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Union, Canlis, or Crush.

john rambo Sep 19, 2007 10:45 AM

Anniversary blowout meal. Both intrepid omnivores. Which, and why? Other recommendations perhaps?

TIA John Rambo

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  1. h
    howard 1st RE: john rambo Sep 19, 2007 10:57 AM

    crush - horribly trendy - the servers are hot but the food isn't
    canlis - living on its reputation since the world's fair (don't ask which one...)
    union - still one of the best restaurants in the pacific northwest - run, do not walk...

    OR invite 6 friends and get chiang's gourmet or yea's wok or imperial garden to do a banquet for you with at least 2 days lead time.

    happy anniversary!

    1. barleywino RE: john rambo Sep 19, 2007 11:18 AM

      all are good options for your occasion imo (i used to be skeptical of Crush but they have improved with the addition of new chefs to the point that their food now lives up to the buzz, imo; PS they have a special tasting menu tomorrow only) If you want blowout, you can always reserve the upstairs private room at Herbfarm (or go with the communal table for a more social experience)

      4 Replies
      1. re: barleywino
        john rambo RE: barleywino Sep 19, 2007 11:22 AM

        no herbfarm--too much theatrics from the old posts. right now union sounds like a winner. what about rover's?

        1. re: john rambo
          barleywino RE: john rambo Sep 19, 2007 11:29 AM

          I find Rover's to be overpriced and not as creative as (say) Crush, not to mention very stilted atmosphere. I don't find Union to be as interesting foodwise as it used to be (and the atmosphere is pretty dead as well although not as dead as Rover's.) I find Herbfarm pretty amusing actually and the food can be great, worth experiencing once at least.

          1. re: john rambo
            howard 1st RE: john rambo Sep 19, 2007 03:14 PM

            i understand rover's has converted to upscale catering and is open only occasionally or to special order. i am old enough to prefer dining in venues where tables are far enough apart and the sound ambiance is low enough to allow for unshouted conversation; many younger folk define this as dull or stilted but i find it ideal; the words exchanged over the plates are as essential to the event's success as the actual food or service - "better bread served with love than meat with disdain"

            1. re: howard 1st
              barleywino RE: howard 1st Sep 19, 2007 04:11 PM

              howard, you are our Poet Laureate ;)

        2. c
          cocktailhour RE: john rambo Sep 19, 2007 03:21 PM

          Crush. Creative, delicious, and interesting. My last two meals at Union--atmosphere dead and food beyond underwhelming. In the last 4 months.

          1. q
            qalaur RE: john rambo Sep 20, 2007 07:35 AM

            Crush - Been three times, completely blew me away with the creativity. If you want even the tiniest bit of romance though, this is NOT the place - there are about 8 inches between tables.
            Union - Ate once in the dining room and once in the bar, very impressed each time. Small portions, which I love because it means you get to try more.
            Canlis - eehhhh. I agree with Howard about how it is coasting on its rep. It's perfectly servicable, but up against Crush and Union it seems stodgy and overpriced.
            Rover's - I love Rover's, but will concede that it is not as creative as Union or Crush. Very quiet atmosphere, classic French ridiculous expensive.
            Herbfarm - No. Just... no.

            4 Replies
            1. re: qalaur
              barleywino RE: qalaur Sep 20, 2007 09:07 AM

              qalaur, what don't you like about Herbfarm (cost aside)? Just curious (i think the food there, when chef Traunfeld is in, can be as good or better than anything to be found in Seattle) Of course there are many opinions on the subject http://www.chowhound.com/topics/380332

              1. re: barleywino
                qalaur RE: barleywino Sep 20, 2007 10:09 AM

                I've only been once, and I always feel bad judging a place on only one trip, but it was completely underwhelming. Our menu theme was truffles (which was the main reason I went when I did), and they told us over and over again how poor the truffle "crop" had been. So my first thought was, um then don't do a truffle theme? Everything on the menu was good, but it felt like they were pulling out classics from the past and just shaving truffles on top. Nothing was driven by the truffles and it made for a pretty pedestrian dining experience.
                And many, many points off for that crazy room. I was not prepared for the knick knack and floral curtain explosion. I get that it's part of the whole identity of the place, it just felt so bizarre to be sitting in grandma's living room while spending $400 on dinner. I have no problem paying big for a good meal, but I've just had far better for far less. And yes, Traunfeld was in.

                1. re: qalaur
                  barleywino RE: qalaur Sep 20, 2007 10:33 AM

                  Sorry to hear that. I think we spent about $180 plus tax/tip, per person (including the matching wines). I guess since the menu changes monthly, it may depend when you go what kind of experience you have. The room is weird but the company at the communal table was good.

              2. re: qalaur
                barleywino RE: qalaur Sep 21, 2007 12:29 PM

                Crush is revamping some of their menu to revolve around the Armando Manni olive oils which they are starting to feature (along with other selected restaurants worldwide)http://www.manni.biz/w2d3/v3/view/man... the onaga (Hawaiian snapper) w/ cumin brandade, melon soup w/ caviar, hamachi crudo and marinated scallops w/ crispy chanterelles and lobster/corn ravioli are all excellent if you find them offered

              3. t
                tinaweha RE: john rambo Sep 23, 2007 03:34 PM

                Canlis was good until they took out the piano bar. Peter is rolling over in his grave.

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