I wouldn’t say I’m a connoisseur of fish, and I’m certainly not a fisherwoman. I leave that to my father-in-law. But I do enjoy eating sushi and various types of grilled or sauteed fish. Salmon, especially, I love raw or smoked, but I have never had very good grilled salmon. It has always been a little too stiff and tasteless, no matter where I’ve eaten it.
Then I went to Ray’s Boathouse, located on Puget Sound on the top side of Salmon Bay. That is, in Ballard, the Seattle neighborhood Todd and I are staying in until mid-September. I saw it on a map one day, and when my birthday came around, I knew I wanted to go there for dinner.
I chose the Boathouse rather than the Cafe, although the Cafe is cheaper and offers outdoor seating (and blankets if necessary). The former was much pricier, but I wasn’t looking to economize. I don’t usually order a bottle of wine for just the two of us, but since the Boathouse had won lots of Wine Spectator awards, I decided to try one of the gruner veltliners on the menu (a dry blend with riesling), and Todd chose a drink made with cachaça (I can’t find it on the website, so I can’t tell you its name. I don’t think it was a capirinha). Each of us had a salad before the meal. Mine was the Boistfort Valley Farm salad, with locally grown peas, pecorino, mint, and an onion vinaigrette.Mostly, I remember that the cheese was nice. Todd ordered the Boathouse Salad, with butter lettuce, Point Reyes Farmstead blue cheese, almonds, and a raspberry theme vinaigrette. His salad is very colorful.Todd finished his drink and started helping me with the wine. Then our entrees arrived. Both our entrees were smoked with mesquite; his salmon on a bed of couscous was so tender it made me like grilled salmon again. I had sablefish, which I’ve never eaten before. It tasted lightly smoked and was lusciously fatty, like pork belly. They warned me there might be a few bones in the middle. The reasonable portion of risotto was crisp around the edges, and the apricot coulis was nice but hardly necessary. I took this picture with my BlackBerry, and the shallow puddle of coulis looks quite huge and solid here.