Acqua Via Restaurant

500 Capitol Way S, Olympia

“An alchemy of old-world inspirations, local produce and Pacific Northwest sensibilities” is an apt description of Acqua Via in downtown Olympia, as proudly stated on the wine list created by the restaurant’s sommelier.

Everything about Acqua Via, from its décor to its menu and flavor profiles, reflects this blend of traditional and contemporary loyalties. Will Taylor, head chef since age 20 of the family-owned Acqua Via, not only uses fresh local organic produce in his dishes, but has developed a strong relationship with Kirsop Farm in Tumwater so that his produce is grown by someone he knows and trusts.

The result is a selection that complements Northwest favorites, such as seared day boat scallops with unexpected flavors, such as kaffir lime vinaigrette. Every dish reflects Chef Will’s creativity and influences from various cuisines such as American, French and Asian.

“That’s what it is to be a chef in America now—combining flavors from all over the world,” says Chef Will, whose culinary skills are self-taught as a family tradition.

Owned by his father, along with Water Street Café, Acqua Via is Chef Will’s vision of “elevating rustic flavors.” While offering a few continuing dishes, the menu changes weekly to take advantage of the freshest flavors from Kirsop Farm and to showcase seasonal flavors, even offering original seasonal cocktails. The wine list is a combination of foreign, domestic and Washington wines, with more than a half dozen that are also organic.

Enjoy lunch or dinner and watch the world rush by as you sip a glass of Washington wine, such as The Velvet Devil merlot. Relax in the country bistro atmosphere: rustic lighting, wood floors and furniture, crisp white linens, contemporary art, and a staff as dedicated to the farm-fresh organic food philosophy as the chef. KIMBERLY KETCHAM