Bistro offers intimate dining

There’s a new bistro in Sumner, nestled next to a cascading waterfall, garden gazebo and a giant windmill that’s lit up with thousands of holiday lights. It’s Windmill Bistro, and it’s serving up a variety of breakfast and lunch entrees for a growing group of breakfast and lunch connoisseurs.

Carrie Boulet

Breakfast and lunch

guests have view to

tranquil gardens

There’s a new bistro in Sumner, nestled next to a cascading waterfall, garden gazebo and a giant windmill that’s lit up with thousands of holiday lights. It’s Windmill Bistro, and it’s serving up a variety of breakfast and lunch entrees for a growing group of breakfast and lunch connoisseurs.

The restaurant is located on the grounds of Windmill Gardens and is owned and operated by Specialty Restaurants Group, which also oversees the operations of Mama Sortini’s Italian Restaurant in Puyallup, said general manager Tiana Brown.

“This is an intimate and quiet setting,” Brown said of its location. “It’s right in the middle of all this beauty.”

Brown and her staff have expanded that beauty inside the former farm house that was once home-sweet-home to the Sandland family a century ago. Its main floor features a gas fireplace, antiques and windows overlooking the gardens and Main Street. A cast-iron stair rail features sculpted iron clusters of grapes and helps guide small groups of guests to its upstairs loft for private parties.

“We also feature a bridal suite upstairs,” she said, which helps bridal parties preparing for the big day.

Executive Chef John Spearman, who also oversees the operations of Mama Sortini’s, created the bistro’s menu.

“He’s got a great, big personality and he teaches our staff,” she said of his culinary skills.

Spearman focuses on locally-grown foods.

“It’s a Northwest fresh bistro,” she said of its menu selections. “We try to use as many local products as we can. In the spring we use strawberries from Spooner Farms; we order produce from Duck Produce in Sumner and we choose wines produced in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California.

“John’s specialty is the salmon,” she said. “He can make salmon a hundred different melt-in-your-mouth ways.”

Other Spearman-influenced creations include curried chicken and walnut croissants and marinated chicken on skewers. The bistro also prides itself on specialty desserts, such as its strawberry-rhubarb homemade cobbler in season and its fresh pumpkin cheesecake. For its breakfast items, Spearman’s Dungeness crab cake benedict is a hands-down favorite, Brown said.

With a menu offering more than 30 selections, the restaurant has quickly become a favorite for locals – from golfers to “husbands escaping the nursery experience,” Brown joked. “We’ve established so many regulars – we know them all by first names.”

With a garden setting, Northwest-influenced menu selections and a staff that knows its guests by their first names, Brown is confident the business will continue to become a favorite local bistro.

“It’s such a beautiful place to look at the gardens,” she said. “We have a very friendly staff and a cozy fireplace. It’s just a nice place to come, relax and enjoy the scenery.”

Windmill Bistro is at 16009-A 60th Street E. in Sumner. It is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for lunch only on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and serves breakfast and lunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Groups of six or more are encouraged to call ahead for reservations or to reserve the upstairs loft. The restaurant offers gift certificates. Its phone is 253-926-7897 and its Web site is www.windmillbistro.com.

Reach Judy Halone at jhalone@courierherald.com or 360-802-8210.

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