 for crab-stuffed prawns, and up to $34 for the “Land and Sea” steak and jumbo shrimp plate. Desserts range from $5 a plate to $10; my favorite is the Chocolate Nemesis, a flourless dark chocolate torte with a thin layer of raspberry jam, and ganache for $8.
Dinner is served 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Reservations are recommended. They are located at: 7th & Sheridan Street, Port Townsend, WA. Phone: 360-379-1990. You may view their website here.
Port Townsend’s Point Hudson Marina, at the north end of town, is at the entrance of Port Townsend Bay and Admiralty Inlet. T’s Restaurant is on the north side of the marina on the very tip of Point Hudson. The restaurant is a great place for a quiet, romantic dinner, and easily invites romantic walks along the waterway after a casual, elegant meal.
T’s Restaurant has a continental menu, but its influences range from Italian to Pacific Northwest. Menu choices range from seafood to steak, also with vegetarian choices. Starters range from crisp Calamari with horseradish-citrus gretolta for $10 to exotic mushroom and goat cheese strudel for $14. Entree offings range from Capellini pasta with house-made pesto sauce for $12 to pan roasted duck breast with caramelized onion, roasted tomato and goat cheese orzo for $28. The only thing not house made on the menu is Pane d’ Amore’s bread, delivered daily fresh from another local Port Townsend company.
Dinner menus are served from 5 p.m. to closing; they are closed on Tuesdays. T’s is located at 141 Hudson St, Port Townsend, WA at Point Hudson. Reservations may be made by calling: 360-385-0700 or view their website here.
Located on the south end of Port Townsend Bay, in Lower Port Hadlock – about eight miles south east of Port Townsend – sits the Ajax Cafe. It doesn’t sound too romantic, but don’t let the name fool you. If you are looking for a romantic, fun and eclectic location with a superb dinner menu, this is the place to go. Accessible by water, road and air, you will be dining in the charming historic Galster House, built in the late 1800’s. This quaint building was once the home of Samuel Hadlock, the town founder. A table by the window will offer water views, and the inside of the restaurant is decorated in snazzy, colorful decor. It’s a fun and memorable place to dine.
The menu is excellent – and easy on the pocketbook. Appetizers and salads range from $4 for the day’s cup of soup to crab & fish cakes with rosemary and caper aioli for $10. Entree choices range in prices from grilled vegetable kabobs over quinoa and sautéed greens for $14 to wild salmon or braised lamb shank for $25. Be sure to save room for the dessert. Choose from chocolate pots de crème, pecan pie served with caramel sauce ala mode, vanilla bean flan with raspberry sauce, marionberry pie ala mode, chocolate flourless torte, tiramisu, chocolate chip ice cream, green apple sorbet, coffee heath bar ice cream, chai tea sorbet with fresh fruit or coconut ice cream lemon blueberry tart. Any one of these would be the perfect ending to a romantic meal.
Ajax’s Cafe opens at 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Reservations are recommended. They are located at 21 Waters Street Port Hadlock, WA. Phone: (360) 385-3450. For more information, go to their website here.