Located in the heart of Woodinville's wine country, the Red Hook Brewery building has long been a place for the community to come together.
"Anybody who has lived here for the past 30 or 40 years has come to Redhook and had a beer at some point, watched a movie. The place was empty for a while and, to me, it feels pretty special to have the community come back," said Jason Gorski, Director of Winemaking and Viticulture at DeLille Cellars.
Now, this stunning space is the home of The Lounge at DeLille Cellars. The restaurant is a fitting next step for a winery that's been a staple in Washington state for more than 30 years, especially since its tasting room is right next door.
"The thing I think is most exciting to me as someone who has been at DeLille for ten years now is that we're able to provide a different experience," said Gorski. "It's great to go to the tasting room and be pampered in a way. It's a really elevated experience. But here, it's just very comfortable and it's a great space to spend time in and enjoy food."
The Lounge offers beer, seltzer, even cider, but, as you might imagine, wine is a centerpiece of the experience. Gorski tells me the goal is to showcase some of the French wines that serve as inspiration for DeLille.
"One of the things that we're really trying to encompass with this space is that sense of exploration. Our wine list is catered to not only have our own wines, but also the wines of the old world, the wines that have been made for thousands of years prior to DeLille ever being founded. So (we hope to) open people's eyes. Go experiment and explore," explained Gorski.
While the wine program allows for exploration, the menu at The Lounge is focused on the familiar.
"I wanted to give customers the food they're used to from us. It's comfortable, it's recognizable and it's specifically paired to go with the wines," said Michael Toni, executive chef of The Lounge at DeLille Cellars.
Toni has worked closely with DeLille Cellars for some two decades. That intimate knowledge allows him to create dishes that are both delicious and designed to work in tandem with the wines.
"I've gotten really good with the experience of pairing specific wines. Then having the resources in-house to speak with the winemaker and the team that produces it here (allows us) to really nail the pairings. It's taken a long time to get it, but it's probably the most exciting thing I've done in my career," said Toni.
"Sometimes I get a text from chef saying this is what I'm going to do. What do you think? And he's nailed it," added Gorski. "Sometimes we sit down and we have a beer and we talk about it. It's very collaborative, but it's amazing, chef really does understand our wines."
Everything at The Lounge is made in-house, from fresh pasta to the French fries featured in staples dishes like the steak frites and duck poutine. While out of the massive deck folks can enjoy fresh air and a menu of crowd pleasing bites.
"The deck is awesome during the summer when the weather is really nice. We have a different menu for the deck. It's a little more casual with brisket nachos that we smoke in-house. We do our sticky wings that are done in-house, some really nice salads and our chicken sandwich," explained Toni. "Then the dining room, if you want to come in at 3, 4 o'clock for some nibbles or you want to come in for the meal of the week on Friday night, Saturday night, we'll deliver that too."
Yes, The Lounge at DeLille Cellars is a gather place, just as the building was for many years before. It's a comfortable spot for folks to stop in and enjoy the perfect pairing, award-winning wine and thoughtfully prepared food.
"We want to wow (our guests). We want to wow them. That's the goal every time," said Toni. "We want them to come back and spend many nights with us and we want them to feel at home, but the main thing is we want to wow them."