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“Not a Good Experience”
Review of Canlis Restaurant

Canlis Restaurant
Ranked #32 of 4,321 Restaurants in Seattle
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$85 - US$125
Cuisines: American, Seafood, Steakhouse, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Groups, Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine, Business meetings, View, Romantic
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Neighbourhood: Magnolia / Queen Anne
Cross street: Haliday
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We've been coming to Canlis for 40 years. Last night was a fail. We were there with a party of 16 but am speaking only to my wife and my experience. We were there as guests but, ironically, Canlis was selected by the host on my recommendation.

My wife ordered her filet rare. About 8 or 10 others at the table also ordered the filet. Sadly, we didn't take a picture but my wife's filet was gray in color and about 1/2 the size (like 1" thick versus 2" thick) of the others. The steak had not been grilled - it almost looked like it had been microwaved. Everyone else's looked great and appetizing and RARE. When she cut into hers, it was tough. It tasted bland. My wife didn't want to say anything but this just was not acceptable.

I went out of the private room to talk to our server but ran into a manager. I explained what was on my wife's plate and he said he would talk to our server. The server came in and she said "so you are disappointed with your meal" (really bad way to address a cooking fail) and sort of put my wife on the spot. I interjected and asked that they bring a replacement that looked liked the other filets on the table. 5 minutes or so later, she delivered a second plate and what she delivered was a rib eye and not a filet that had been cut in half with one half turned on end to, I guess, show us it was properly prepared. Which it wasn't - it was somewhere between medium and medium rare. My wife and I each took a bite and it was blah. And also overcooked but this time, at least, grilled.

All of this played out quietly but the couple across from us asked what meat was on her plate and if my wife was on a special diet! Yeah, she's on the "get a crappy meal and service at an expensive restaurant" diet.

This was a fail - the filet was miserable, the server was somewhat combative, the replacement was unacceptable. And nobody at Canlis asked us if we were satisfied.

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2  Thank kerrybP1667VD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5 - 9 of 1,054 reviews

Reviewed 27 January 2018

Canlis is an elegant restaurant with a refined ambiance and gourmet offerings. Our waiter treated us royally. We had a window table overlooking the lights reflecting on the Lake. A piano accompanied dinner at just the right volume and musical selections. Each course went with the next, and we had a special evening out with family.

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Thank Traveler8888818
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 January 2018

We were fortunate to be able to dine at Canlis with some friends from Alaska who go there every December. The restaurant is on a hillside and provides one of the best views in Seattle. The wine list is extensive, but they have a few wines by the glass. The four course menu seemed expensive, but it was well worth it. The starters were exquisite, the filet mignon divine, and the desserts were a work of art. The filet was excellent, perfectly cooked and presented elegantly The Canlis family has operated this restaurant for generations and succeeds in providing the best quality in food and service. The servers are incredibly professional with years of experience. Newcomers start in the kitchen for a year before moving to the floor as an assistant server and finally being promoted to main server. Thus, your server is a skilled professional with great knowledge of the menu and ingredients and the ability to serve your meal perfectly. After dinner, we were treated to a tour of the restaurant and learned much about the history of the Canlis family and the restaurant. As others have noted, this is very special place for special occasions. It is easy to understand why this is one of the highest rated restaurants in Seattle. We had a magnificent dining experience.

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Thank OldEagle48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 January 2018 via mobile

Took my wife here for her birthday...it exceeded all expectations. Classy without being pretentious. Staff were friendly, professional, and highly competent. The food was very good. The view was killer. The ambience was romantic and upscale. Piano music played at exactly the right volume to appreciate it without intruding on your conversation. Tables spaced with a sense of privacy in mind. Thanks, Canlis, for an amazing experience!

Thank Jim A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2018

Canlis has long been the premier place to eat in Seattle, and after living here my entire life, I finally had an occasion to go. It was beyond everything that was expected. The food was incredible (that's almost a given) but the additional touches for me were the fabulous service, ambiance and the incredible views.
From the minute you walk in the door you are taken care of. The lighting is romantic and it is hard to tear your eyes away from the view as you walk down into the dining room. This is northwest chic at its best.
The wine. Absolutely delightful, the very knowledgeable sommelier pointed us to the best bottle of wine I've ever had and complimented the meal so well.
Now the food. You can't get any better than this. The fresh flavors, savory, sweet, delightful, and they all play together so well. The shrimp is fresh and succulent, and extra sauce for the bread, was recommended by a server, and was amazing. The souffle is an absolute must and even though we were both stuffed it was a great way to finish the meal. I do not have a single complaint! Every detail was thought of and taken care of.

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Thank Katie U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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