Canlis Review: Best Restauarant In Seattle
When I booked my reservation for Canlis I was ready for excellence, but even with my initially high expectations, I was still blown away. Canlis is one of the most award-winning restaurants in the Northwest. It is ranked one of the top 20 restaurants in America by Gourmet Magazine. Every year since 1997, Canlis has been a recipient of the Wine Spectator Grand Award. They just won their first James Beard award this year too. Plus Chef Brady Anderson was just named one of the Best New Chefs 2018 by Food & Wine. That is an impressive list.
Based on how my vacation was laid out, I had room for one premium meal. I wrestled with where to go. Everything I have heard about June Baby is incredible, but Iiving in Nashville I have daily access to fantastic southern fare. I wanted something I couldn’t get at home, so I ended up going with the Godfather of the Seattle dining scene. Dining at Canlis is a decision that is impossible to regret.
We arrived at Canlis dressed to impress. Sidenote, men wear your suit coat the whole time, trust me on that. We arrived a bit early to grab a cocktail and really drink in the experience. After a cocktail with some fancy bar nuts and a melodic piano, we were seated in the VIP section with a stunning view of Lake Union. Although I still say the best view of the evening was my wife!
My wife is a vegetarian. I always try to accommodate her and make sure there are options for her. Most places do a great job and a few have not. Canlis really seemed to make it a point to have at least one veggie option for each course. They even worked around one of the appetizer bites and made a veggie version. That kind of attention to detail is very cool and worth a lot to me.
Even though there are four courses listed, you can really count it as eight courses, after all is said and done. There were two different appetizer dishes with a total of four bites and macaroons were served after dessert. Just when you think you're done, they bring you a cinnamon charred toothpick, dark chocolate, and some impressive matches that told a story of the original owner of the restaurant. I would also count the bread dish as a course. Sometimes I wonder with tasting menus if I will leave full, but this was never in question at Canlis.
For the first course, we had the summer squash and the Canlis salad. The summer squash had goat’s milk ricotta, sesame, hyssop, and albacore bottarga. The Canlis salad is the owners great grandmother’s recipe and has bacon, mint, and lemon. I will say that the mint in that salad made the dish pop and was spectacular.
Our second-course choices were the soured corn strascinati and the salmon. The soured corn strascinati had burnt wheat, basil, and goat cheese. This was my wife’s favorites bite of the night. The salmon was glazed in caramelized onion juice and grilled with peas and gari.
Course number three is the entree course. We went with the smoked carrots and the ribeye. The smoked carrots had onion jam, beans, and celeriac. The ribeye dish had spring onions with a sauce of grilled brassicas and preserved berry vinegar.
My favorite is always dessert and they closed really strong with the last course. My wife went with their timeless classic the soufflé. I stepped out of the box and went with the more modern rhubarb. The soufflé had orange curacao, creme anglaise, and warm madeleines. The rhubarb was beautifully plated abstractly with tarragon, white chocolate mousse, and black lime.
The food, service, and views were incredible, but it’s always the little details that are noticed and make Canlis one of the best restaurants in the country. Treating a little girl dining next to us as pleasure instead of an inconvenience when she spilled her water, ironing the tablecloths before the next seating, and pulling the table out for us when we were seated were just a few examples of the incomparable hospitality this restaurant provides.
Unexpectedly, we were offered a tour of the kitchen by one of the owners. It was such a treat to go behind the scenes and see where the magic happens. We even ran into the Chef and chatted a few minutes as well. Stopping by the large copper hood and wood grill was extra special. Getting a close up of the veggies and meat cooking up close is always fun.
I have eaten at some great places in the last couple years of this journey, but this memorable experience is one for the books! The food was incredible and the overall experience was first class. If you're in Seattle go immediatly or book a trip there after you get some reservations.
Additionally, if you are looking for some great coffee options in the land of Starbucks, the Emerald City’s coffee game is the cream of the crop or macchiato. Check out this stimulating article - Where to Drink the Best Coffee in Seattle. Just reading it will leave you jittery and jacked on caffeine. One other coffee shop I would add to the list is Anchorhead Coffee.