Candlelight dances beneath a carved mahogany ceiling at the Fairmont Empress hotel's flagship restaurant, where one of the two gracious rooms has expansive harbor views. The classically influenced Pacific Northwest menu changes seasonally, but might feature such appetizers as seared local scallops or a confit of venison tart; mains include wild salmon with Dungeness crab, mustard-crusted rack of lamb, or a "farm to fork" vegetarian dish. The service is discreet and attentive, and there are more than 800 labels on the wine list. If the weather is fine, the summer-only Veranda serves lunch, cocktails, and early-evening snacks.
Mar 28, 2008
Four of us ate here and sampled almost the entire menu. The atmosphere is a bit stuffy (unsurprising, given the location), with collared shirts required and jeans prohibited. The service was excellent and appropriate. The food fell far short, though. The foie gras was overdone. The scallops were chopped too finely, as to suggest that the scraps were being served. A decent meal overall, but nothing to write home about, and nothing on par with
the best in any major metropolitan city.