A few weeks ago, Alaska Airlines sent out an offer to some Mileage Plan members that offered dinner and wine pairings at Canlis for just 12,500 miles. Canlis has been a Seattle icon since the 1950s, situated near the Aurora Bridge with sweeping views of Lake Union. As far as I know, it’s also the only dining establishment in the Pacific Northwest that has a dress code. 😉
I was too slow to book tickets; the offer sold out before noon. However, Megan’s coworker, Yong, attended the dinner last week and offered to write a post about her experience. Rumor has it that this event was so popular that Alaska may repeat the offer in the future.
Thanks for the report, Yong!
Last Thursday night, my boyfriend, Alan, and I were fortunate enough to participate in Alaska Airlines’ “Exclusive Winemaker Dinner at Canlis” in partnership with VISA Signature. The exclusive dining event included:
- A welcome wine reception with hors d’oeuvres
- A four-course dinner by Executive Chef Brady Williams
- Wine pairings from Sonoma County winery Gloria Ferrer Caves + Vineyards
- A “tableside discussion” with Chef Williams, Canlis owner Brian Canlis, and Gloria Ferrer Caves + Vineyards “Wine Educator” Eva Bertran
- Complimentary valet parking
Before diving into the details of the fun event, I would like to clarify that it was Alan that received the email invitation, as Alan is an MVP Gold member whereas, I’m just an MVP. But we are both Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa credit card account holders. This plain ol’ MVP member didn’t receive the invitation — I was just lucky that my boyfriend is generous.
This invite-only event cost Alan 12,500 miles per place setting. Hence, Alan spent 25,000 of his well-earned miles (from numerous business trips) for this thrilling experience. (This must have been his charitable deed for the year — to take a Korean to this lavish dinner!)
Prior to this event, both Alan and I had yet to dine at Canlis. Surprising because both of us enjoy fine dining. Trained as an architect, I’ve known of Canlis’ iconic architecture since it is a Roland Terry piece, a renowned Seattle architect.
The event began at 6:30pm. Alan and I arrived early and enjoyed a glass of wine in their bar, while the restaurant was still preparing for the event upstairs. Shorty after only two sips of our wines, we were escorted upstairs. We were greeted with a glass of white sparkling wine and our name plates.
There were approximately eight round dining tables with nine place settings each — room for four couples and one Alaska Airlines representative. It was a bit intimidating to enter the dining room and choose our table, in a room full of strangers. However, the extrovert in me found this exciting to meet the other couples, while my partner, Alan, preferred to enjoy his wine and gradually work his way into conversation. We lucked out and enjoyed the other couples at our table!
When we were all seated, the owner, Brian Canlis, introduced himself and spoke about Canlis’ history and their search for their 6th Executive Chef, Brady Williams. Brian spoke about his East Coast recruitment trip and discovering Brady in NYC, working behind an Italian pizzeria. Brady then followed up with a humorous jab that we would all be enjoying “five courses of pizza”. With all humor aside, Chef Williams described the courses for the evening: fig with rutabaga, salmon with matsutake mushrooms, chicken with sweet corn and blackberry and for dessert, crème brulee!
Each of the courses were divine and well plated.
It was to no surprise that all the courses were well portioned, executed well, and tasted amazing. My two favorites were the salmon and the crème brûlée. The salmon was fresh and rich in flavor.
As for the dessert… one of the gentlemen at the table and his wife noticed that I devoured my dessert so fast (and I was a bit melancholy about finishing it) that he quietly ordered another one (without my knowledge). They actually witnessed me moving in on Alan’s crème brûlée and then getting my hand slapped by my Scotsman (in a loving/friendly way, of course!). When the surprise, second crème brûlée arrived, the waitress said to me that “the chef happened to have an extra dessert” and were burdened with how to address the extra one. Very sweet — I thanked the lovely couple who ordered it for me and also the kind waitress.
The evening ended by 10:45 for Alan and me, and we happened to be the first couple to leave the event after the evening cocktail and coffee! Overall, it was a magnificent evening, and I recommend anyone who receives the email invitation to strongly consider attending the event. The event has limited seating, which should come as no surprise, so this event fills up fast.
Thank you to Alan, Alaska Airlines, Visa, and Canlis for a fun and unique evening!