Heart of the ocean

Photo By David Robert

Major turn-on

Wild Alaskan Fish Eatery & Market

L ast year was our first Valentine’s Day together, and I wanted our dinner to be special. Like all holidays, it arrived before I knew it, and I hadn’t made reservations anywhere. The RN&R had run a favorable review of the Wild Alaskan Fish Eatery & Market, and the restaurant was advertising a Valentine’s Day special, so I called and made reservations.

I was shocked when we walked in. The restaurant looked like your typical go-to-the-counter-and-order-a-sandwich place. There was a big menu board and people were refilling drinks at the self-serve soda station. I was horrified, thinking, “Oh, great. This ought to make an impression.”

I told the person behind the counter that we had reservations for the Valentine’s Day dinner, and we were seated well away from everyone else. Red cloth covered our table, and the candle centerpiece gave off a pleasant glow. “Bonus!” I thought.

Our waiter offered us a choice of wines—one bottle was included with dinner—and we chose a Chardonnay. The waiter then told us, with flair, that the entrée selections were lamb or salmon. The problem is, my girlfriend refuses to eat lamb (I think it’s a Shari Lewis-Lambchop thing) and the last time we had salmon we both got sick. I thought, “Oh, great. There goes dinner,” as we ordered the salmon.

What proceeded was a most pleasant and tasty meal, and the best Valentine’s Day dinner I’ve ever had.

Wild Alaskan closed at 8 p.m., so by the time we got our first course, the restaurant was almost deserted. Our waiter, as it turned out, was the manager. He was witty and charming and at our beck and call.

I was so taken with my girlfriend that I didn’t pay much attention to what was being served or the order it was served in; I’m pretty sure we had an appetizer first—I want to say stuffed mushrooms, but here my memory is vague. We also had Thai shrimp seafood soup, which was delicious. It was tangy, and there were a lot of tasty bits of seafood in every spoonful.

Raspberry pine nut salad came next. It too was yummy, and the sun-dried cranberries added a wonderful tartness. Then came the main course, which I was dreading, but despite my reservations the salmon turned out to be the best salmon I had ever eaten. It was poached and trimmed with fresh asparagus spears, which were lightly steamed and crisp. I remember having tasty potatoes too, but I couldn’t tell you how they were cooked; I was too busy staring into my girlfriend’s gorgeous blue eyes.

Dessert looked more like fine art than food. I think it was some sort of cake thing, but I couldn’t tell you exactly what it was. I can only tell you that, like the rest of the meal, it was superb.

So how do I top this dinner? I think I’ll have to start at the bottom and work my way up again. McDonald’s, dear?