Destination Dining: Deborah Taylor and Scott Ross moved to the Olympic Peninsula to open Finistère, where they serve impeccable, delicious food.

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QUAINT, BUSTLING Port Townsend doesn’t feel quite like “the end of the Earth,” which is the translation of the Latin root of Finistère, the name Deborah Taylor and Scott Ross chose for their new restaurant, but it is a terminus of sorts on the Olympic Peninsula’s extreme northeastern edge.

Capt. George Vancouver thought Port Townsend a safe harbor when he named it in 1792. Nineteenth-century optimism that the town would become the West Coast’s primary seaport led to its nickname, “City of Dreams.” For Taylor and Ross, Port Townsend is still a city of dreams. It’s where they’ve chosen to plant themselves, raise a family and cultivate a place in the community.

Taylor and Ross, both 35, arrived there by a route that was serendipitous, though not entirely random. Taylor hails from Gainesville, Fla., where she studied horticulture before heading to the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park to pursue a career as a chef. After graduation, she moved to New York City and built a fine-dining resume that includes Eleven Madison Park and Per Se.

Ross, the son of a Navy pilot, grew up “everywhere,” he says, but his family has ties to Seattle that go back seven generations to John Ross, one of Fremont’s pioneers. Scott Ross was working in restaurants and pursuing an acting career in New York when he met Taylor in a bar on the city’s Upper West Side in 2010. Two years later, they moved to Seattle. Golden Gardens Park was the site of their wedding. Ross found front-of-the-house positions at Tilth and Goldfinch Tavern. Taylor became executive sous chef under Jason Franey at Canlis, then executive chef at Ethan Stowell’s Staple & Fancy. By then their son, Liam, had arrived.

Having a child spurred them to make their dream of owning a restaurant a reality.

“We looked everywhere in Washington and even in Oregon, hoping to put down roots and buy land,” Ross says. Memories of his childhood summers spent at Fort Worden drew them to Port Townsend, as did the peninsula’s network of farmers and food artisans. The presence of their close friends, artist Thya Merz and musician Bill Brennan, who had moved from New York in 2014, was another plus. In the way of small towns, word-of-mouth led them to a real estate broker, who happened to know that the owner of Sweet Laurette Cafe was thinking of selling her 16-year-old restaurant now that her children were grown. She hoped it would go to another young family just starting out.

They closed the deal on July 6 and scrambled to renovate so they could open in time to capture some of the summer tourist trade. It was a family effort. Ross and his dad, Stephen, built the bar and laid the honeycomb tile floor. Even Sweet Laurette’s former sous chef, Eileen Skidmore, picked up a hammer and pitched in. (She’s now Finistère’s sous chef.)

Finistère opened its sage-green doors to the public on Sept. 6. Merz’s moody landscapes hang above the gray wainscoting, splashes of bold color in the otherwise demure dining room. Fresh flowers dress up the pale maple tabletops that Stephen Ross crafted from a stash of maple milled at the Issaquah wood shop of Grandpa “Woody” Ross, an ex-lineman for Puget Sound Energy. But it is Taylor’s food that commands your attention.

Her impeccably executed dishes mix Italian, French and Spanish vernaculars. They aren’t flashy or trendy, just straight-up delicious. She models her $50 tasting menu after the one at Staple & Fancy: a cascade of small bites for openers, followed by a pasta, a meat or seafood entree and dessert. It’s a value for diners who don’t mind ceding decision-making to the chef. But Taylor wants Finistère to be as much a neighborhood restaurant as a destination, so there are ample a la carte choices, and the small pig she butchers weekly leads to daily specials involving sausage, pork rillettes and meatballs.

The night I was there, the tasting menu started with Blue Pool oysters on the half shell from nearby Lilliwaup, creamy ham croquettes, crostini with chicken liver mousse and red onion jam, and sweet-tart vegetable escabeche topped with a single Taylor Shellfish mussel on a crisp buckwheat crepe. There was also a striking, jewel-toned salad of dandelion greens, golden beets and candy-striped Chioggias in huckleberry vinaigrette; delicate pan-seared gnocchi luxuriously laced with duck confit, Nicoise olives and Swiss chard; a well-crusted steak with grilled maitake mushrooms; and seared coho salmon bedded on sofrito with chickpeas and kale. The chocolate torte with pistachios was so good, we ordered a second.

In Seattle, Taylor and Ross used to split their schedule to be with Liam, now 3 years old. Working together is new for them. Liam goes to morning preschool and spends afternoons at the restaurant, where he gets to make pasta with Mom, something she loves to do. The restaurant is a block from the farmers market in a complex with a courtyard and patio. Taylor already has plans for spring planting. Those environmental horticulture classes weren’t for naught.

On Mondays and Tuesdays, when the restaurant is closed, it’s available for pop-ups. One Tuesday last November, their brunch cook, Kai Dakers, and his brothers did a ramen pop-up to benefit Mercy Corps’ hurricane relief efforts. The event sold out.

“Deb got to sit in her dining room with her son and eat handmade noodles from Kai’s family’s handmade Japanese bowls,” says Ross. Sounds like a dream come true.