Friday, February 27, 2009

Simon and Seafort's

View from our window-side table!
One of Anchorage's "fancy" downtown restaurants is Simon and Seafort's. Known especially (among everyone who has told me about them, anyway) for their appetizers and wine flights, they are a bastion of fine but not fussy dining. They are also pretty much out of our price range, at least for dinner. They do have a more affordable option in the form of lunch, which I believe is only available on weekdays.
I recently visited them twice for lunch - earlier this week for a friend's birthday and this afternoon for with Mr EA. Both times I had great food and a great time! It is situated in the first floor of a biggish office building by the waterfront. Although they make gestures toward a wild west heritage with their saloon references and great big moose antlers here and there, it really is quite an elegant place. Marble tables, nice linens, and graceful fixtures help it feel luxurious. Also, the view. Although most seats probably have a decent view, if you love scenery, try to get a seat by the windows. You will be rewarded with a stunning view of Cook Inlet and the mountains on the other side of it. That view is one of the reasons we moved here, and I don't believe we will ever get tired of it. Today the Inlet was choked with ice, boulders and floes of it, drifting on the water. Sleeping Lady was pretty clearly visible when we were eating, as was the range to the south of her. Amazing.
When I was there earlier in the week, I had mushroom ravioli in cream sauce. This was two enormous raviolis, probably about 4-5 inches square, bathed in a creamy cheesy sauce thick with wild mushrooms. Mmmmmmmm! I was tempted by the desert menu, but it would have killed me. That day, anyway, but I am getting ahead of myself. The meal was proceeded by warm bread, which I believe is sourdough, but maybe is just tangy, and whipped butter - mmmmm! My friends had a salad and an openfaced crab and artichoke sandwich, which they reported were also delicious.
Upon hearing about my luncheon adventure, Mr EA immediately wanted to visit as well. Since we are on a vacation, or as the parlance of last year had it, a "staycation", we visited them earlier today. This time I had a roast beef sandwich with au jus and their house made chips, and Mr EA had Fish and Chips. His fish was lightly battered and had a nice flavor - not at all heavy or greasy like normal fried fish. My beef was very tender and flavorful and the au jus was so good I was dipping everything in it -chips, bread, sandwich...I was tempted to just drink it. But that would not have left room for desert. I had purposely saved room for the Pudding Trio. Served in little demitasse cups, this was vanilla bean pudding with a little mint sprig garnish, butterscotch coffee pudding with a little orange peel garnish, and dark chocolate pudding with a cocoa powder garnish. This came with three shortbread cookies dipped in dark chocolate. Mr EA had Key Lime pie, and was equally happy with his choice.
Although it is a nice restaurant, it is not at all snobby. We were wearing Tshirts and jeans along with our big boots, as were quite a few of the other patrons, and were not in the least made to feel weird or underdressed. They have an actual coatcheck, which is actually pretty sensible in a town where people are wearing huge spheres of down and/or alternate padding. However, prepare for the coat check person to tease you about whether or not you will get your coat back. Note to the literal-minded: they are joking. You will get it back.
All in all, if you are in the mood for some truly fine dining in a luxurious, comfortable atmosphere, Simon and Seafort's is an excellent choice.

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