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Café to Café


Carillon Kitchen

Healthy and homemade

Bottom line, Carillon Kitchen's concept is a chef-driven healthy menu in at atmosphere that encourages you to gather, socialize, eat, drink, work. Simple, yet, as always, there's more to it.

Carillon Kitchen is a stand-alone restaurant, operating as a partnership between Carillon Point and The Woodmark Hotel. Being community-driven is a big thing: what the culinary team is doing is based on feedback from the Carillon Point community. Both partners want Carillon Kitchen to meet the needs of the surrounding area. "If we head off in the wrong direction, we want people to tell us," says Executive Chef Frank Rog. Hours are 7 a.m.-7 p.m., allowing time for multiple uses (coffee in the morning, lunch, healthy snack, take-out for dinner).

Much of the feedback was about healthy choices. "This is fun for us. I have a young team, several from this area, eager to try new things; they know the Northwest. I bring in the outside view, can tell them what's trending. The combination makes Carillon Kitchen interesting. I'm getting acquainted with farmers' markets. Our concept is clean food with no additives, all sourced within 200 miles of the property." They are sourcing from Washington, Oregon, and some proteins near Vancouver. Proteins are farm raised, natural, both corn (non-GMO) and grain fed. "We can tell you in detail about calorie intake for animals, how they're raised and slaughtered, and everything about the dish they're in. It's all very high quality, and must be sustainable. Even if something is organic, if it isn't sustainable, it's not helping. We work closely with vendors on this; it's an ethical issue. We have a responsibility to our guests to let them know what they're eating." Within the space are maps with flag pins showing their suppliers, and lists of vendors. Their to-go containers are compostable. "Carillon Kitchen allows our culinary team to have fun in a new way," says Frank. "We have the higher-end bin on the lake and the Seattle-beachy Beach Café. Now we have this outlet to give back to the community in different ways."

Using ChowNow, which partners with Uber, they have created a Carillon Kitchen branded app so guests can order online for pickup or delivery. It will accept Apple Pay and Android Pay. Delivery is within five miles of the restaurant. They also plan to have speakers covering health-conscious living topics, and are collaborating with Fly Fitness next door.

Created to be comfortable, the space also 'leads' you. Wood posts and rails surround tables, sending you to the left. You can see the kitchen team and, above them, the hand-crafted chalkboards listing food and beverage options. You pass refrigerated cases with to-go and beverage items. With state-of-the-art equipment, you can order a personalized pizza and have it in four minutes. Choose a daily pre-made salad bowl or build your own. Grab a canned juice (like local and organic Healeo), or try one of their scratch-made juices. Extra juice is used to make popsicles, so keep that in mind for a sunny afternoon snack. For breakfast, maybe a quinoa bowl topped with eggs; daily sandwich specials are seasonal. While it's an all-day menu, there are happy hour and dinner entrée specials, plus if you're doing take out for the gang, you can buy by the pound: salmon, chicken, etc. Everything possible is made from scratch in their kitchen. Items not found on the menu may be found in the to-go section. And there may be some holiday specials, perhaps a momosa?

Beer on tap, wine by the glass or bottle; 95% of beer is local, and wines are local with one New Zealand exception. "We want to give back in all areas, so our wine options include O Cabernet, a company that provides scholarships to low-income young women. We have Elysian and Pike Brewing's Pike Place Ale. We feel we're located in the most beautiful place in this area; we want to make sure what we do is sustainable," explains Emily Sanders, Restaurant Manager.

"The interior is spacious and relaxing," says Christina Lehman, Marketing Director for The Woodmark. "We're bringing in the water aspect with the artwork. We'll have patio seats in the summer. We want people to feel nourished inside and out. In French, "carillon" is bell, so we use a bell in our logo. We are inspired by our past: in the late 1800s this area was a shipyard. People cruised from here to Seattle." Frank adds, "Seattle has a food identity, but it's about the individual craftsman; we don't want to be New York or LA. We're trying to honor that."

Frank (photo below) has worked for Destination Hotels, now part of Two Roads Hospitality, for about two years now, starting with Resort at Squaw Creek in Lake Tahoe, and the Viceroy Hotels in Miami and Aspen. He grew up in Chicago. "Our Director of F&B, Jason Friendy knew Frank and had him out to cook for us," says Christina. "His food is fun, approachable, and innovative." Frank likes to take recognizable dishes, deconstruct, and change them to make something new. He wants people to know what something is, then get a good surprise with his twist. You'll be seeing some of these changes coming to bin on the lake and the Beach Café. "Now that we have new relationships with local producers, you'll see items on other menus becoming more local," says Frank. "We'll be amping up summer menus; upscaling the menu at Beach, while leaving it a casual atmosphere; and creating an amazing new happy hour at bin. Carillon Kitchen is here for our guests; it was designed for them, and it's a give-back. We're really excited to do this."

Carillon Kitchen
2240 Carillon Point
Kirkland WA 98033

Photos courtesy of Carillon Kitchen

Connie Adams/May 2017

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