We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Exceptional meal and service”
Review of Canlis Restaurant

Canlis Restaurant
Ranked #29 of 4,396 Restaurants in Seattle
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $85 - $125
Cuisines: American, Seafood, Steakhouse, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Business meetings, Romantic, Scenic view
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Neighborhood: Magnolia / Queen Anne
Cross street: Haliday
Reviewed February 17, 2014

My first time at the restaurant, was there with my partner for a birthday dinner. Had a late reservation (915 as that was all that was available a month prior when i booked). We arrived about 15 mins early and were seated in the lounge until the table was ready. The lounge had a great piano player that alternated between classics like Bennett and Sinatra to modern pop like Ke$ha and Robin Thicke - quite eclectic indeed.

We were retrieved on time and placed at a beautiful corner table with a telephone -apparently Peter Canlis' table - which had great views of the restaurant. Unfortunately the stunning views outside were nonexistent due to a rare Seattle snowstorm.

We chose the 4 course meal and everything was excellent. The hamachi and beef tartare were both great starters (oh, we also were given a trio of small amuse bouche and copious amounts of lovely bread prior to the first course). We chose the Canlis salad, prepared table side for our mutual second course. Our mains were the chicken (which takes an hour to prepare) and the lamb saddle, and both were outstanding. This was hands down the best lamb I have ever eaten. The chicken was excellent as well, the obvious care taken to prepared it resulted in something that was so unlike the pedestrian chicken we are usually served that it really stood out. Desserts were generous in size and also outstanding.

The service was exceptional. Our server was well informed, personable and made us feel right at home. While we did not want to consume large amounts of wine (i.e. a pairing), we had a large glass of white to start and when we did not think we could drink another full glass with our mains, he offered us half pours - which I thought was a lovely touch - why don't more restaurants do that - perhaps they do, but it was great that they offered as it hit the spot.

Upon leaving, in the midst of a snowstorm with no cabs to be found, the staff began to shuttle people home using their own vehicles - now that is above and beyond. We were able to finally grab a cab but we witnessed several other patrons being driven home by staff.

This family run Seattle institution has been around since the 50s for a reason - great food and outstanding service. I have been lucky enough to eat in several Michelin star restaurants around the world and this experience easily stacks up against the best meals I have eaten. Well done!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank jimbovan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (1,070)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

634 - 638 of 1,070 reviews

Reviewed January 28, 2014

I am fortunate to be able to visit high end restaurants all over the world due to the fact I travel with my work. Unfortunately I have to say this ace falls way short: over promises and under delivers on a number of counts. It is has a fabulous outlook which commands a premium, but this is where the high line of quality starts and finishes.
It is so difficult to be complimentary when on the majority of counts they fail miserably. They are all attitude but no substance.
There are better places to go and your wallet will feel pretty relieved too. Not that I can't afford it, the truth is I can and then some, so I am not impressed by "all front and no trousers". Go somewhere else, take it from me, Mr Canlis is a legend in his own mind and I bet you would never offer to challenge or defend this review!!!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
15  Thank Paul W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2014

My visit to Canlis this past December was my first one and was by far the best overall experience I have ever had at a restaurant. The service was impeccable from the moment we arrived o the time the valets brought our car when we left. The host staff and the wait staff were the best I have experienced in over 30 years. And the food and wine were marvelous! It is expensive; but I would not hesitate to go back and in fact plan to do so this coming summer. I highly recommend a trip to this wonderful jewel in Seattle.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Ron R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2014

We were lucky enough to dine with friends at Canlis on New Year's Eve. The restaurant has two seatings on NY Eve, one at 6-ish, the other 9-ish. The prix fixe menu was fantastic and, given the circumstances, a pretty decent deal: I have no qualms about paying $125 (not counting beverages) for a superb and satisfying meal in a beautiful setting, with top-notch service: From the valet to the host to the entire wait-staff, we felt pampered, welcomed, and like VIPs (which we most definitely are not!) Granted, I can't drop that kind of money on a regular basis, but for special occasions, Canlis can't be beat. (Note: $125 was for the 6:00 seating. The later seating was a bit more expensive and included more on the menu.) Every waiter should dine at least once at Canlis to learn what true customer service is like.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank SorrySeattleite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2014

My husband surprised me with a dinner reservation for our First Year of being legally married in Washington. It was a truly unforgettable dinner as Canlis made us feel extra special that night!

As we walked inside the restaurant. The hostess who greeted us immediately apologized sincerely for the unexpected street closure, lead us to our lovely seat. They offered us a complimentary sparkling wine for our "adventure" walking around Aurora Ave.

What I appreciate most about this whole night was that EVERY staff/somm/server that came to our table greeted and wished us a "Happy Anniversary", asked us how long we have been together, and thanking us for choosing Canlis for our celebration. Again, they made us feel like the most special guest that night.

Service was impeccable! Every component of our dish was carefully explained. My wine and water glass were never empty. The valet even got our car to where we parked in the streets due to unexpected closure of Aurora Ave., so we don't have to walk back!

Food - Simply delicious, well seasoned, balanced flavours, and amazing presentations!

Amuse-bouche: A trio of amuse-bouche served in 3 tiny glass pedestals.

First:
- Wagyu tenderloin steak tartare - amazing! Beef flavour throughout, not overshined by the other ingredients
- Slow-poached Hen egg, with watercress, fermented garlic, and vin jaune. Mixed together, turns into a super creamy and savoury soup goodness - reminds me of "Le Oeuf" a similar dish I had at L'Atelier du Joël Robuchon in Paris.

Second: We both got Seared Foie Gras with pineapple, pumpkin seed, and molasses. The pumpkin seed on top gives it an extra nutty flavour and crunchiness that makes this dish more round. Wish it never ended! I cried on my last bite!

Main course: Muscovy Duck (for two), 14-day dry-aged duck breast, roasted whole and accompanied by orange marmalade, fennel purée and pearl onion brûlée. This was heaven on a plate! The skin was crispy and flavourful. The meat was tender and juicy!

Dessert 1: Canlis Soufflé with Grand Marnier, orange zest, and crème anglaise.

Dessert 2: Pistachio Génoise with yogurt, cherries, and dark chocolate. If you love pistachio as much as I do, YOU have to get this plate!

The dessert plates came with "Happy Anniversary" written beautifully with chocolate. And yes, my anniversary surprise present also came with the dessert! The husband arranged it with restaurant couple of days before our visit.

I will definitely come back over and over again! In fact, our good friends from California are visiting this April and we already made reservations at Canlis!!

Thank you very much Canlis for making our special day truly spectacular. You have made us feel extra special that night. Your staff are friendly and very well trained. Your service is perfection!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3  Thank enjz54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Canlis Restaurant? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing