Saturday, September 14, 2013

seven glaciers retaurant

The dinner I was most excited for in Alaska was the one we went to on our last night. We went to Seven Glaciers restaurant, a spot nestled 2,300 ft above sea level with panoramic views and delicious locally-sourced fare.

Up we went on the tram (with some of us having their eyes closed or looking at the floor to avoid seeing the view).

We started with a celebratory bottle of Veuve...

...while we decided on our meals ahead. T went with trusting the chef and blindly accepted the tasting menu (which I became jealous of, but we had no idea what anything was, because we never saw the menu and when it was delivered no one really explained it!).

We started with soups and salads, in order: 1. roquefort & butter lettuce salad with a roquefort vinaigrette, crispy pork belly, tomato jam, and scallion pesto. 2. tomato & watermelon gazpacho with traditional garnishes, organic olive oil, and crab. 3. artisan greens salad with radish, wilted cabbage, shaved carrots, lemon herb vinaigrette, and rye croutons. 4. good question, it was T's (but enjoyable nonetheless).


Next was T's surprise 2nd course, which was my favorite of the entire night. Again, I couldn't tell you what it was, especially since it's now been over a month since I was there, but it was a delicious halibut with soft noodles and black olives.

T then had another mystery dish, an asian salad topping a fresh hunk of salmon, again good, but nothing close to how perfect the previous dish was.

As an entree I had the fresh Alaskan salmon with lemon spaetzle, corn, english peas, and a fireweed honey glaze. I had no problem finishing this entire dish, with the soft and light spaetzle pairing perfectly with the crispy top of the salmon and the crunch of the peas.

Meim went with the Alaskan halibut with tomato, green beans, fingerling potatoes, and a tomato vinaigrette. Again, another person had no issue finishing their dish on their own.

My dad went with the deconstructed king crab risotto with a lemon and black pepper risotto, broccolini, grilled lemon, and a citrus butter.

T had a delicious chicken entree wrapped in a pork belly, which was absolutely perfectly paired...and some mystery sides, of course. He also had a wagyu beef course, which was eaten to quickly to document, but was as tender as could be and had punches of flavor, unsurprisingly.

We finished with dessert, of course.

T started with a few small treats...

I went with the beignets with vanilla bean, a rum caramel sauce, and a banana cardamom gelato. I was so excited, I love the sugary pillowy goodness of beignets, but I was so sad when this arrived. They were dense pillows with lackluster sugar and a sauce that was overpoweringly rum with not even a slight glimmer of caramel. On the other hand, the banana cardamom gelato was deliciously creamy and a refreshing hit of banana.

Meim went with the chocolate hazelnut cake with dark chocolate, hazelnut and chocolate silk cream, and a smoked mocha gelato. Overall this worked much better, and the gelato again got a rave review.

My dad went with their signature baked Alyeska with a chocolate cake, trio of chocolate mousses covered in bittersweet ganance and an Italian meringue. Again, no complaints, but it was quite large, and definitely made for sharing!


After dinner, we strolled about outside, enjoying the gorgeous setting, before heading back down.

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Friday, September 13, 2013

alaska by water

The second half of our trip was spent in, on, and all around the beautiful waters of Alaska. First we went to Whittier to go on an all-day trip with the family-owned and operated Lazy Otter Charters. With completely tailored trips offered, and a family that lives in Whittier year-round, it is the perfect company to go with if you want to get out on the beautiful Alaskan water into Prince William Sound.

We headed out, flying by waterfalls and glaciers, to watch some of the many salmon fishers doing their difficult and tiring work.

Out we headed, past the loud, smelly, angsty islands of sea lions...

 ...past the puffins, and past a 10 minute show by the dall porpoise (which look just like mini killer whales) dancing in the water to stay near the pressure of the bow (you can see a video of them here, but note that it's not mine, as I was too excited to get a good video). 

We ended at a quiet spot with changing tides to eat our sandwiches with eagles flying overhead, before heading out kayaking with some playful otters.

Next, we found a private island and hopped off to enjoy some cookies, skipping rocks, and illegally swimming in the 40degree water...

After a long day, we headed back to land to go out to dinner at Seven Glaciers (which I'll show you tomorrow).

 The next day we all headed out to Cooper Landing for an all-day horseback riding tour of the area (begrudgingly for T).


Our final day on the water was spent salmon fishing on the Upper Kenai Pennisula...where I caught zero salmon but I did catch a 5lb rainbow trout!

Luckily, we caught some salmon, and our guide was nice enough to freshly grill some up right on the boat! Sadly, I'll never be able to eat non-fresh salmon again, because I have been absolutely spoiled by the fresh-out-of-the-water salmon which tasted nothing like the salmon I had ever had before. Now, all salmon tastes fishy to me, even the non-fishy ones, which is really too bad!

After our long day on another boat, we headed back to rest, driving by eagles, and this massive moose that decided it was a good time to cross the road. Why did the moose cross the road? I think he was just trying to get to the other side...heh heh heh.
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