The philosophy at longstanding Seattle innovator Canlis is to bridge the gap between the “comfortable” and the “cutting edge,” providing food that is modern and beautifully presented, without being alienating and/or over-worked. On the plate, that translates into 14 day dry-aged Muscovy duck breast roasted whole and accompanied by orange marmalade, fennel puree, and cipollini onion brûlée; or pan-seared chicken served with king trumpet mushrooms, asparagus, and pickled fiddlehead ferns.
On the wine list, it means a creative selection of Old and New World, familiar and funky names. Local wines—Washington and neighboring Oregon, as well as slightly more distant California—are all seriously well represented. And for the visitor to the region, these would be the place to start. But there’s also a fabulous array of Teutonic Riesling, Burgundy, and Bordeaux—as well as a cast of big name Italians and Spaniards and a smattering of exotica— in a list that covers many bases with distinction.