Located in downtown Anchorage, Simon's as it's locally referred to, is easily one of the best selections of upper scale restaurants to visit. There are very few higher end restaurants to find to begin with but this is easily one of the Top 5 that you will find.
Easily once of my personal favorites, I've been a frequent customer for years, planning many special event dinners from graduations to birthdays. One of the finer points of the restaurant, one not offered at many other locations is the view. It hands down will provide one of the best inlet views you can get in Anchorage, without question. I've read some commenting on some seating being a poor selection but I've personally never been sat in a seat I didn't like.
First let me start off with their brunch menu during the weekends. To me Simon's is a hidden gem when it comes to brunch, as most only seem to recognize it for it's lunch and dinner menu. Others feel that because it's more upscale, the brunch pricing may be higher than others. I'm here to tell you they couldn't be any further from the truth. While places like Snow City are great, it is usually extremely packed and busy during the weekends, especially on Sundays. You can stop in at Simons at nearly any time during brunch hours and have immediate seating, especially on Saturdays. In concerns to price, I don't find it any more expensive than any of the other restaurants that server a brunch menu such as Snow City, Bear Tooth, and so forth. Most places serving brunch charge extra for sides that would normally be included with your meal here. I usually end up spending only $11-$16 for a breakfast meal, lunch menu items are roughly the same cost as well. If you're a sweet tooth lover, I highly recommend the Creme Brulee French Toast. Overall a great place for Brunch hands down, be sure to at least give them a try.
As for the dinner menu, Simon's serves one of my most favorite dishes anywhere in Alaska, which is the macadamia crusted halibut, stuffed with king crab. The dish is usually served with garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal veggies. It's absolutely amazing and I've never been server a plate that has disappointed me. I've had most of the items served on their menu and most has been satisfactory, I have run into an overcooked steak dinner before but it was easily fixed by asking the waiter. I think what I find disappointing in many reviews here is of customers complaining of their dish not being up to par and at least not asking for a fix. They are percieved as a more upscale restaurant and when something isn't prepared to your liking, you're more than welcome to ask for them to make it again.
Happy Hours in the saloon are great for get togethers with friends and large groups prior to festivities. A select list of Margaritas, Martini's and so forth can be had for only $5-6 each all day and all appetizers for half off during their happy hour times (twice a day). If you're looking to come out feeling full and satisfied, going during this time is easily the best time to go. The crab spread is an absolute must have when visiting, calamari is a favorite of many. I do agree though that the calamari may have a bit too much of onions and artichokes, but for the half off price I find it well worth it.
Now while I do highly recommend here, I won't butter my review and say that's it's always been 100% perfect. I have ran into a couple occasions where service has been below what I've normally experience. As with anywhere you will find yourself possibly paired with a waiter who just seems like he's having a pretty terrible day. During a graduation dinner we had one who would stop by our party of 12 and only check on half the table, then proceeded to leave and process the orders requested. It really did bring down our dinner experience, especially considering some of those at the table were visiting from out of state for the first time. We eventually flagged another waiter and complained at the complete lack of respect and service, from there things seemed to pick up.
Another situation was during New Years Eve 2012 and we had a party of around 10+ at the saloon/bar side. We had all ordered drinks and at least 1-2 appetizers each. Drinks came out in a timely manner however, after 2-3 rounds we completely forgot that we have yet to be served our appetizers. In fact it was our waiter who came by to apologize about the wait. Their actions afterwards? Without even asking the manager came out and completely comped all of our appetizers, for a party of 10+ none of us paid a dime for our food. I was completely blown away and this is the service you would want anywhere.
With the exception of those 2 memorable occurances, I've always been satisifed in dining here and I still do recommend it to anyone visiting or even those living in Anchorage locally.
Also for those unaware there is a parking garage just down the street and they will comp your parking fee during all dining hours. Just bring give the ticket to the waiter at the end of your meal and they'll take care of it. I've not seen another restaurant in Anchorage offer this.
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