I was reading the Seattle Times. Peg was eating breakfast. The phone rang. It was our friend Dennis Flannigan inviting us to join him for lunch. Peg couldn’t make it but I said yes and asked, “Where and when.” Denny answered, “Tibbitts at 11:45.” I replied, “Tibbitts at Fern Hill? Why?” I knew Tibbitts, but I was surprised Denny knew about the restaurant because Denny now lives in Seattle and the restaurant is located on Park Avenue in the South end of Tacoma. It turns out he had seen a review and wanted to try it out. I warned him, “It’s snowing here in Tacoma.”
Traffic from Tacoma’s west end was a little slow due to the snow that was still falling, but the roads down from Seattle were clear. I walked in. All the tables were completely full. There was one empty seat at Denny’s table. Soon I had a water glass filled with ice, nicely cut up cubes of cucumber and cold water. Very refreshing. It was like a Pimm’s Cup without the gin.
We talked about the accolades and awards that Chef Shawn Tibbitts and his restaurant had earned:
- Best Chef 2018 and Best New Restaurant 2018 – South Sound Magazine
- One of 24 ‘Essential Tacoma Restaurants’ – Seattle.Eaters.com
- Rated #1 Farm to Table Restaurant in Tacoma – Yelp
- Featured as a guest host and cook-off contestant at the 2018 Taste of Tacoma
Soon Denny was chowing down on the Banana Pancakes with cocoa powder, chocolate sauce, orange and lime zest, and whipped cream. I figure he probably ordered that because he was by himself without his wife, Jayasri who might have steered him to something else. But not to worry. Tibbitts at Fern Hill is always a little over the top.
Next came my Lobster Bomb – Champagne soaked lobster, avocado, Yukon Gold potatoes, sherried fennel scrambled eggs, candied bacon, all topped with lemony hollandaise and an assortment of local greens. Shawn has teamed up with local farmers to bring fresh ingredients directly from their farms to his restaurant. The greens are cute and tasty. I would have asked for a couple of lemon wedges for the lobster chunks, but I like to see how the chef wants his food to be eaten. I was a little disappointed, but not with the lobster. From the menu on the website I was prepared for Chef Shawn’s clam chowder. Oh, well, I’ll eat substituted lobster any day of the week.
We both enjoyed our lunch and walked out into a bright and shiny afternoon. For more information, please visit the Tibbitts @ Fern Hill website – tibbittsfernhill.com/