Thursday, August 12, 2010

Restaurant Critic

A few days before I left on my very first business trip, Dear Husband and I went to The Milennium Hotel here in Anchorage, for an appetizer. He too, was flying away on business, so it was a bittersweet outing.  The reason for that is that we are quite simply still in love with each other, and cannot stand to be apart, even for just a night.  The Milennium is a sentimental favorite because it is where we stayed when as dewey-eyed Alaska newbies, we thought we were embarking on a great adventure.  More on THAT fubar later.

I know it is corny, but we do not take it for granted, and know all too many couples for whom the magic is long gone, and we value, cherish and work on our relationship - constantly.  Open (and frequent) communication are our watch words, and we instinctively know when our personal ship is headed toward a rocky coastline, and it is time to take the helm and get back on course. This was a lovely evening, without any need for personal course-correction, and we shared a couple of interesting dishes.  I ordered the steamed clams with a cilantro cream sauce and a roasted red bell pepper sauce as well.  Here's what the dish looked like.

The positives? There was only one dead clam out of a portion that was very large, and the clams were not over-cooked.  The negatives? Well, the pasta was extremely overcooked, and the combination of a "cilantro cream sauce" with a touch of "roasted red bell pepper sauce" was not exactly a marriage made in  mine, ahem.  Anyway, it was reasonably good, but if I shell out nearly twenty dollars for an appetizer portion, an eye toward taste, texture and which flavors actually work together, would be nice, ya know?

On to Dear Husbands' dish..he had the scallops.  Pricey as well, so I was expecting great things. Here's the artistic little plating of his dish....

Three.  THREE WHOLE SCALLOPS.  Now, Dear Husband said that the balsamic reduction sauce was quite good, the scallops were not over-cooked, and the flavors were pretty on point.  The trouble I think, comes when once again, you are paying near the twenty dollar mark, and this amount of food appears on your plate.  DH had to order a side plate of sauteed shrimp, just to have enough to eat to hold him until the airport.

I know how jacked-up in general restaurant prices in Anchorage are, especially in the summer, and I know that this hotel in particular caters to a certain, moneyed crowd, but I really am very opinionated about portions, and getting value for the dollar.  The bottom line?  The dishes were just so-so, overpriced, and I could have done it myself for a fraction of the cost. Will I never learn?

Tell me your favorite restaurant that gives excellent food and service for the money, and that you visit from time to time. What are your favorite dishes there?

Eat well my friends, and get what you pay for!


  1. Well, my dear, I have never been particularly impressed with the Millennium (for all of your reasons), but I *do* like the view :)

    MEH and I like Bear Tooth for a "just cuz" dinner/brunch/lunch, I *adore* Middle Way Cafe because they have a decent vegan selection, vegan desserts, and excellent service.

    When we want to go out on the town a little bit more we've tried Sack's and I was pretty impressed. Great texture and flavor, expensive, but worth it. However, hands down my best food experience in ANC has been at La Dolce Vita. A friend and I went there for an all-out eat and drink fest. Ordered a chef's selection wine, had every course, and it was incredible. It's the only Italian (true italian) owned and operated restaurant here, the chef/owner asked us about the food after every course, and then gave us port on the house! Amazing food, excellent service.

  2. Thank you for your recommendation! We love Italian, so that is going to have to be on our "must do" list! Happy eating, HappyAly!