Friday, June 24, 2016
Cutter's Crabhouse in Seattle
On our recent night in Seattle, we walked down to Pike's Place Public Market, and looked for somewhere to eat dinner. Most of the restaurants at our end of the market were smallish, and a couple we looked at asked for reservations. So, we saw a sign on the opposite side of the street indicating that despite some ongoing renovations to the building there, Cutter's Crabhouse was open for business. We knew nothing of this place, but figured it was a good location, and they did readily agree to seat our party of seven.
We were seated fairly quickly (there was enough time to order a couple of beers at the bar for my son and me, and we only had time for a couple of sips), and began to study the menu. While noting that prices were high (to my mind), I took in the general ambience. I noticed the wait staff was dressed alike, in white shirts, with red ties, and the old school long aprons tied around their waists. Wait staff appeared to have the time to chat freely with their individual tables, and I noticed more than one conversation that took considerable time. It occurred to me that perhaps other assigned table were being made to wait while these conversations took place. But, I figured this friendliness likely leads to good tips.
The tables were nicely appointed, with a stiff white paper over the cloth table cloths. Cloth napkins were provided, with flatware rolled inside. I ordered a House Louie, and requested that they not include salmon with mine. I remember eating Shrimp Louie way back when, so hoped that this would be like that. The waiter did promise to ask the kitchen to include extra crab to make up for the salmon, and I appreciated that offer.
Overall, while the wait for our food was pretty long, I would have to say that is likely due to the fact that it is not easy to prepare seven different dishes for that many people, so that they all can be served together. So, I don't feel like it would be fair to criticize this restaurant for our long wait. Everyone ate with gusto, and I don't feel we had to wait too long for refills of our beer, but I must confess that, at the end, I had a lot of beer to finish, after my food was gone.
I have to give them points for the view, as we could see out over the market, the bay, and traffic on the bay, as the evening waned. We saw ferries going and coming, a freighter or two, and of course pedestrian traffic along the street in front of the market.
Ultimately, I'd say that Cutter's rates a strong four out of five, and I'm left with no answer in my mind as to just how pretentious it is. Maybe I am too harsh in my use of that word.