Summer’s over and it’s officially time to say buh-bye to burgers and BBQs. This fall, go fish — and for dependable, brain-boosting fresh catches of the day, nothing beats Ivar’s Salmon House, one of Seattle’s most storied seafood institutions. Bring your appetite and dive in!
Hook: Eye candy abounds inside this historic aquatic eatery. A cedar-made replica of a Northwest Native American Longhouse, Ivar’s hosts an impressive collection of memorabilia, ranging from authentic (dugout canoes, totems, Native American artifacts) to downright unusual (an orca penis in the lounge). The exterior is just as elegant, Guests can also get “nauti” by nature and enjoy the restaurant’s stellar, panoramic lakefront views.
Line: Seafood obviously reigns supreme. Start with the Salmon House Carpaccio Trio ($14) — a trifecta of King, Coho, and Sockeye slivers artfully drizzled with a blood orange vinaigrette and betted atop greens and orange segments. For dinner, guests may choose alder-smoked fillets of Alaska Coho ($23-25), Alaska Sockeye ($24-26), Alaska Red King ($28-31) or Sitka Sound White King Salmons, as well as Alaskan Halibut ($29-32). The Fresh Catch King Salmon with Apples ($30 for a 6-ounce serving) cleverly perched on a celery root purée, sauteed spinach, and shredded red apple salad, is flavorful and pleasantly fruity. Fried fare fans will adore Ivar’s World Famous Fish ‘N Chips ($15 for four pieces, and only $2 more for a fifth).
Sinker: Treating out-of-town guests to a true Seattle experience? This historic haunt has quite the punchy past. Ivar’s is the brainchild of Ivar Haglund, a true Seattle character known for his eccentric entrepreneurial exploits (he opened the first aquarium on Seattle’s Pier 54 in 1938) and zany promotional antics. Hint: hit up the Whale Maker Lounge’s Happy Hour for a chance to score seafood, snacks, and sips at wallet-friendly rates.
Ivar’s Salmon House | 401 NE Northlake Way, Seattle | (206) 632-0767