Anniversary dinner. Waterfront table overlooking Port Gardener Bay. Totally wonderful until the main courses arrived. Wife had the halibut. It appeared to be boiled and lay atop purple potatoes. Tasteless. For me, a seafood Cannelloni. A promise of salmon, prawns, scallops, in rich pasta and cheeses. A reality of puddled grease and cheap ingredients. I could only eat a few bites, but a few bites was about a third of it. I guess if its inedible, folks won't realize how little's there. The staff was nice about it, but nobody actually cared. Not even the manager could be bothered to come talk about it. So, fifty-two bucks poorer, we left hungry and a bit angry. This was my first time ever stiffing a tip. The anniversary? We're back home. Didn't go for desert as the cramping had started. Doesn't look like we'll be romancing tonight.
An outstanding view draws locals and tourists out of the city and into a friendly, predictable experience.. In Short Each Ivar's branch is consistently busy, thanks to fabulous locations and consistent renderings of Northwest seafood basics: clams, crab, salmon, halibut and oysters. The dining room view--overlooking the ferry terminal with Whidbey Island in the background -- is superlative. The interior ambiance includes fishnet hanging above and framed fish doilies on the wall beside tables. Try marinated grilled prawns with black beans or black cod with wild mushrooms and cream sauce.
Overpriced and lacks creativity.
We had dinner one week night, fairly early. There were very few diners at the time so the kitchen's laziness had no excuse. I don't eat onions and needed some substitutions. When I got my meal with the substituted items, the requested "decent" sliced tomatoes were unripe and tasteless, the vegetable was also a tasteless serving of cheap steamed zucchini, and the salmon arrived swimming in some watery liquid. The salmon was overpoached -- which should be a crime in Washington -- and nothing was seasoned. The kitchen could have done any number of things to substitute but they didn't bother. It was an expensive $25 meal that wasn't edible. This is the third time we've dined at this Ivar's and we won't return -- too expensive and a tourist trap. We have no idea where you can park, since we came on the ferry as passengers.
Snohomish County Seafood Gem.
The recently reopened Ivars in Mukilteo is a stunning surprise. A major renovation has yielded a warm and inviting dining room with lots of wood and a fireplace adds to the warmth. Service was efficient and unobtrusive. The real surprise was the really great seafood, I had the salmon baked on a cedar plank. Every part of this meal was wonderful, the cornbread pudding is a real treat. My wife had the parmesan crusted petrale sole it was crusty and yummy with sun dried tomato hollandaise. I would highly recommend giving the new Ivars a try the drive is worth it. I would recomend a reservation though as many night there is a wait for tables.