Saturday, May 23, 2009

Chandler's Crabhouse: Not Just For Drinking Anymore


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So, my Dad is town and my parents came up to my apartment today to visit with me and enjoy a rare sunny day in Seattle. The few days that are sunny in this fantastic city make up for the constant nasty drizzle all year round, if you ask me anyway. We went to Queen Anne Cafe (meh overall, but crab cakes were pretty good) for lunch and Le Panier for dessert (OMG-- I love their eclairs!). Then we did a bit of shopping and went back to my apartment to talk and relax for a bit before heading out to dinner.

We went down to Lake Union and went to Chandler's Crabhouse (901 Fairview Avenue N., Seattle 98109). I have a bit of history with Chandler's . . . in 2006 it was my favorite place to go cocktailing. I had a pretty solid group that would meet at Chandler's every few Saturdays. We would fraternize with the bartender (and by fraternize I mean buy him shots) and I have a lot of great memories of that year because of Chandler's. However, I had never actually EATEN there until tonight and I was completely blown away.

We sat in the sunshine at a booth right on the water and ordered cocktails and wine to start. Let me say first of all that Finlandia is their house vodka (seriously? awesome!) and they also had Viognier by the glass. Then we ordered this spicy crab appetizer with hollandaise sauce and it was rich, creamy and wonderful-- none of that odd feeling where you put something in your mouth that you thought was fish, but now you're not so sure because of the odd taste and texture. Then I ordered the Australian lobster tail with mashed potatoes and asparagus. It was so good that I literally told my Mom to stop asking me questions while I was eating so that I could concentrate on enjoying my dinner. My Dad ordered the ahi tuna and my Mom ordered the salmon, and we were all extremely impressed with our entrees. We all sampled each other's food and EVERYTHING was amazing. I would almost even say that the mashed potatoes at Chandler's rivaled the infamous mashed potatoes at the Metropolitan Grill. Then we ordered dessert. A molten brownie sundae and creme brulee with a 30 year port . . . the perfect way to end an excellent meal at sunset on Lake Union. I will say that my Dad, who is more knowledgeable than me on the subject, was slightly disappointed in the port recommended by the staff and did not feel that the chocolate dessert was rich enough.

The prices at Chandler's are NOT cheap, but not completely outrageous either as the seafood is extremely high quality. My lobster tail entree was $40 and my parents entrees were both around $30. So, about typical for a quality restaurant on the water and worth every penny.

Needless to say I am quite stuffed and almost ready to go into a food coma as I write this, but I had a wonderful day and dinner with my family.

Just for fun, here is a picture from good ole drinking at Chandler's nights in 2006.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

W Seattle vs. W San Francisco


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I recently took off for a couple days and flew to San Francisco to get away. It was quite a lovely trip and I had a wonderful time. Before I left I mapped out a few places that I absolutely HAD to visit while I was down there . . . the CB2 store, the flagship Williams Sonoma, the Museum of Modern Art and the W Hotel were all on the short list. As it turns out the W and the Museum of Modern Art are right next door to each other! So, that made my day plans easy to accomplish.

I went to the Museum of Modern Art first and checked out the SF collection of Henri Matisse's and Roy Lictenstein's (I have two Lictenstein prints in my living room-- LOVE him). I actually got my picture taken next to a huge Lictenstein, which maybe I'll post on here later. Anyway, after a few hours of exploring the museum I was hungry so I went next door to the XYZ restaurant and lounge at the W Hotel.

I had extremely high expectations for the W San Francisco (181 Third Street, San Francisco 94107) because the W Seattle (1112 Fourth Avenue, Seattle 98101) is one of my favorite lounges and holds a lot of great memories(blurred as they might be). Plus, I had read a review in some magazine awhile back that just sang the praises of the XYZ bar. My initial response upon walking in . . . wuh wuh wuh. The W Seattle has a MUCH larger and better decorated living room space and is MUCH more modern and new. SF just seemed small and in dire need of an up-date. The Bar was a U-Shape-- somewhat like Seattle, but unlike Seattle there were no other places to sit in the lounge besides the bar. I ate in the restaurant and the food was amazing (the service not so much), but once again the ambiance left a lot to be desired. They had all sorts of fresh flower arrangements all over, which is nice, except when the staff is not careful to dust off the pollen frequently. Allergy attack anyone? Oh well, over all it was a pleasant enough experience, but it did not live up to my high expectations. Earth and Ocean and the W Bar in Seattle kick XYZ's pretentious ass.

I will say that the one thing that the W Hotel Seattle doesn't have that SF does have is a Bliss Spa. I was so tempted to go up a couple floors and ask for a tour of the spa, but it just seemed too dorky when I wasn't planning on getting any treatments that day. Oh well, I guess I will just have to live with the Bliss products I buy from Sephora for now. However, note to the W Seattle-- put in a Bliss Spa! Please, it would be very lucrative. Maybe I will have to check out the W Scottsdale and go to the Bliss there the next time I go visit my Dad.

I will be traveling this summer and I will do a little blogging about my other city adventures for fun. Next stop? LAS VEGAS. We already have reservations at Tao, so I will definitely have to write about what I find there.

Oh, P.S. the flagship Williams Sonoma store in SF is AMAZING! Four huge floors of all things cooking! I loooooved it.

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Me at the Museum of Modern Art next to a Lictenstein . . . I look so small next to that huge painting.