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Canlis dinner--any advice? (Seattle)

We have reservations for Wednesday night. Any suggestions for what to order or avoid would be appreciated. The restaurant's hype says they wereone of the first to refine Northwest Cusine as an entity--is this just puffing or is there some truth to it? I think I've heard of it before as a famous, tradition like Galiatore's in New Orleans or Chez Panisse.

I wanted to go to Herbfarm but couldn't get in for that night, and we didn't want to chance not getting into some of the hipper places like Lark, Tilth or Sitka and Spruce, since they don't seem to take reservations.

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  1. Canlis is not particularly cutting edge anymore, but their Wagyu beef is good (assuming you don't order it well-done, which would be a waste ;). Also their truffle fries. I don't think they offer the lobster claw app anymore, otherwise I would say get it. If you're more in the mood for seafood, but similar type of piano-bar ambiance (slightly less swanky), you might consider a window table at Waterfront Grill.

    1 Reply
    1. re: barleywino

      call and see if you can have a better restaurant deliver some real food. Rovers!

    2. I would skip the tasting menu-I wasn't really impressed with it, and there are so many places that do it better. If I go again I would get the beef and the Canlis salad, since I've heard so many good things about both of them. This thread might help with other choices:


      1. i had their famous beef tartare and was worshipping the porcelain goddess later that night - avoid this dangerous bacteria factory! btw, even before katrina, galatoire's had stepped over to the dark side (frozen and boxed food in imitation of what was once a wonderful restaurant); it was the last of the famous quarter restaurants to succumb to the easy tourist dollar. chez panisse remains glorious (and impossible to get into...)

        1. I'll second the truffle fries. Their oyster selections are generally a good bet too. On a recent visit the Filet Mignon beat out the Wagyu. I tried the lamb chops which were divine - served rare and perfectly salted.

          I found their salads to be a little tired in terms of innovation, although why mess with the old standard that is the Canlis salad. Meats are good quality, so you really can't go wrong.

          Sure - Canlis is not exactly cutting edge, but it is consistent and tasty. You get what you pay for - great quality and service.

          1. There's truth to it. Canlis is Old School and still fantastic. It's not trendy like the other places you've mentioned, but that's why I like it. The food is always good. The truffle fries are a must, and I can't recommend the crab cake enough. They also have really delicious--and fairly innovative--cocktails.

            1 Reply
            1. re: spudsocks

              we were up in seattle last week for a meeting, and we had to go to Canlis cuz of very fond memories of my wife's aunt of the old canlis on ohau. I had no expectations and I have to say that the food was experptly prepared. We did have oysters, the canlis salad for old times sake, a scallop app. turned into an entree and halibut. It may not have been that cutting edge, but the professionalism of the wait staff was something that I miss all too often these days.

            2. When you go to Canlis, you are paying for the experience. The waitstaff seems so on top of it. You are never without a roll, when you have used one fork, another fork "magically" appears, and your car is warm and ready for you when you leave. As far as the food is concerned, The Pruicutto wrapped Ahi was AMAZING...perfectly seared. As for dessert, I would recommend the Chocolate mousse with carmalized bannana, The wine list are impecable and they have a great selection of Washingotn Wines.

              1. Ms Verde,
                Can you report on how your experience was?

                1 Reply
                1. re: LFP

                  Well, we were very happy. The view was stunning and the food was very good. Maybe not the most outstanding meal we've ever had, but I wasn't disappointed. It was a memorable meal. Foie gras with charred pineapple was perfectly cooked and seasoned and the Dungeness crabcake was full of sweet crabmeat. They split our Canlis salad without being asked, and we both enjoyed its twist on ceasar salad. My friend was very pleased with the freshwater prawn scampi, and I enjoyed trying the Waygu ribeye. My only complaint was that the steak was not any better than ones I have had at Ruth Chris for $30 less. (I won't begrudge our occasional visit to Ruth's, now.) That is not to say that the steak was not delicious, only that it was not worth the extra price. I wanted to try it and now I have! I do wish now that I had taken a greater risk and left the steaks behind altogether, based on the sucess of the other dishes. No, it is not particularly cutting edge, but it was a delicious meal that dripped class and tradition. Sometimes that's what the occasion calls for. This is the place to go to celebrate a milestone, a 21st birthday, college graduation, passing the Bar exam, etc.. Oh, and yes, they had the car waiting for us!