06/21/2012Provided by Citysearch -
Overall, three stars. Food: OK, but nothing amazing. View/setting/atmosphere on the back patio overlooking the canal: now that rates five stars. Service: two stars.
Interesting currents at play here. Today was a nice, sunny day here in Seattle so when we made a reservation, we requested a table on the back patio. When we were initially seated, I lost myself in looking at the boats floating by on the canal, the lovely strip of herb garden just on the other side of the fence, and the overall relaxed yet upscale outdoor atmosphere. When we were seated with drinks in hand, our server called out the specials and one of them was Copper River king salmon for $48. Unfortunately, they also had Copper River sockeye salmon on the regular menu for $21, so it cannibalized the special a bit. The server explained away the HUGE price difference, saying that the sockeye was frozen (which kind of detracts from their menu overall, to my mind).
Our server was perfectly lovely, however the service timing was pretty slow. When I started to pay attention mid-meal, I made sure to time dessert and it was about a half-hour from when desert menus hit the table to when we actually placed our dessert order. Great if you're having a leisurely dinner with compatriots, but drags on if you have somewhere to be after your meal.
We started with the Dungeness Crab Spring Rolls with sweet chili sauce. Absolutely the standout of the meal. I would go and get a full order of these for dinner next time.
Next up, I ordered the Grilled Alaska Halibut (English pea risotto, grilled Yakima asparagus, piquillo pepper relish). I requested the halibut done well, and while it had a nice flavor the texture was not quite what I would consider well-done - more like medium. It indeed came with asparagus. One thick stalk. One. Huh. The portion of asparagus was dwarfed by the generous piece of halibut and put the aesthetics of the dish all out of sorts (if you're into that kind of thing). The risotto, while a bit buried by the slab 'o' halibut, was really nicely done. Creamy, flavorful and the slight pop of the fresh Spring peas studding it was a great complement.
Finally, the long-awaited dessert. We decided to split the Moelleux au Chocolate (Frangelico caramel sauce, Hazelnut toffee crunch). When it arrived, we determined that Moelleux must either be French or a high-falutin'-made-up-dining-experience term for molten chocolate. It was quite good, rich, and the hazelnut toffee crunch set is off nicely. The caramel was good, but no detectable flavor of Frangelico. Another nice touch: the small scoop of freshly whipped cream, unsweetened. It cut the high-powered sweet of the dish perfectly.
Overall, a great place to come on a nice evening in Seattle. However, if food alone is your determinant, there are many other places who do it better.