Seattle >Food & Dining > Chandler's Crabhouse
901 Fairview Ave N, Seattle, WA | Directions 9810947.627035 -122.333872
Neighborhoods: Lake Union, South-Lake Union
View wonderful - food NOT!!! – Notwithstanding good service; once we were finally seated next to a window with a beautiful view, the dining experience was only memorable from its high price and remarkable poor quality. My partner sent their dish back, and I should have! A tab of over $120 for two without alcohol is ridiculous considering flavorless fare which had obviously been sitting out for a while in spite of the establishment being less than 1/2 full. A most unhappy event for an out-of-town guest. Too bad, considering they must have among the best of views along the lake. Never again!!!
Monday lunch after Seahawks Win! – I was craving fish & chips - chandler's was recommended by our hotel - OMG the most finest fish & chips w/panko breadcrumbs ever!! you have to try a cup (OK a bowl if you're really hungry) of the succulent Whiskey Crab Soup - it still makes me drool!! we had the finest table overlooking the water & the ambience was awesome - kudo's to the chefs.....when I'm back in Seattle....Chandler's here we come! TY!!!!! PS check out Tom Kat's pics from our visit the Monday after the Seahawks beat the Cardinals!!!
Fantastic Happy Hour – We were greeted & seated immediately upon arrival. We'd heard about the fantastic happy hour specials & that's what we were after. Our server was Jen who very capably answered all our questions & even got us the ingredient measurements for the blueberry lemon drop that I loved. We had Kimchee Beef which was incredible, the sliced sirloin slider, the pulled pork slider & truffle fries which were all very good. The weather was wonderful & this was a great place to stop into on our walk along the lakefront.
nice view, but it ends there – completely overrated. I have made my third visit hoping that the first two were anomaly's. Not so. Food quality is mediocre at best, portions are small, and prices high. We ordered the $32 "tower" appetizer at lunch that was to contain calamari, crabcakes, and korean beef. 6 small bites of beef, a small portion of calamari, and one crabcake appeared. I thought they were kidding; they weren't. again, completely overrated.
Yummy – I went there for brunch which is not buffet style but by menu. Their food taste good and is worth the price!
Romantic Atmosphere? – I made a reservation here for my boyfriend's birthday because he LOVES crab. We ended up ordering two salads, a crab cake, two bowls of soup, and a plate of crab to share. The one piece of crab cake ($12?) was the one dish that stood out for me...delicious, and probably one of the best crab cakes I've had. Everything was delicious, but most of the dishes didn't have the extra kick that would justify the price tag.
The service was incredibly slow. It took us over two hours to finish our dinner (from the time we sat down until the time we paid our bill). We ordered a few minutes after we sat down, but the dishes took FOREVER to come out. I believe we received our crab cake and soup first, then waited around 15-20 minutes for our salad to finally show up. After we finished our salad, we had to wait another 20-30 minutes for our one dish of crab arrived. At one point, my boyfriend and I began to wonder if they forgot about us because it had been well over 20 minutes since we finished our appetizers and no one had come over to check on us or let us know the food was on its way. I understand what the atmosphere of a restaurant like this is supposed to be like, but the wait was way too long and the service was almost non-existant. We waited so long that we weren't even hungry anymore by the time the crab came out.
You're mostly paying for the waterfront view – Unlike most any other type of cuisine, when it comes to seafood restauraunts, it's all about location, location, location. Chandlers offers average food in an above average setting, at prices that few people would tolerate if not for it's nice lakeside views and outdoor dining options. ( note to City Search editors, the dinner meal prices are no longer in the $$ range. On our recent visit, entrees started at about $30 and went up quickly to over $70). Having grown up along the Gulf Coast, I love and appreciate good seafood. Chandler's Crabhouse falls somewhere in the middle of the pack when compared to local options. The restaurant, though not a chain, is one of a family of locally owned steak and seafood restaurants, and it has a vaguely coorporate feel to it. The interior is a slightly dated mish mash of generic, clubby steakhouse ( painted beadboard, uncomfortably tight booths ) and hotel lobby contemporary ( soaring glass rotunda ). In keeping with the decor, the menu doesn't seem to know what it should be. For example, my father ordered grilled halibut, which inexplicably came covered with an odd strawberry compote of some sort. My mother, who is 5'4", had the half order of 5 stone crab claws. They came presented atop a huge, gallon sized bowl of shaved ice about 14' in diameter. It was almost comical. Embarassed sitting there in a bib, unable to see over the huge pile of ice in front of her, she asked the waiter if there was something he could do to help, but he just laughed it off as if she must have been joking. All in all, our meals were OK, but they tasted like something from a kitchen rather than the hands of a chef, and at the price, there is much better to be had in Seattle.
A gorgeous view and a bar designed for post-work parties, this updated classic draws in a crowd of fun seekers. – The Scene
Chandler's is turning back the clock; what was once a favorite place for grandparents and retired boat-blazers is now a destination for fresh-faced young professionals. Striving to charm this new market, they've has added a bevy of savvy servers, creative, healthier menu items and playful cocktails. The dining room places contemporary accoutrements opposite a Norman Rockwell mural, trying it's best to please all visitors.
Just for fun, start with an appetizer tower; spin the brassy knob and explore nibbles of tempura laced Ahi, rotund Dungeness crab legs and a California roll. Crab lovers barely look at the menu and instead don their bibs and order it whole or half, cooked to their specifications. The cedar plank-smoked Alaskan Halibut is a delight. Want it all? The steak draped in crabmeat and finished with a roasted tomato sauce is a non-stop ticket to culinary heaven.
Excellent service, good food, can get pricey – Last Friday, I enjoyed dinner at Chandlers Crabhouse on a 6:15 p.m. reservation with two friends. Although the parking situation was a tad confusing (do you -have- to valet park?!), the hostesses were gracious and warm upon my entrance to the restaurant. Our server Leigh Anne proved to be equally personable, and quite informative as well. I would request her section in the future.
After joining my table, we immediately busied ourselves with a serious menu review. For the appetizer course, I chose the Caesar salad with Dungeness crab addedcompletely delicious! Mia went with the incredibly rich Dungeness crab & artichoke dip paired with slices of herbed Foccacia breadtasty, albeit a little bit salty in my humble opinion. Lisas choice was Dungeness crab leg cocktail, which earned fine marks. Moving on to appetizers, Mia and I both splurged on the filet & King crab9 oz. of beefy goodness accompanied by a whoppin half pound of King crab (thats two ginormous legswatch out for the spikes!). Mashed potatoes and asparagus were also on board. Lisa opted for the Dungeness crab and Bay Shrimp Louie, a hearty salad packed with seafood, boiled eggs, and vegetables. The meal was quite good, although we were a bit dismayed to be dressed in goofy crabhouse bibs by our server. I believe Lisas reaction was, This is one of -those- places?! That aside, we enjoyed the meal. The healthy servings filled us up, and the three of us could only share a desserta delectable flourless chocolate torte.
Now, heres my thing about Chandlersthe service was great, the food was very goodbut given that our bill was $290, I am not entirely sure that the experience was $290 good. I guess for that amount of money, I would have expected something a little bit more extraordinary. I would go back, but in the future I think Id keep to entrees under $40 per plate.
Pricey.......but worth it – I went here on a Sunday evening with my wife and father in law. Even though it was a Sunday, I decided to make a reservation to be safe, and when I called, they asked if I had any special requests. I didn't, but in retrospect, this is a good time to ask for a choice table. There are a lot of options where you can sit. Most popular appeared to be the atrium, which had huge windows and the best view of the lake. However, it has high ceilings and appeared a bit more noisy, so we opted for a quieter table down a hall. This worked out nicely, as we had pretty much the whole section to ourselves - this became more important around the second bottle of wine.
The food was great, a good mix of traditional seafood dishes mixed in with some more exotic ingredients and presentation. For appetizers we had whiskey crab soup. It was a lot like lobster bisque, but well, crab. Noteworthy were the shrimp and asparagus tempura. Unlike a lot of tempura I've had, this was very lightly battered, well seasoned, and not at all greasy. For main course, My FIL had Alaskan salmon, which was as solid or better than anywhere else, my wife had crab cakes, and I had the king crab. The crab cakes were, like the tempura, not heavily breaded or fried, and chock full of crab. I hate when there is more filler than crab!! I could not believe how much King crab I got. It was perfectly cooked, succulent and never chewy. We capped it off with the key lime pie. I saw someone else raving about it in this forum and I must agree. We ended up with enough extra food for 3 solid lunches, everything was huge. I should note that a few of the menu items don't specifically call out what sides you get. I learned this when I ordered risotto with my crab, only to find that I also got potatoes and asparagus - hence some of the leftovers.
Service was also excellent. Never had to look for our waitress, nor did we get the impression she was trying get us out. We pretty much closed the place down.
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