If you think you have to drive to Seattle to enjoy a sundeck dining experience, think again.
Emory’s on Silver Lake has room for 100 diners on its deck, which overlooks the Everett lake that’s part of its name.
“We have the largest outdoor deck in this county,” said Emory Cole, longtime owner of the restaurant with his wife, Molly Cole. “This time of year, everybody wants to sit outside.”
Its diverse menu brings in customers who come after busy work days for casual dining, as well as those who want more formal dining or a place to celebrate special occasions, he said.
The landmark restaurant, which opened in 1994, was rebuilt after a 2009 arson caused $2 million in damage. It reopened in 2010 on Thanksgiving Day.
On the Monday evening when I visited, the deck was filled with diners enjoying a sunlit meal.
My family and I settled into an inside table and chatted as we looked over its extensive menu, which includes pizzas ($14 to $17.50), New York and filet mignon steaks ($37 and $39 respectively), and the seafood offerings we all came for.
It wasn’t an easy choice. My brother, Ival Salyer, settled on Alaska cod Parmesan, ($25) a seared cod fillet with panko and Parmesan crust, citrus beurre blanc sauce and au gratin potatoes.
His wife, Bea Salyer, selected the Northwest bouillabaisse ($28), with sauteed prawns, clams, fish and scallops in a tomato, fennel, potato and white wine broth.
My nephew Scott Salyer, up for a visit from California, chose the seafood risotto ($31) with sauteed prawns, scallops, clams, mushrooms, seasonal fish and spinach, with a crust of panko and Parmesan.
I opted for the wild Northwest coho salmon ($34.50), char-grilled with seasoning, fried caper beurre blanc sauce, rice pilaf and asparagus.
First, we remarked on the generous portion sizes. The cod was nearly steak-sized.
My sister-in-law was immediately taken with the lightness of the bouillabaisse broth, with ingredients that included white wine and tomatoes. “I’d like the recipe,” she said, adding that it is very different from the bouillabaisse base she makes for her signature dish at their annual Christmas Eve dinner.
The seafood risotto got high-five ratings from Scott Salyer, as well. “This is excellent and there’s plenty of it,” he said. He also was impressed with the variety of seafood.
One of the ways he tests the freshness of seafood is with the taste of clams. “Really good,” he said of those in the risotto.
My brother echoed the feelings of all of us as we ate our seafood. “The thing with fish is not to overcook it, not to over-spice it,” he said.
And there’s one other thing. Too often, great seafood is smothered in sauces that leave the diner nearly wondering what exactly is hiding beneath.
My salmon was perfectly grilled. Although I’ve had grilled salmon at any number of area restaurants, this year this one gets my “championship” rating.
There was one extra scoop of fun Monday night: The meal was a fundraiser for the Mill Creek Chorale’s 2020 tour of Ireland.
Director Sean Berg was strolling the aisle, chatting with choir members, before the group, including my brother, broke out in song: “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” from the Broadway show “Guys and Dolls.”
In short, this evening can be wrapped up as: sun, song and scrumptious food. Who could ask for more?
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
Emory’s on Silver Lake, 11830 19th Ave. SE, Everett, is open 4 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday. Summer weekend lunch, from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, continues through September. Call 425-337-7772 or go to www.emorys.com for more information.