Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Opulence, Elegence, Service - Georgian Room - Fairmont Hotel

Without a doubt the Georgian Room at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel is the most opulent and elegant dining room in Seattle. Richly furnished, live classical piano music, huge windows, and an air of an era long past without stuffiness. Cindy and I were taking advantage of the Dine Around Seattle Promotion - $30 for 3 Courses - close to half price - and there was no stinting on the details.

The service was incredible with at least 5 different people all waiting on or checking on us BY NAME at various times. the table setting was beautiful and each diner had unique but color coordinated china as a little touch. First to arrive was house baked rolls with 4 different butters - fresh cream, pea shoot, saffron, balsamic - beautiful and quite yummy. The menu choices reflected very high end, opulent ingredients that were fresh and in season - from truffles, pheasant, dry pack scallops, black truffle mushrooms, valhrona, etc. There were 3 choices for each course - including vegetarian choice.

We decided to start with an Oregon Pinot ($15 a glass - some whites started at $7) a very generous pour of a very nice wine. The waiter then presented a beautiful amuse bouche - a strip of salmon lox with a stripe of creme fraiche.

My first course choice was an Arugula Salad with Shaved Jumbo Prawns, Warm Camembert and Bacon Beignets, and Citrus Dressing. Light, fresh, beautiful and tasty. the beignets were round fried balls filled with a hot liquid (good thing I had a napkin in my lat as I was not expecting liquid) Camembert filling.

My main course was Seared Scallops, Crisp Potatoes, Melted Young Leeks, Truffle Bacon Butter Sauce. Interestingly this was a very similar offering to the Seared Scallop offering Cindy had enjoyed Sunday night at CRUSH (see our other blog post) as it provides a good contrast between the two places treatment of outstanding ingredients. Crush's offering was 3 seared Scallops over an ethereal, light chowder sauce with vegetable brunoise - outstanding dry packed scallops with a heavy sear but still rare on the interior. A heavenly, light main course leaving you wanting one more. The Georgian offering was exactly the same quality and quantity of Scallops but with less sear and a lot more (way too much actually) assertive saucing and a huge quantity of accompaniments. It was excellent but to my tastes too rich, and too much food. It left me unable to finish (well not actually) and too full. I guess it depends on your tastes - if you leave fancy restaurants feeling hungry this is your place. If you want to leave feeling great and wanting more then perhaps only eat half of the main course offering.

The desserts were stellar and reflect the fact that Fairmont Hotels takes their food seriously and has a Fine Pastry Staff in house - not just a part time speciality as most stand alone restaurants enjoy. I ordered the Golden Pineapple Tart Tatin, Lychee Sorbet, with Sesame Crisp and it was a work of art both culinary and presentation wise.


Cindy's Meal and Comments

First Course

Dungeness Crab Bisque, Tarragon Infused, Cognac, Mini Crab Cakes
This was delicious, and light bisque, very subtly seasoned. The addition of crab cakes was not a good choice as they were breaded, and immediately became soggy. Otherwise a good first course.

Main Course

Pheasant Wrapped in Apple Smoked Bacon, Black Trumpet Mushroom, Delicata Squash with potato squares
The main course was a beautiful presentation. Pheasant can tend to be very dry, even when prepared properly, the addition of the Apple Smoked Bacon, added nice flavor and made the pheasant more moist. But unfortunately, the main course was too much, the portions could have been pared down or the potato squares eliminated. This would have avoided that 'too full feeling' at the end of the meal and would have left more room for the amazing dessert


The Georgian Black & White Soufflé, with Valrhona Chocolate
My oh, My... this straight from the oven, deliciously warm souffle was perfect! It was served with a cold creme anglaise sauce (usually served warm) with a subtle tartness, (maybe the addition of creme fraiche?) I thought at first the cold creme anglaise would be an odd marrying with the warm souffle, but it was great. This is a dessert not to be missed. In addition a lovely chocolate dipped strawberry was served on the side and made a nice finish.
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