Ivar’s Salmon House – Seattle, WA

First dinner in Seattle! After an entertaining Duck Tour (yes… can’t get any more tourist-y than that), and A LOT of walking, I was pretty psyched about a nice relaxing dinner. Other than hanging out w the SILs; we were also having dinner w youngest SIL’s in laws and celebrating a birthday. Youngest SIL & her favourite S made reservations for dinner at Ivar’s Salmon House.

The restaurant was massive! And had the most interesting decor, with a lot of old wood in its structure, some antique boats and lots of wood carvings.

The restaurant was pretty dark so I could not take a decent shot of the menu, so I just took them off their website. The menu is fairly short, with just enough choices for all types but not too many that it is overwhelming.

And the specials:


We ordered:

Corn Bread (Complimentary)

Served to us warm with whipped butter. It was pretty tasty… A little on the dense side but had great flavours and was great with the butter.


3 orders of Merv’s Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta $8

Organic heirloom tomatoes tossed with fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, fresh mozarella and served on alder grilled bread finished with a balsamic reduction

This was surprisingly amazing. My favourite dish of the evening. The little balls of fresh mozzarella and 3 different heirloom tomatoes were delicious! Everything tasted fresh and balanced.


2 orders of Dungeness Crab filled fresh Atlanta Ling Cod Fillets $28

Ling Cod filled with Dungeness crab, coated with house made bread crumbs and served with roasted fingerling potatoes & grilled asparagus finished with a Tangerine buerre blanc.

I didn’t care much for the heavily breaded ling cod. The texture of ling cod was not as delicate and all the other fishes and the crab gets lost in all that fish and breading. The sides were delicious though.


2 orders of Alaskan Salmon Sampler $29.50

3 oz. pieces of wild caught Alaskan King, Sockeye & Coho salmon fillets cooked over alder wood fires and served with roasted green beans & choice of mash potatoes, roasted potatoes or wild rice

I was disappointed by this dish. The small salmon fillets did not manage to get much smokiness in them and 2 out of 3 of them were overdone. The best tasting and cooked was the Alaskan King, very moist and fatty. The sockeye and coho were pretty similar and hard to tell apart but both were grilled a little too long so were dry and underwhelming.

I didn’t care much for the waxy beans. The mash potatoes were OK.


Alder smoked Alaska Red King Salmon Fillet (8oz) $31

8 oz fillet cooked over alder wood fire and served with roasted green beans & choice of mash potatoes, roasted potatoes or wild rice

The fish was AMAZING! The salmon was grilled very well and had a nice smokiness that the sampler was missing. So fatty, moist and flaked off in beautiful layers, seasoned well and just plain delicious as a whole. Same sides as the previous entree.


Alder Smoked Alaska Sockeye Salmon Fillet (6oz) $24

6 oz fillet cooked over alder wood fire and served with roasted green beans & choice of mash potatoes, roasted potatoes or wild rice

The salmon was cooked well and had a nice smoky flavour from the alder wood. It was hard to enjoy this after having a piece of the King Salmon which was just a lot more moist and complex with its fat content. Fish was seasoned well~

The rice was good, cooked well with nice flavours. Again, I didn’t care much for the beans.

2 orders of Alder Smoked Alaska Halibut Fillet (6 oz) $29

The server suggested we tried it served with the same sides & sauce as the lingcod special : asparagus, fingerling potatoes & tangerine beurre blanc.

I was glad he did because the sauce &  asparagus were delicious and went very well with the fish!! I am glad we didn’t go for the usual beans n potatoes (or wild rice) with all other entrees which I thought were pretty blah.

Surprisingly the fish was not the star in the dish. It was a tad overdone. That being said, it was nice and smoky from the grill and was seasoned well. The thicker end that was not overdone flaked off beautifully and had a nice firm texture with mild flavours.

For desserts, we shared:

Fresh strawberry shortcake $9

Fresh sliced strawberries on fresh baked shortbread scone served with a lemon curd and whipped cream.

I really enjoyed their rendition of the “Cake” by using short bread scones. They were warm and buttery. Everything tasted good together (although it became a total mess to eat). That being said, the whipped cream was over whipped and had weird texture…


Seasonal Fruit Crisps $6.75

Fresh blue berries meld together with a crisp topping and served with vanilla ice cream

We were told we were getting apricot but ended up with blueberry. Didn’t have enough “crisps” on top but the tiny blueberries were pretty intense. It was pretty good with the vanilla ice cream


Burnt creme $7

Cream custard topped with vanilla infused burnt sugar and topped with whipped cream

The custard was a lot lighter that I expected and pretty good overall.



2 glasses of Cabernet @$6 each
2 cups of coffee @$3 each



Total Damage: $379.35 (including tax & tip)

Personal Rating: 3 out of 5 (Good)

Everything that were tried were above average or really good. The quality of all the fish fillets were top notch and prepared well in general. I appreciate that the menu was very simple but approachable. Sometimes simplicity is best especially with fish~

Service was actually very good. Our server was very personable and great at going through the menu with us. Food got to us in a pretty timely manner and quite efficiently as well.




Ivar’s Salmon House

401 NE Northlake Way
Seattle, WA 98105

(206) 632 0767

Ivar's Salmon House on Urbanspoon

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