March almost passed me by without my noticing that it was a Twenty-Five for $25 month. We’re managing to slide into home in the last two days of the promotion at Ray’s and then tonight at Restaurant Zoe.
The last time I was at Ray’s was in 1998, and I had memories of a gorgeous view of the Olympic mountains and great seafood dining. Things have changed. The restaurant is now on the shore just south of Golden Gardens (even more of a schlep than Ballard), upped their prices, and (with the notable exception of their salmon chowder) the food was forgettable.
The promotional menu had lots of choices and with roaming forks I sampled a few dishes for each course. Appetizers included the salmon chowder, a savory cheesecake, and tuna tartare. The chowder was the best I’ve had in Seattle: not too creamy, with a full salmon flavor and bacon-free (so LL was able to partake). The cheesecake was a nice change of pace (lots of cheese and bacon), but the tartare was chewy and tasteless. The kind you might get at a tourist trap venue.
Second course: I was excited about the halibut, as the Alaskan season has just started and the description was mouth-watering. Unfortunately the only tasty pieces of this nice-looking plate were the juicy fresh tomatoes. The halibut was flavorless, and overcooked. Halibut at its finest is light and flaky and I savor that texture. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but at a menu price of $25.95 in a restaurant supposedly “best of breed” for local seafood I must say it was a disappointment. Mike’s salmon was respectable, and the pesto sauce complemented the natural grilled flavors nicely.
25 for $25 is a great indulgence for your sweet tooth since every list involves an (effectively) free dessert. We tried one of each: Earl Grey crème brulÃ©e, coconut cake with fresh fruit, and “strawberry float”. The only one worth a second taste was the crème brulÃ©e, and most of its praise is by comparison with the lackluster alternatives. They did make for a nice picture though:
Overall, great company and great chowder, but I won’t be coming back for awhile. I’m looking forward to the contrast tonight when LL and I introduce DeAnn to Zoe’s.
Ray’s Boathouse Restaurant
6049 Seaview Avenue NW
Seattle, WA 98107