You get first class food, wine and terrific ambiance at Seattle’s Canlis Restaurant.
The venue was the Canlis Restaurant, perched on a hill with views of Seattle’s Lake Union, sail boats, the space needle, and the majestic Cascades Mountains.
We were warmly greeted by Mark Canlis who, along with his brother Brian, are the key management team. These young men have done a good job of maintaining the high standards that their dad Peter Canlis started in 1950. In fact, the family roots in food go back to President Teddy Roosevelt hiring Peter’s grandfather as the head cook for a safari.
Our summer evening featured various wines from British Columbia, including ones from Quail’s Gate, Mission Hill, and Blue Mountain in the Okanagan Valley. The sparkling wine served as we chatted with fellow guests went well with Chef Jason Franey’s appetizers. Friendly and efficient waiters worked the room with trays of appetizers, wine and a special cocktail of gin, strawberries garnished with little flowers floating in the glass.
Chef Jason has been working in food industry since he was 15 and spent some years working with some elite restaurants in Manhattan. We certainly enjoyed the fruits of his labor. A favorite was crab legs with a light cream sauce. Next was the delightful fresh smoked Copper River Salmon. Our absolute favorite, however, was the Peach Gazpacho served in small crockery bowls. On this warm summer evening, the chilled soup tasted refreshing. The soup’s cucumber base with crème fraiche gave it a perfect, creamy texture and the light peach flavor tasted so good I flagged down a server six times for another sample.
Soon time for a sit down dinner with our hosts from British Columbia. I ordered the Braised Beef Short Rib, which had soft texture and rich taste. My wife’s pan seared halibut was cooked to perfection and garnished with taggiasca olives. I sneaked a bite off her plate and the savory flakes of fish rolled on my tongue. It was so good I tried doing it again, but my wife said no.
The evening was winding down and we finished with “The Prefect Trio,” — crème brulee, caramel mousse, and a passion fruit tart. We had a long debate about which was our favorite, but there is no doubt that this evening was the perfect trio of great food, good service, and terrific ambiance. – by Michael Fagin, RFT Contributor