Having just returned from a 3-week vacation in Florida, my son was tired and not really all that interested in leaving town again. However, with school starting up, he needed new clothes and in particular new shoes. Despite the noticeable holes on the bottom, he flatly refused to head down to the States for some shopping. After some convincing and the threat of leaving him at home (of course we wouldn't do that...), he reluctantly joined us. So off we went down to Seattle (actually Everett) for a one nights stay. Of course we couldn't shop without nutrition, so we stopped by Ivar's at Mukilteo Landing.
We started with the Pacific Northwest Steamer with clams and mussels in a Thai red curry coconut lime broth. Both shellfish were prepared very well where the mussels were plump and buttery. The broth had a definitive kick while bordering on salty (but that was needed to flavour the seafood). We liked the aromatics, yet would've liked to see a bit more lime. For myself, I got a bowl of their Dungeness Crab Bisque made with crab & lobster stock, cream, sherry, corn, tomatoes, sour cream and crab meat. Although rich and creamy, the ample amount of tomato helped add a tang and helped cut through the heaviness. I really liked the fluffy crab meat and the pop of the sweet corn as it added both texture and another layer of flavour.
For my main, I had the Fresh Alaska Halibut and Chips. As much as halibut is expensive, the portion size was a bit small for the price. However, whatever was lost in quantity was made up with quality. The halibut was really fresh and sported a really thin layer of crisp breading. The fish was slightly overdone, but it did not make or break the dish. I really enjoyed the tartar sauce as it was creamy and flavourful from the bits of onion and tart pickles. Although the fries were crisp and not greasy, I found them slightly generic. Viv went for the half Classic Mulkiteo Crab & Shrimp Melt with a cup of Ivar's Famous Clam Chowder. The hollowed out open-faced sandwich was topped with dungeness crab, snow crab, Oregon bay shrimp and Tillamook cheddar. It was a pretty heavy concotion which could've benefited from a bit more seafood. As for the soup, it was typical Ivar's being creamy and full of ingredients exhibiting a taste of the sea. There was considerable sweetness from the onions and smokiness from the bacon. As usual, my son had the Grilled Cheese... Pffft...
My daughter stayed with the seafood theme (I know she's my kid for sure) and had the kid's Grilled Coho Salmon with Yukon gold mash potatoes and green beans. Despite being a nice piece of salmon, it was overcooked and dry. It did taste good though being properly seasoned. The beans were vibrant and crunchy while the mash was very potatoey rather than creamy. In addition to the great service, we enjoyed the ambiance and great view of the waterfront location. Food was okay (with the exception of the overcooked fish), yet the prices were on the higher side.
- Exceptional service
- Great ambiance and view
- Fish a bit overcooked
- Slightly pricey