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Fine Dining and Coffee: A Conversation with Canlis

“There’s a warmth and hospitality that invites you…a sense that you belong here.”

Aaron Reid, Dining Room Manager at Canlis

 We think that coffee has a place at any table, but few tables are as selective and elegant as those at Canlis. A Seattle establishment, this restaurant has long been hailed as a special place—a location in which to celebrate; an experience to cherish. For us over at Metric, it is nothing short of a great honor to be featured as a guest on their coffee menu. Dining Room Manager and coffee veteran Aaron Reid offers his view on coffee and fine dining.

“If they’re coming to Canlis, they’re expecting the best. They’re expecting something they wouldn’t be able to try in other places. A lot of our guests are not necessarily expecting amazing coffee, because coffee is not really thought of by restaurants or by guests as part of the dining experience, so this is a way for us to exceed their expectations by having high quality coffee,” says Aaron.

Canlis represents a kind of regal, old world charm. Architectural elements include exposed wood and brick; inside, a glowing, warm atmosphere contrasts with stunning Northwestern views of evergreen trees and boating docks. Guests are often dressed to the nines. In fact, they are encouraged to do so. The approach to service is wholesome, attentive, and personal. We admire Canlis for their commitment to craft and service, and that’s one of many reasons we are excited to promote this partnership.

This month, Metric is partnering with Canlis in providing a pour-over option on their coffee menu. The Ethiopian Hambela Abeba Genet is immediately recognizable as something different. We enjoy it because it is light, vibrant, distinctly floral, and clean. In a setting of pre-set, multi-course meals, we are pleased that this coffee was selected as an excellent companion to such meticulously crafted cuisine. Aaron strives for diversity and balance in his coffee offerings, appealing to the range of expectations of his guests. Darker, bolder roasts often align with what many folks in Seattle and beyond expect, and other options like Metric’s Ethiopian Hambela Abeba Genet find broad appeal through brighter and juicy flavors. This stylistic range is highly intentional, and allows guests to navigate and select coffee options with greater clarity and ease.

Appealing to all tastes can present a challenge, but Aaron takes it on beautifully by keeping hospitality and accommodation front and center, while not sacrificing quality. When it comes to the world of coffee, Aaron offers a beautifully well-adjusted perspective:

“We’re kind of all on this journey to find the perfect coffee, or the perfect coffee experience. And it looks different for everyone. It’s kind of exciting, and I don’t think we’re going to ‘arrive.’ It’s almost the pursuit of the perfection that makes it exciting.”

Continually pushing forward while maintaining quality and hospitality as the primary focuses is a balancing act in and of itself. Canlis accomplishes this in the dining menu, as it encourages guests to embrace an innovative new format in their tasting menu, and it certainly accomplishes that notion in the coffee menu as well. While we continue to push and expand the coffee experience in Chicago, we are inspired by our connection to like minds in faraway places like Seattle’s esteemed Canlis. If you are near Seattle, we encourage anyone and everyone to make this restaurant a destination. Dress up, eat well, and as always, drink coffee.