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!