First Time at Legendary Canlis
My gorgeous fiance told me to get gussied up last night for our anniversary and took me to dinner. I had a sneaking suspicion that Canlis would be the spot. And bingo; I was right! What a lovely and interesting experience: Spacious, high ceilings with NW wooden beams supported by piled rock pillars; an elegant room overlooking the twinkling lights around Lake Union. Very gracious service, but a tinge stuffy for my taste. Simple and very good menu. Wine list -- outrageous; it’s like an edition of War and Peace. Funnily enough, my fiancé brought a bottle of an 05 Chateau de Pavie with us, and thankfully they opened it (thank you Phillip Dunn). They have this rule that they won’t cork a wine that’s on their list…whew. Corkage was pretty crazy: $35, but better than spending the $1395 for the same bottle on their lst. Note to anyone who loves bubbly --- Krug by the glass!
Howard Schultz (Starbux) was in the room; and I don’t think I”ve EVER seen 5 runners deliver a dinner at once to a table in my life. Impressive. I watched to see if every table got that kind of service; and mostly they did send one runner per plate.
Now for the food:
Amuse: a thimble of pumpkin soup laced with a delicious drop of vanilla browned butter. Warming and lovely.
Apps: Crisped Foie Gras with a pear compote and a savory au jus syrup. Pretty presentation on a rectangular plate, lovely Fall pairing.
Canlis salad: most likely the most delicious salad we've ever had. Crisp romaine with bacon and salacious dressing of lemon, olive oil and coddled egg. The punctuation of fresh oregano was refreshing and nice. The menu said it also had fresh mint, but I missed that.
Filet: Nebraska, 21 year aged, grain fed. Nicely salted and perfectly seared MR with a confit of garlic. Oh yeah! Oh so simple, but perfect.
Ordered sides of the twice baked potatoes, which were slightly dry to me, but I loved the presentation in the tiny iron covered casserole dish. A lot of sour cream and crisped top. The wild mushroom side was gorgeous, melt in your mouth perfection.
Wild Mushroom Raviolli: I'm a FREAK for mushrooms and tend to order this dish everywhere I go (just had it at Joe's on Abbot Kinney in Santa Monica last week -- delicious by the way) . Canlis wins the prize in my mind for the most translucently perfect pasta I've ever seen. Medium sized pillows of ravioli nested in a smear of mascarpone and a slivered Portobello balanced atop. Yum.
We skipped dessert, but they did regale us with a ginger snap with a dollop of pumpkin chiffon of some sort and a little candle congratulating us on our anniversary.
Our waitress did loosen up at the end of the evening and showed a little personality; she was beautiful and became more delightful as the evening wore on.
We enjoyed watching an older perfectly coiffed woman who dined alone with her name "Betty" etched on her own champagne flute. One of the wait staff sat with her for a while; we wondered about her story.
The stemware is all quite beautiful, but it seemed that better tables were graced with better stemware.The terrace tables had great gooseneck decanters, but we watched one of the somms decant a bottle of rose with an aerator? We wondered about that too, but hey, wine is a never ending education, anyone know why that would happen?
All in all, I was thrilled to experience this legendary place. We ran upstairs to check out the bar before departing. Empty by 9 pm, but it was Halloween night. What a view. I'm sure this would be a lovely space for drinks another time. Krug by the glass!
2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
Betty is in her 80's, and has a standing 9:15 Saturday night reservation at Canlis. I am not sure how many years she has been coming, but it's been lots. She used to come with her husband Sam, who died a few years ago. Legend has it that the only time Betty misses a Saturday night is when she attends her high school reunion out of state.
2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109