Don't let the name Keenan's (which sounds like it could be an Irish pub but is really the namesake of the newish owner) fool you: this place offers fresh New American/Pacific Northwest fare in a spa setting (the Crysalis Hotel) overlooking picturesque Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands. Enjoy a craft mixed drink with homemade shrub and bitters, a reasonably priced glass (or bottle!) of champagne or simply a domestic beer from the tap as you sit either inside the sunny restaurance or outside on the patio as you gaze at the ships coming and going.
It doesn't matter the season you come, there will always be fresh, local options on the menu. I've been to this restaurant over a dozen times and the only time I was disappointed was when the chef tried his hand at an old-school '30-second cake" (think: cake mix microwaved in a coffee cup). Every other time we've enjoyed fresh food such as salads that are made to order with just the right herb combinations, flavor profiles and homemade dressings tossed on them. Or delicious brunch fare that's a cut above; this last time was a very savory but light eggs benedict that had toasted pecans on top and somehow tasted like Thanksgiving on the plate without being weird. Or then there's the hamburger that the chef calls "just a regular burger" but with it's selection of kobe beef, chicken breast or quinoa yam patty is anything but ordinary. My personal favorite though is the steamed clams in white wine served with toasted sourdough bread and mixed greens on the side.
Whenever we go, we see ladies lunching, couples from the hotel, business guys enjoying a beer after a round of golf or just local people like us enjoying a mini-spa escape. Kids are warmly welcomed and there is plenty of indoor and patio seating, but remember where you are, one of the nicest spas in town with top views of the bay at a chef-in-residence 5-star restaurant and the $$ price won't surprise or annoy you. Enjoy!
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