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“Not a home run - some disappointments”
Review of Canlis Restaurant

Canlis Restaurant
Ranked #11 of 4,250 Restaurants in Seattle
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $85 - $125
Cuisines: American, Seafood, Steakhouse, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Romantic, Business meetings, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Scenic view
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Neighborhood: Magnolia / Queen Anne
Cross street: Haliday
Reviewed June 16, 2013

Canlis, with a reputation which precedes itself was disappointing in some ways and very good in others. The service is impeccable. The view outstanding. However, I have to agree with one of the other reviewers, the piano music is very loud and almost deafening if you are waiting for your table in the bar area for any length of time. Fortunately our party of four was seated at the back of the restaurant so the piano was not so much of an issue during dinner. The TV show Top Chef has made the salad quite famous, but I can not understand what all the fuss as about. It seemed to me like a modified Caesar with bacon and mint, and a little too much cheese. The Hamachi was a moderate success for my husband but the outstanding appetizer at the table was the smoked Copper River salmon, we all agreed! My favorite dish of the night was amuse bouche of three items - with the salmon mousse in an olive cracker being my favorite. There was also a mini mushroom tart, and my least favorite - a breaded and fried egg yolk which I assume was to have been somewhat runny or soft boiled, but mine was fully cooked through. Two of us had the Muscovy duck which was nice, but I found the skin a bit soggy, however the duck croquette was outstanding as was the orange marmalade. My husband had the halibut and was underwhelmed especially with the "roasted" cauliflower (which seemed only steamed rather than roasted) and the small amount of quinoa was not enough to last through the piece of fish. The poached chicken was tasty but definitely the texture took some getting used to. We all passed our plates around to sample all the dishes. Dessert was not much better in creating that "Oh Wow this is Amazing" kind of experience. By far I think the chocolate soufflé was the best dessert at the table, even though the scoop of vanilla ice cream recommended by the waiter was an extra $3. The after dessert "dessert" was apple pie or Campari flavored French macarons - the sandwich "cookie" made from egg whites with a filling, both flavors were delicious. The wine list is quite large but we were able to find something we liked for around $50 for a bottle. The parting gift of chocolate cherry brioche which we ate when we got home to the east coast was delicious. I am not sure I would try Canlis again based on this experience. When spending this kind of money for a meal we really want to be impressed at all levels.

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Thank Canrej
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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680 - 684 of 1,030 reviews

Reviewed June 11, 2013

If I am going to pay for a really nice meal, I want to eat something inventive and surprising, as well as delicious. Canlis delivers on that 100%. My husband, sister-in-law, and I all did the tasting menu (one person did the vegetarian tasting menu), and every single dish was amazing.
The cured tuna was probably my favorite (and a surprisingly large portion!)
They were very flexible, allowing my husband to substitute a chocolate dessert for the apple tart, and switching out one of the wine pairings when he wasn't crazy about what he was served.
Oh-- and I don't normally even notice the music in restaurants, but their pianist was phenomenal! I never saw him/her-- but the music was great-- it was popular songs, reworked as classy piano pieces. Super fun.
All around, a great dining experience.

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1  Thank Anne T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2013

Wonderful anniversary dinner on a Friday night. Super view, outstanding service by knowledgeable friendly staff, low noise, correct lighting, comfortable seating, and most of all the food was extremely kind to the palate and tastefully presented. Between the four of us we had duck breast, halibut, hamachi, steak tartar, Canlis salad, creme brulee', Canlis souffle, cheese plate. We shared and all agreed high scores were deserved for each dish. No disappointments. The wine steward recommended a knockout white burgundy followed by a red burgundy. A highlight in our dining life.

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Thank sequimteeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2013

What an utter disappointment. We’ve been going to Canlis for many years and considered it one of the top restaurants in the city—in a category of its own, really. But the other night we had a disappointing meal with a shocking bill. They have recently eliminated the a la carte menu options and now require diners to choose a 3- or 4-course meal or a more elaborate/expensive tasting menu. So the minimum just for food is $85 for 3 courses, excluding tax and tip. Cocktails were delicious at a whopping $16-18 each. The only salad option on the new menu is the traditional Canlis Salad (romaine, tomatoes, bacon etc)—typically fantastic but on our night too lemony. And when all diners order it, servers now prepare it tableside, which would have been fine if it were a quiet endeavor, but the server announced every ingredient, along with the history of the salad, and proceeded to ask us questions ("Is this your first time to Canlis?" when we've been going 15 years)—all of this over the unnecessarily loud piano, clearly annoying those at the table next to us. Don’t get me wrong. I love live music, but if you sit on the bar side of the restaurant it is simply too loud to enjoy normal conversation. The hamachi was thick and fatty instead of thin and silky. The halibut was far too salty, as were the quinoa and cauliflower underneath. Salt fiend that I am, I found the dish basically inedible (although, at that price, I ate it). The 3 amuse bouches were artistically displayed and tasty. The best thing was the English pea soup. The famous molten chocolate cake has a new name but was still delicious. Even the bread was disappointing. I used to love the Canlis breads. Thankfully the view was fabulous as always. Restaurants understandably need to refresh over the years but Canlis seems to be going in the wrong direction. We will think twice before returning.

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3  Thank haveboots
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2013 via mobile

I took my sister here for her birthday, and I must say, I felt like it was my birthday!
We ordered a 4 course meal that was absolutely Amazing!
She had the halibut and I had the Wagyu fillet. Talk about melt in your mouth! WOW!
I think we also had the best seats in the house overlooking Seattle.
Very pricey, but certainly was worth the money.

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Thank runnergrl75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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