November 11, 2005
After my first visit on my birthday, I proceeded to go to Du Jour Bistro for lunch and dinner five times in 2 weeks. I've toned it down to once a week, but it certainly fits my "destination dining" criteria. I happily recommend this place. There are about 10 tables, and it remains cozy despite several tables next to the wine racks. I recommend reservations, but they are not usually necessary. The main reason I make reservations is to reserve Table #1 in the back corner. It is the coziest spot, but any of the three tables by the wall are your best bets.
The menu is posted on a blackboard at the front entrance. There are no printed menus, so you do need to use this to make your decision. But I usually perform an initial review, get settled at the table, order a beverage, and then go back if I can't decide the first time. The menu usually consists of two soups, two salads, three or four starters, and four or five entrees. The menu is tailored toward local and seasonal products. I do not have a favorite meal, because every one to date has been wonderful. However, I will make a recommendation as to the best value--the calzone with soup and salad, $8.95 for lunch and $10.95 for dinner. If you are not a wine drinker, ask about their seasonal ales, which are yummy. Save room for dessert, which is made from scratch and quite tasty. Because the menu changes daily, I feel hard-pressed to make specific recommendations, but they do have a sample menu on their website to give you an idea of the culinary bliss that awaits you.
Everyone I know refers to this place as "The Vines" because the restaurant is part of the wine store. I know next to nothing about wines, but it appears that they have a solid selection of foreign and domestic wines, including sections from the Northwest and under $12. You can enjoy a bottle of wine at retail price, plus a $5 corking fee, except on Tuesday, when the corking fee is waived. They also have about six wines available by the glass. I have decided to learn a bit more about wines, so I'm looking forward to their mini tasting sessions on the first and third Thursdays of the month - four wines and snacks for $5. They also have larger events throughout the year, so check the website for information.
The restaurant is located in downtown Bellingham, so street parking is your best bet. Despite driving a Mini, I have not gotten the hang of parallel parking, so I park in the Parkade on Commercial Street and get to the restaurant through the alley (this is Bellingham, so it's not as creepy as it sounds) between Cornwall and Commercial. The restaurant is 100% nonsmoking.
From journal Bellingham, on the way to somewhere else