When the weather report forecasts 100 percent chance of rain on a Saturday night, you can usually find me at home watching Netflix in bed. However, this past weekend, I found myself dining outdoors at the Olalla Vineyard and Winery. The special occasion? A pop-up dinner from Gig Harbor’s hotly anticipated Table 47.
More than a restaurant, Table 47 is part of a sustainable community movement. It’s slated to open in this fall at Ocean5, a “sustainable social hub” developed by founder, president, and CEO Troy Alstead. Named after it’s location on the 47th parallel, the farm-to-table menu will be based around seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms. Alstead, along with executive chef Ian Wingate and executive sous chef Doug Hudson, scoured the South Sound for Washington producers who share the Table 47 commitment to sustainable agriculture practices.
The pop-up was the first preview of the restaurant’s menu, and several of the farmers and producers were in attendance. In total, 19 farms supplied the ingredients for the multi-course meal.
The night began with cocktails from Heritage Distilling Company and wine from the Olalla Vineyard. Delightful small plates were passed to a group of 60 or so hungry and curious diners. The chatter of excited voices mixed with the pattering of rain made for a quintessential Washington evening.
Next, guests were ushered to a fully enclosed tent filled with two long communal tables. During the three courses, the room full of strangers connected over passionately prepared food that celebrated the Pacific Northwest. Wild huckleberries were picked by the chefs and used for the salad vinaigrette and garnish. The second course included a grilled meatloaf with beef from Webber’s Cattle, blended with wild mushrooms from Adam’s Mushrooms. The addition of mushrooms reduces meat consumption, promotes the practice of more sustainable eating, and elevates the humble meatloaf’s flavor. When Table 47 officially opens, all of its Wagyu beef burgers will be prepared with this method.
A standout dish was the grilled octopus (Fish Girl Seafood), served with smoked pork belly (Rusty Wheel Farm), cannellini beans, and baby kale. Another crowd favorite — apart from all of the wine — was the heirloom grits from Hummingbird Grains that tasted like fragrant, nutty wild rice — a near revelation after my previously over-buttery and mushy experiences with grits. Chef Ian divulged his preparation secret — cooking the grits in a broth made from the prepared chicken and adding a gremolata reduction, bacon fat, butter, and Parmesan.
Guests were treated to a coffee break from Fundamental Coffee Company before dessert. Chef Wingate’s culinary momentum continued through the final course, finishing with a flourless chocolate torte paired with refreshing local fruits, artisan brie, and authentic honeycomb.
“What makes good things happen? It starts with the people. It starts with the team,” said Alstead that evening. Indeed, the devoted Table 47 team prepared to provide their guests a magical experience, and they succeeded. Throughout the evening, Alstead gave praise for the farmers and partners involved — the foundation for ecological sustainability in the Pacific Northwest.
Guests left with full bellies, warm hearts, and new connections. We may not know when we’ll see each other again, but it most likely will be at Table 47 once it opens. Stay connected with Table 47 and make sure to visit the restaurant when it opens at the Olympic Towne Center in Gig Harbor.
Photos by Lia Lee