This Weeks Eats 9.28.14 (and a Canlis Recap)

What an amazing week I had eating around Seattle!  I decided to hit up Dahlia Lounge with my friend Clare for her visit to town, since a Tom Douglas restaurant seemed quintessential to Seattle.  It did not disappoint.  We got amazing cocktails to start,

a vodka martini concoction that involved blueberries, Clare got one that involved gin and sage simple syrup and it was fantastic
and then proceeded to order more than half the appetizers on the menu to share.  Everything was wonderful and I tried geoduck for the first time - chewy, but tasty.  I really enjoy the service and atmosphere at Dahlia.  It reminds me of Daniel's: cozy and lively with friendly conversational service.  And if there's one thing you must order at Dahlia Lounge, it is the made to order doughnuts for dessert.  HEAVEN.

And, of course, it was our 12th anniversary and big ten year Seattle anniversary.  We decided to finally have the Canlis experience.  If you watched Top Chef Seattle, here's a refresher on the Canlis episode.  For those that requested it, here's a rundown.  

First of all, if you are going South on Aurora Avenue it is a major pain in the you-know-what to get there.  We had to do lots of recalculating on the navigation to get going North to right turn only into the Canlis entrance.  We still arrived early so that we could experience the lounge and some cocktails and I tried a sparkling wine cocktail, the tasty Arc de Cezanne.
my husband always orders Grey Goose L'Orange and Soda
We decided on the three course menu, where you choose a first course, main and dessert.  Prior to our first course, we were served an amuse bouche, which is always fun.
From left to right, something involving a mushroom mousse and pickled onion, a puffed rice cracker with edamame and other goodies and a tater tot! with an amazing dipping sauce, I think that involved saffron.
And for the first course, we had to try the traditional Canlis salad, which they prepare table side.  It's similar to a Cesar, but has fresh oregano and mint, as well as the most amazing heirloom tomatoes I've ever tasted.  Plus, the serving was huge!  
There wasn't much of a question as to what we'd order for our main course, as we are steak people.  I decided on the filet, while my husband got the Waygu NY Strip.
Filet with shitake mushroom sauce and crispy Yukon gold potatoes
The strip served over a sumptuous bean puree
We had to add on the twice baked potato, positively sinful
Duuuuuuude.  Everything tasted amazing.  In addition to geoduck, I've now tried true Waygu beef this week!  Just superb.  

We are not really dessert people, and kind of wish the menu was a la carte.  But, tasting the flavor combinations they put into these confections was fun.  
I got the berry tart and it had this amazing white balsamic granita on top, as well as DOUGLAS FIR FOAM.  You would think that'd be all kinds of wrong, but it tasted really interesting and fun with the other ingredients.  My husband went for the chocolate fondant and it was delish, too.
Canlis is big on dessert apparently.  Not only are you locked in to ordering it with the prix fixe menu, but they gave us macarons to cap off our meal and a chocolate bar for the road!

Macarons are fun, but I reaaaaaally enjoyed my chocolate bar the next day with a crunchy puffed rice, peanut butter and hint of sweet berries.  

All in all, we are so glad we finally went and loved every morsel.  Did we love it more than our beloved Daniel's?  On the whole, no.  I still feel that the filet there CANNOT be beat and I prefer the atmosphere and service there.  Yes, Canlis is known for it's impeccable service, but it's a little over the top if you're into that kind of thing.  I mean, the waitresses pretty much did a curtsy when they presented our food - placed on the table in a synchronized manner, 'natch.  And we were at a banquet table and seated on the same side, facing out into the whole dining room.  I'm more of a cozy booth, tucked away, facing each other over candlelight kind of gal.  And as the waitresses would come over, I almost felt nervous unlike at Dahlia or Daniels where the waiters are conversational and know just how to chat you up and when to leave you alone.  It's fun to have that kind of outing every once in awhile, and it reminded me of one of our favorite meals ever at Delmonicos in Las Vegas (seated on the same side, synchronized plating, etc.) but I can only take it in small doses.  Also, the price point is a once in a few years kind of indulgence as well.  Full disclosure, with everything above plus one of the more inexpensive bottles of wine on the menu at $75, the cost of the meal plus tip came to about $375.  A trip to Daniel's totals at least $100 less, not factoring in Costco gift cards (we always get two $100 cards for $80 each) and our membership rewards.  So there's the down low on a meal we'll most certainly never forget!

And now for some home cookin' - except for the fact that we got talking about Seattle institutions at dinner and decided that it's been too long since we picked up Salumi sandwiches for dinner...

As always, I'm linking up with Org Junkie, Mommy Run Fast and Jill Conyers - be sure to check out all the great weekly menus!


  1. Happy 12th anniversary- what a great way to celebrate!!

  2. Congrats on your anniversary! I've never eaten at Canlis or Dahlia but it looks like both are quite the experience. I love fancy food but I also like super casual atmospheres (white table cloths and getting dressed up feel so stuffy to me) so we don't get out to 'nice' places very often. Although my birthday is in a week and this year I'm leaving it all up to the hubby to plan, so who knows what I'll get :)

  3. 12 years wow! Congrats! Everything looks amazing.
    Ashley @ Kickashmom.com