Two years ago, Norman and Kristen Six sold their thriving Chicago restaurant and headed home-Norman grew up just east of Colville-with hopes of replicating their success in a smaller community.
More important was their desire to get back to the basics. "We wanted to buy produce from the farmers at our local market, and know the rancher who supplies our grass-fed beef," Norman says.
"And we hoped to grow our own herbs and greens," adds Kristen, who manages the front of the house. "We looked at towns all along the Washington and northern Oregon coasts, but so many are 'T-shirty'-we wanted the real deal."
They found it here in northeast Washington, where the pace is easy, the people are friendly, and, as we're about to discover, the produce is bountiful.
"Just feed us," we say, as we settle in at our porch table and await the parade of seasonal, regionally inspired dishes, each one painstakingly prepared.
We begin with buttery chive crackers, whose imperfect edges attest to their hand-rolled origin, topped with house-smoked wild salmon. Summer-fresh salads follow, overflowing with heirloom tomatoes and mixed greens, picked from the Sixes' own garden and sprinkled with goat cheese fetched by Kristen that morning from the farm across the valley.
Chef Norman smokes the ham for his hand-pinched raviolis himself and roasts peaches from local farms alongside the garlic- and oregano-rubbed chicken (pastured by a supplier down the road).
We're more than pleasantly stuffed-but can't resist dessert, which arrives with a flourish of chocolate and fresh berries.