Dinner | Canlis

I knew before I even headed out the door that my mouth was going to be truly happy by 7:30 pm or probably even 7:00 pm.  I have been to Canlis once before & it was an extraordinary experience; and one that was filled with an inordinate amount of foie gras :-)  Did I ever confess before how much I *love* foie gras?  I do.  I remember the best meal I’ve ever eaten…I wish I could remember where it was, exactly.  It was in France, just outside of Paris somewhere.  I do remember that it involved the single most divine thing I have ever eaten which included foie gras.  And then lobster.  And then 4 (yes, four) chocolate desserts.  I will never forget that meal.  SIGH.

Anyway…back to Canlis.  Canlis is special.  If you have ever been there you will know how special it is.  The food is ridiculously (& unforgettably) good.  The service is just ridiculous.  How DO they remember who’s car or coat is who’s without tickets?  And then have them ready & waiting for you at exactly the moment that you decide to leave?  It’s just magical.

This {virgin} cocktail was also magical.  It is called a Ruby Krista.  It had rhubarb in it.  It was completely delicious.  I had several.  Had they not been virgin I would have been completely legless.

I could have drunk 3 pints of this

 We were seated by the window overlooking Lake Union.  Magical.  Even on a dull, grey day.  We gazed at the menu in wonderment for quite a while. While we were pondering the dazzling array of dishes, we were served an appetizer.  It was essentially a tiny bowl of chilled tomato soup.  How they get such an intense tomato flavor in such a tiny cup is quite beyond me.   Wow.  No, seriously, WOW.

 Even the bread at Canlis is beautiful.  The side plates are strange…a cross between an ashtray & an oversized chopstick rest.  You might not realize it was a side plate until the bread was {perfectly} placed upon it.  I ate one too many.  (Bread rolls, not side plates.)

As I perused the menu, I tried not to but was inexplicably drawn to every item on there that mentioned foie gras.  I just couldn’t help myself.  It was a simple description:  Foie Gras, peaches, lavendar and honey.  The plate, when it arrived simply defied description.  I am thankful it was a chilled dish because I just sat & gazed at it lovingly while my fellow diners tucked into their first courses.  I mean, where do you begin?  It was rather like looking at an Impressionist painting.

Foie Gras, peaches, lavendar, honey

The dense, firm foie gras was paired with a light, creamy mousse.  The peaches were juicy, the sauces light & delicious.  The other first courses on the table were also works of art.  Simple.  Stunning.

Prawns, mango, avocado and chive

And then there were the oysters, supplied to Canlis by Taylor Family Shellfish,  a fourth generation family owned company who has won countless awards for taste, sustainable aquatic agriculture, and caring for Puget Sound.  We love that!

Oysters, red wine mignonette

We all chose steak for main courses:  I had to go with the Wagyu Tenderloin, most likely because it was served with foie gras butter on a bed of wild mushrooms – two of my favorite things to eat.  I really wanted the Moscovy Duck (14-day dry aged duck breast, roasted whole with plums, prunes and Marco Polo black tea) but no one wanted to share & it feeds 2.  Darn it all, I’ll have to come back with a fellow duck-lover.  Anyone?

Wagyu Tenderloin with foie gras butter

I also just HAD to get a dish of the infamous Twice-Baked Potatoes – a Canlis tradition of 60 years.  I shared.  It was good, but it didn’t make me go “wow”.

Apple Pie anyone?

They call it “Apple Pie” & believe me, it is utterly delicious; but they should rename it, because it just isn’t Apple Pie.  The words “Apple Pie” have such ingrained expectations & however fantastic this dessert is (and it truly IS) it isn’t Apple Pie.

Ok, they made me do it.  No, really, they did.  I wanted something lighter.  I was already almost full & I’d filled half my dessert space with a second bread roll.  I know, I know, I should have known better.  But they made me do it:  the Chocolate Covered Chocolate – molten chocolate cake, cocoa nib shortbread and chocolate-covered salted caramel ice cream.  I must admit I did want to try the salted caramel ice cream.  And, pretentious as this will sound since this is Canlis we’re talking about…I think my salted caramel ice cream is better.  Gasp!  And, I have to say, my table-mates agreed.

Chocolate covered Chocolate

The coconut ice cream that came with the Creme Brulee however, was extraordinary.  Fantastically creamy & very coconutty.  My attempt at coconut ice cream was more vanilla than coconut.  Note to self: must make coconut ice cream again & have it taste of coconut this time.

Creme Brulee with Coconut Ice Cream

The presentation of every dish was quite amazing.  All of them complete works of art.  And served with a style that is unsurpassed most anywhere.  The fruit that came alongside the Creme Brulee was no exception.  I mean, just look at that!

And then, just when we thought it was safe to stop easing our belts out, they brought out the most beautiful little petit fours to finish off with.  Divine.

Tiny, beautiful...perfect ending to a stunning meal

I don’t know what else I can say.

Canlis rocks.  Everything about the place makes me swoon.  Even the soap in the bathroom.  But especially the food.

Save up & go.  Make a real occasion out of it.  Get dressed up.  Take photos.  Remember it forever.

Canlis on Urbanspoon

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

alisen - Food sounds amazing and presentation is indeed an art form. YUM!!

Dinner | John Howie Steak » Foodie Footnotes - […] service was awesome.  Not quite a match for Canlis, but exceedingly good.  Brendan was extremely attentive & despite being swept off his feet by […]

Natasha Reed - After my visit last night, I was simply stunned at the magnificence of it all. Just…wow. (Also “wow” on that first photo here of the virgin cocktail, simply gorgeous.)

I took 137 photos last night. At one restaurant. That has got to be a record for me. It was spectacular. As soon as I take out a second mortgage, we’ll have to go again.

cb - TWIN! – do we agree on something other than that we hate cilantro?? YAY! :-))
I can’t wait to see your photos.

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