The first time I went to the Space Needle restaurant was over 20 years ago and it was expensive but not impressive. One time was enough until recently when friends of mine decided to take my husband and I along with another couple to dinner. This restaurant would not have been my first choice but since they were paying for everything we went along.
Parking in the area is available at the many pay-by-the-hour parking lots but we decided to splurge and have the Space Needle valet service make the parking spot hunt non-existent. We were not disappointed. At $8 (for those who are eating at the restaurant) it was a bargain. The valet service starts at the entry to the Space Needle.
My husband and I, along with one couple, arrived 45 minutes early and we were not allowed to check in until all six of our party was accounted for. Checking in was a breeze at that point and we were handed a “buzzer” that would alert us when our table was ready. Until then, we headed up to the observation deck to take in the views.
The day was quite cloudy — a typical Seattle day, although being July I expected sunshine.
After 20 minutes or so, our buzzer went off and we headed down one flight of stairs to the restaurant. When we arrived the hostess was bustling around trying to find a table for us. My friend had requested a table by the window and they didn’t have any available.
Normally this would not have been an issue but an elderly woman in our party was using a walker. They bustled us to one place, then another and then … I got annoyed. All the movement was not good for our physically challenged friend. Then we waited. And waited. Another 15 minutes.
We finally were seated next to a window and our waitress gave us the menu. She was polite but I could tell she was in a hurry. My guess is that she had too many tables to wait on. Oh well …
We ordered Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider so we could toast this occasion — a 50th wedding anniversary (3 years late), my 55th birthday (a few days early) and a goodbye to our friends who are moving to Arizona.
I was in for a pleasant surprise when I tasted the Martinelli’s. It was delicious! Normally I don’t like sparkling cider because there is too much carbonization but that was not the case. Can cider become better with age or what could be the reason this one tasted so good? My family usually had cider for the holidays but the taste of this Martinelli’s surpassed any I’d ever had.
Next we ordered two appetizers. One was a salmon “crab” cake which was more like a salmon loaf and the second was the Rustic Flat Bread which was delicious.
And then we waited for the entrees to come. And waited. One thing I have learned in my almost 55 years of living is that the “finer” restaurants allow you to take your time at meals. But this seemed a little longer than what I expected.
By the time the food arrived we were ready to devour it. When the waitress put the plates in front of each person I could see disappointment in one of my friends eyes. Portion sizes were really small. The beef tenderloin that my friend ordered tasted wonderful but the baby carrots were a disappointment. There were, maybe, 5 little tiny carrots. The same was true with most of the other entrees in terms of the vegetables.
The portion size was enough to fill you if you weren’t overly hungry. I was happy with my entree — the Anderson Ranch Lamp Chops. Not much meat on the bones but it sure was tender. I had to pick the bone up though and bite the small bits of meat off or I wouldn’t have had much of a meal as the knife would not cut into the corners very well. (Yes, not proper etiquette but I was a hungered! laughing)
Perhaps the reason they don’t give you too much food is so you can have some of their yummy dessert! I can’t remember the name of mine and it’s not on their website but the inside had a chocolate filling and the outside tasted very light and it all melted in your mouth. My mouth waters just thinking about it.
We had a good time even though service was a bit slow. I was chagrined to see that the Sky City Restaurant has a minimum food and beverage charge of $35 per person. I guess it doesn’t matter since the cheapest dinner entree I could find was $38.
Well worth it though. A definite five star dinner but three stars for the service.
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