Rotary’s Grape Escape returns bigger than ever

March 17, 2015

For the Rotary Club of Issaquah’s ninth annual Grape Escape, organizers didn’t see any need to fix what wasn’t broken.

“We’ve taken a proven formula and just reapplied it,” co-chairman Scott McKorkle said.

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New honey menu items create a buzz at WildFin

October 22, 2013

Little did Attila Szabo know the opportunity awaiting when he opened a WildFin American Grill in Issaquah in 2011.

The restaurant’s location proved ideal to pursue a growing passion for WildFin’s president — naturally harvested honey.

“My partner is a novice beekeeper,” Szabo said. “It’s amazing how different honey you harvest is from store bought.”

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WildFin opens new location in Renton

April 2, 2013

Issaquah’s restaurant WildFin American Grill is opening a new location in the Renton Landing on March 27.

WildFin has been serving Issaquah since 2011, boasting a menu full of local seafood and produce, offering a variety of foods traditional to the Pacific Northwest.

WildFin American Grill is open seven days a week. The dining room is open Monday through Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Weekend hours are Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Go to

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Issaquah Rotary Club’s Grape Escape grows in popularity

February 28, 2012

A vintner discusses his product with visitors to one of the previous Issaquah Rotary Grape Escape fundraisers. Contributed

Six years ago, the Rotary Club of Issaquah offered its first Grape Escape event. For four years, the event took place at one of the smaller venues in the local Hilton Garden Inn, said Rotarian and event chairman Scott McKorkle.

The event was conceived as a wine tasting. But the first events, while popular, featured only a handful of local wineries, maybe five or six, according to Lesley Austin, a Rotarian who has long been involved with the Grape Escape event.

How things change. Both McKorkle and Austin said the Rotary has put a major push behind Grape Escape, greatly expanding the offerings and tying it in with the Taste Our Town campaign featuring local restaurants, many of which will be represented at Grape Escape.

Proceeds from the evening will go to support the Rotary Club’s several charitable undertakings, most notably scholarships offered to students at Issaquah, Liberty and Tiger Mountain Community high schools.

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Mixologists create steamy cocktails, so toast to winter

February 21, 2012

Cold conditions call for fortifying cocktails, and Issaquah bartenders concoct winter warmers

Stacey Snowden, a Pogacha server, adds Captain Morgan Spiced Rum to hot buttered rum. By Greg Farrar

The season almost demands a nip to chase off the chill from snow-blanketed afternoons and rain-dampened nights. Fortunately, local mixologists offer tonics for unwelcome wintertime doldrums.

The solution is found in time-honored recipes — strong coffee and fragrant spices stirred into libations designed to melt the frost.

Chase Bruesch, a WildFin American Grill bartender, caramelizes sugar on a glass for Spanish coffee. By Greg Farrar

Denise Jordan, a longtime bartender at Pogacha, dips a dollop of secret-recipe hot buttered rum batter into Captain Morgan Spiced Rum for the adults-only indulgence.

“It makes you feel like you’re sitting at home in front of the fireplace,” said Stacey Snowden, a Pogacha server.

Jordan guards the batter recipe in the same manner KFC protects Colonel Sanders’ 11 herbs and spices.

“I don’t tell anybody my recipe,” she said.

David Boehm, a manager at WildFin American Grill, a recent addition to the local restaurant scene, said classic cocktails deliver for patrons as the mercury drops.

“What we’ve learned with our winter warmer drinks is, don’t reinvent the wheel,” he said.
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WildFin American Grill offers surf, turf options to reel in diners

October 25, 2011

The menu at WildFin American Grill roams across the landscape, and borrows from enough culinary traditions and trends to fill a Rand McNally atlas and a Zagat guide.

A kitchen toiling to round out such menus can often lose focus, although WildFin remains consistent — and excels.

WildFin offers surf-and-turf options dolled up in New American flourishes. The concept is not unique on the Issaquah restaurant scene, but WildFin puts a more memorable effort into execution.

The menu taps trends — such as small plates designed for sharing — to laudable effect.

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