Truffles by the Sea opens on Peace Portal Drive

Published on Thu, Nov 27, 2003
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Truffles by the Sea opens on Peace Portal Drive

Fate is a funny thing. Several months ago, Marienes Johnson found herself in a business deal gone sour, and decided to move her planned seaside restaurant in Birch Bay to a Blaine building that used to house an old pizza place. It was a hesitant move at first, but within a few weeks, she realized Blaine was the place to be.

Johnson, owner of the newly opened Truffles by the Sea at 442 Peace Portal Drive, has dreamed of owning her own restaurant for many years. She�s created everything from the linens over the windows to the almond pastries in the oven, and said she wouldn�t have it any other way. �It�s been up and down.

It�s been a big challenge, but it only gives me more and more energy to keep going. I am always having new ideas,� Johnson said. �I want to see the clients happy. I want to see people looked after. The whole package is very important to me.�

First class service is what she and the staff intend to provide, as well as the best tasting foods and an affordable bill at the end of the meal. �We want the patrons to enjoy the environment and the food,� Johnson said. �I�ve worked so hard, spent so much time and money. I�m here now, so I�m not going anywhere but that way,� Johnson continued, pointing up.

Truffles by the Sea will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving everything from a morning muffin topped with whipped cream to a fresh seafood of the day dish. All of the dishes are made in house from scratch, something the staff at Truffles is proud of.

Now open for more than two weeks, Johnson said business has been good so far.�I wasn�t even open for business yet and people were walking in,� she said. �The other day, it was a Wednesday, and we served 65 meals.�

The restaurant seats 70 comfortably, and Johnson said she could fit more but she wants the customers to feel comfortable. �This place created new things for me,� Johnson said. �I like the space. I could have put more people in here, but we want our patrons to be comfortable.�

She has made customers so happy in fact, that one man stood up after dinner (during one of her first evenings in business) and praised her.

�She�s getting standing ovations,� manager Linda Smith said of Johnson. �We had one gentleman in who said he travels all over the world, and by far these were the best lamb chops he�s ever had in his life.�

The breakfast menu features eggs Benedict and muffins of all sorts, and should you wish to stop in for a morning latte or mocha, Johnson invites you to. �Absolutely, people can come in for a cup of coffee or just a muffin. Whatever they�d like.�

The lunch menu, which falls between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., has an array of salads, soups and sandwiches, including a delicious tuna melt and a one-of-a-kind roast beef dip with French bread. The menu also touts cream of carrot soup, clam chowder and classic French onion.

Dinner starts at 5 p.m. and patrons can choose from several dishes of meats, seafood and pasta. The wine selection consists of Washington and California wines, as well as creations from her home country of Chile. �These are all wines that are on the market for between $12 and $13 a bottle,� she said.

For those seeking just a drink for the evening � perhaps a martini � Truffles by the Sea has a separate section for those wishing to hang and sip for a while. �Every night will be martini night,� Johnson joked. �The bar area will have its own menu, and its own service.�

Should you save enough room for dessert, and you should, the dessert menu has a listing of hot apple crumble and truffled chocolate cake to start. Fresh ice cream, pastries, and other dessert creations are also available.

�I love the presentation. To me that�s very important,� Johnson said.�I love this, it�s been a passion all my life.�

In addition to the excellent food, patrons can hear the musical sounds of Madera Dulece, a duo specializing in jazz, Latin and classical music. �They have followed me since my other location in Birch Bay and asked to be exclusive to Truffles by the Sea,� Johnson said. �They will perform each Friday and Saturday night between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. People love them. It�s very soft music. Very nice for the evening.�

Truffles by the Sea will be open Tuesday through Sunday, closed Monday. �We�re getting a lot of reservations already,� Johnson said. �And the hours, those are up to the patrons.�

And she wants you to know that although they may not be serving between 3 and 5 p.m., patrons are more than welcome to stop in for a cup of coffee and a pastry.

Truffles by the Sea can be reached at 332-2528.