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“Great food, great ambiance”

Chena's Alaskan Grill
Ranked #7 of 255 Restaurants in Fairbanks
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $45
Cuisines: American, Bar
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Description: Located on the gentle banks of the Chena River for which it was named, Chena’s Alaskan Grill at the River's Edge Resort in Fairbanks, AK proudly features the culinary passion and expertise of Executive Chef Jameson Kapec and his talented team. Enjoy the finest in Alaskan seafood and regional favorites in scenic Fairbanks. Serving dinner from 5:00 PM -9:30 PM and lunch from 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM Chena's Alaskan Grill is now closed for the season. We look forward to welcoming our fine customers back in mid May 2018. See you next season!
Reviewed July 30, 2012

We walked to this restaurant from our hotel on the recommendation of our bus driver. We were staying at a Princess-owned hotel after a cruise. Thanks to the driver, all 4 of us had a wonderful meal ~ the filet melted in your mouth, the pork medallions were tender and tasty and the halibut was very good. Only thing that I can say negative is that the hostess was very unfriendly and the waiter seemed very harried.

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Thank Marilyn R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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419 - 423 of 489 reviews

Reviewed July 22, 2012

We finally tried this restaurant tonight before another summer went by; they are only open during the summer months. The atmosphere is nice, clean, and seemed well-maintained. No table-cloths outside. We ate on the deck near the river and the young man with the water pitcher came around often enough. While it's nice to be on the river, the constant hum of the Parks Highway couldn't be ignored.
Our server was nice, but took a while to get to us. There only seemed to be two servers, possibly three, and they seemed a bit overwhelmed for a Sunday night- not full.
We ordered the seafood -artichoke bruschetta as an appetizer. It was quite good, except the crab tasted either artificial or just not fresh. It didn't have the sweet taste of fresh crab, but more of a fishy smell and taste. We were starving, and we ate it all. For dinner, I ordered the coconut shrimp (appetizers) and seafood chowder (only sold by the bowl, and we decided to split it). The shrimp was recommended by a friend, and it was prepared very well - not overdone and with very good flavor. I would almost recommend this dish, except the sweet sauce they sit in was way too sweet and became overwhelming. Maybe the sauce on the side... It's an appetizer, but came with a small serving of brown rice flavored with pineapple and coconut. It was ok, but not entirely complementary. The chowder was not good at all. It's New England-style (cream based) but very watery. The only big pieces of anything were potato. Very tiny bits of what may have been clam. It had a sour aftertaste - perhaps lemon(?). It was very comparable to something that might come out of a can, except it was $15 for a bowl; no cups of soup were offered. There are two local bars that make homemade chowder 10X better than this, and 1/3 the price.
My husband had the New York steak, prepared medium rare. The steak was cooked perfectly, but had a distinct "burned" aftertaste. The sauce that came on the steak looked beautiful and tasted great but the actual steak itself may have been cooked on a dirty griddle(?)...it somehow picked up this weird, bitter, charred taste. The outside was not charred at all, and the flavor seemed infused into the meat; it was quite odd. The sides on his plate were mashed potatoes, which were pretty good with the sauce on the steak, and what may have been fresh seasonal veggies (snap peas and carrots). I mentioned before, we were super-hungry; he finished his meal and I did finish my shrimp but neither of us could finish the one bowl of chowder.
There was no salt nor pepper on the table, and the server offered steak sauce. This seemed odd considering the steak was already covered in this other gravy-like substance that, like I mentioned, was quite good. We ordered cocktails, which were probably the highlight of the entire experience. Wild Berry spritzer and Blackberry lemonade.
Total, our bill was right under $90. The prices are somewhat typical for Fairbanks "fine dining", but overpriced for the quality of food - especially the awful chowder.

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1  Thank stellanola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2012 via mobile

This was the best meal out on my entire trip. Bill was high - 85 for 2 people but well worth it.

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Thank Faith917
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2012

We went to Chena's based on the proximity to our lodging. We arrived to find it fairly busy but not overly so. We had a large group (7 kids and six adults) and were seated immediately. Our waiter was pleasant as was all of the staff.

There seemed to be a fair number of different items on the menu. I decided to order the special of the day (a blackened halibut) as well as the drink special. Between the thirteen people at our table, we pretty much ordered something from each part of the menu. I will leave it that the flavor and presentation of the food and drink was good. I wanted to give this place a good review and if that's all that you're looking for...stop reading here.

Our experience though was poor from start to finish (and that's being kind). We were seated for well over 15 minutes without even being acknowledged for a drink order. Our waiter was assigned our table and then other tables outside on the deck. He was constantly running to all corners of the restaurant. We gave our water carafe back to a waiter for a refill for the kids and it never returned. Our drinks did not arrive for over 20-30 minutes. The one martini looked like someone had drank 2/3 of it before it was served. To their credit, they brought her another one. The other alcohol was acceptable. The diet soft drink never did arrive. Our food took a full hour. The kids meals came out and some had vegetables. One did not. I was embarassed to say that everyone waited an extra ten minutes because they would not eat until I was served the special. You would think that something advertised as "Today's Special" would be at least readily available.

I grew up in a family that ran restaurants and the very basics of food service were lacking here. I made so many excuses for them but in the end, that's all they were...excuses. The bottom line is that service like that wouldn't pass for service anywhere else. I hate to knock a restaurant down for service but this was truly that poor.

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Thank damous
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2012

I liked my salmon special so well that I returned a second evening to eat here. The food was great, the service attentive, and the view from the deck of the Chena River was nice. Plus, there were lovely hanging flower baskets scattered around the deck. I would recommend this restaurant to others. The restaurant is also within easy walking distance of the Best Western Motel where I stayed.

Thank konstanzj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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