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Restaurant Review: Elliott’s Oyster House

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An iconic Seattle waterfront restaurant, Elliott’s has been on our radar for a while. We’ve often talked about going to their Progressive Oyster Happy Hour for inexpensive oysters right on the water, (but of course Brent has that whole “work” thing going on and never gets home in time). When Pat and Smitha were here, Patrick mentioned they wanted to go to a “nice” seafood restaurant for dinner one night. I suggested Elliott’s because I knew it was close and it had a great reputation. We made reservation for 8:30 on Friday night.

Ambiance: For a place this expensive, I was pleasantly surprised that the restaurant did not seem stuffy. It is definitely a white tablecloth kind of place, but that’s the beauty of Seattle – still plenty of denim and fleece to be found. The restaurant is right on the pier and looks out over the water, which I’m sure is gorgeous in the daylight (or sunset!), but at night the effect is definitely minimal. We waited for our table in the bar section and grabbed a few drinks. The bar is bustling, but it could use a few more seats. The boys were happy to catch a bit of NCAA action on the two TVs.

Service: The service was attentive without being obtrusive. Our waitress seemed very knowledgeable about the menu. She was able to recommend “Northwest specific” choices for our out of town guests and make suggestions between the various menu items. She stayed on top of our drink orders, and we stayed and chatted a bit after paying our check without being rushed out.

Food and Drinks: Everyone was happy with their cocktails, which include a seasonal blood orange champaign cocktail, an Elliott’s signature manhattan (Brent’s current drink of choice), and some Pike’s Punch for that vacation feel. To start, we all (I was peer-pressured) decided to take oyster shooters at the bar while waiting for our table.

Well, I, uh, hate bloody marys, so this was so not my thing. Everyone else seemed to find no objection with it though. I think they were $5 each, which can add up really quickly.

Once seated, I was determined to get an order of oysters on the half shell. I mean, if you going to an oyster house, you ought to get oysters, right? We split a half dozen among our table and we all really loved them! The Hama Hama oysters were so sweet and delicate and I thought the frozen mignonette was a perfect complement.

For our entrees, Smitha and I ordered the Wild Mushroom Ravioli with Dungeness Crab | Wild mushroom filled ravioli tossed with Dungeness crab, pancetta and asparagus. Finished with a light cream sauce or pomodoro sauce and topped with fresh tomato and basil chiffonade. 27.

It was good, but I wouldn’t call the cream sauce “light.” Also, I do not know if this was intentional or not, but while the ravioli and sauce were warm, the crab was chilled. I did not enjoy the juxtaposition. Plus I definitely had the “I can’t believe this cost $27″ reaction, so the overall effect was just meh.

Brent ordered one of the specials which was a halibut cheek piccata. He seemed to enjoy it (minus the rice pilaf which was an obvious afterthought). I had a few bites and the halibut cheeks were flavorful and cooked well.

Yep, I promise there are halibut cheeks somewhere under there. Oh, and Pat had an unphotographed steak that he enjoyed (he’s not so much a seafood lover).

Overall my impression of Elliott’s is that it’s a place that thinks it is greater than it actually is. The food was not bad, but everything seemed pretty overpriced. I would go back again for the above mentioned Oyster Happy Hour, because their oysters are definitely some of the best I’ve had in Seattle. I would not, however, return for a full dinner.

2 responses »

  1. I’m sorry you had a “meh” experience. I kind of hate “fancy” restaurants, for that reason! They rarely live up to their inflated expectations. (Especially as a vegetarian!)

    Glad you liked the oysters!

    Reply
  2. Now I’m craving oysters! I like them with just a pinch of salt and lemon. Perfect!

    Reply

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