After a long day at the zoo, we were all starving. My brother suggested Ray’s Boathouse which is up near the Ballard Locks. I had heard of it, but never eaten there. I navigated our way there using a map my brother had. My sister-in-law called them to make sure they had room for us. They did. We arrived shortly after. We parked, and went inside. Right next door is Anthony’s Home Port which is also supposed to be very good.
I think technically we ate in Ray’s Café and Bar which is upstairs, while the fine dining Ray’s Boathouse restaurant is downstairs. I am guessing the food is the similar. Looking online, it looks like the menus are slightly different, and the prices downstairs are higher.
First, be aware, that this place isn’t cheap. Prices for entrees run from about $11 to over $20.
The five of us sat, and our waiter came over and took our drink orders. He read us the specials which sounded very good. But he came back a few minutes later and informed us that the specials he gave us were yesterday’s specials. He gave us today’s specials, but the consensus at the table was yesterday’s specials sounded better.
I always want to try nearly everything on the menu. But since I can only have one thing, I have a little trick. I will ask the waiter that if I was to have one thing on the menu that would make me remember the restaurant, what should I have? Well, our waiter suggested the Chatham Strait Sablefish in Sake Kasu (With grilled choy sum, jasmine rice, honey soy and scallion oil). My wife and niece had the Dungeness Crab & Rock Shrimp Cakes (Asparagus and roasted new potatoes, with green goddess dressing). My brother had one of the Salmon specials. And I think my sister-in-law had the Sautéed White Gulf Prawns (Coconut sticky rice cake, arugula and cilantro-ginger-lime sauce). My wife and I shared a bowl of the clam chowder.
The clam chowder was good, but not great. We have had better (most recently at Wally’s Chowder House in Des Moines, WA).
Then our entrees came. The presentation was excellent. The portions were on the smallish side for the price, but not tiny. My Sablefish was excellent. I really liked the Sake Kasu too. I tried some of my wife’s crab cakes, and they were very good. My bro’s salmon was also very good. My brother also sampled around the table, and said that he thought my Sablefish was the best. I ate my wife’s asparagus since she hates asparagus.
Often when eating, I don’t have room left for desert. But we had just enough room this night because of the portion sizes. My wife and I split a Chocolate Cherry Tango … for Two (Dark chocolate brownies with sour cherries and white chocolate chunks, bittersweet chocolate and sour cherry sauces, vanilla bean ice cream). The rest of the people at our table ordered the Sweet Heat! Chocolate Chili Lime Soufflé Cake (Warm and gooey, served with lime sauce and vanilla bean ice cream). The Chocolate Cherry Tango was great. I tried a bit of the Sweet Heat, and it was great also.
Frankly, I don’t think you can go wrong with the food here. It was all great. Well except the clam chowder which was still very good. Just be prepared when they bring you your bill.
Ray’s Boathouse is located at 6049 Seaview Avenue NW, Seattle, WA 98107. Phone: (206) 782.0094.