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Rookie of the Year — Washington 

Washington, on Mt. Washington, mixes an upscale vibe with neighborhood comforts and quirky surprises

LOUISA MORATTI
  • Louisa Moratti

Washington, on Mt. Washington, mixes an upscale vibe with neighborhood comforts and quirky surprises

Washington Dining & Cocktails is the Source Weekly's pick for Rookie of the Year, largely in part because owner Ted Swigert and his top-notch team are experts when it comes to creating an enjoyable dining and drinking atmosphere. In the case of Washington, that involves mixing a high-end experience with the comfort of a neighborhood joint.

Swigert says the new location, located on Mt. Washington Drive in Bend's NorthWest Crossing community, has already garnered a reputation for having a Cheers-like feel, with regulars who come in two and three times a week. Having opened only in August 2016, that's quite an accomplishment, which Swigert attributes to the restaurant's outstanding hospitality.

"We maintain that neighborhood feel through our great customer service," Swigert says. "The team knows each of the customers' names and what their special requests are, like where they like to sit and what they like to order."

LOUISA MORATTI
  • Louisa Moratti

Also the owner of Drake in downtown Bend, Swigert knew that because of its location, Washington would need to appeal to two seemingly contradictory demographics: families with children and empty nesters or those without children. Offering an inclusive food menu and a unique cocktail program paired with upscale decor and plenty of space did the trick—an impressive achievement for any restaurant and bar.

click to enlarge LOUISA MORATTI
  • Louisa Moratti

Swigert characterizes Washington's menu as seasonally inspired, creative neighborhood cuisine. Customers can expect to find delicious but approachable food choices, including some cool old-school numbers such as the bacon crusted bison meatloaf, Dungeness crab Louie and the delectable double cheeseburger. The health conscious and athletic set gets a nod with the menu's "Garden Party" section, which offers up a variety of salads, including the popular Washington power salad with spinach, nuts, seeds, quinoa, crunchy vegetables and the option for added avocado and bacon.

Washington also has a special treat for families with young ones. Swigert says, "Our children's menu is called a bento box. The kids get to pick their own protein, starch and vegetable, and each meal comes with a house-made dessert. It's been a smash hit with both kids and parents."


click to enlarge LOUISA MORATTI
  • Louisa Moratti

The bar area of the restaurant offers respite for those looking to enjoy some down time, seating 25 people inside and out. "It's a great casual place for people to hang out and enjoy their favorite spirit or beer and sit for a while," says Swigert. While Bend is known for its beer, Washington also deals in "therapeutic libations" of all kinds—as evidenced by the neon sign that hangs over the bar announcing, "Liquid Therapy Served Here."

One of their most popular and unique drinks is the duck fat Sazerac, which requires a five-day prep time. Additional cocktail options include the Bohemian and the Sassy Local, and they even offer two bottled cocktails—angry apple and gin and juice—better known as "bottled therapy," created under their own label. It's no surprise to find that the restaurant prides itself on being quirky.

"We like to be a little on the odd side," says Swigert. "We don't take ourselves too seriously because it's supposed to be an enjoyable experience for people—and that's how we like to keep it."

Washington Dining & Cocktails

900 NW Mt. Washington Dr., Bend

Mon-Fri 11am-9pm; Sat-Sun 11am-10pm

541-640-8257

WashingtonBend.com


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