Several of Anchorage’s fine-dining establishments are described elsewhere, including Ristorante Orso, Sacks Café, and Club Paris. Reservations are strongly advised or required for all the following restaurants.
Simon & Seaforts (420 L St., 907/274-3502, www.simonandseaforts.com, lunch Mon.–Fri. 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m., dinner Sun. 4:30–9 p.m., Mon.–Thurs. 5–9:30 p.m., Fri. 5–10 p.m., Sat. 4:30–10 p.m.) has an eclectic menu, efficient service, and splendid views. Simon’s serves daily fresh fish specials and aged prime rib; wonderful cracked wheat sourdough bread comes with each meal. Expect to pay $30 for dinner, though lunch (try the Cajun chicken fettuccine for $13) is considerably less expensive. If you don’t have dinner reservations, head to the more relaxed bar, where the menu is more limited but still diverse enough to satisfy. If you’re in the bar, check out the collection of single-malt Scotch whiskies, said to be one of the largest in the nation.
A much smaller and quieter place than Simon’s, the elegant Marx Bros. Café (627 W. 3rd Ave., 907/278-2133, www.marxcafe.com, Tues.–Sat. 5:30–10 p.m.) has been in business since 1979. Hors d’oeuvres cost $13–15 and dinner entrées $34–50. The Caesar salad—made at your table—is especially memorable. The menu changes daily, but it’s always innovative, and the big wine list and good dessert selection complement the meal. Reservations are essential at this dinner-only café; call well ahead of your visit to be assured of a table.
Crow’s Nest (907/343-2217, www.captaincook.com, Mon.–Sat. 5–9:30 p.m., closed Sun.–Mon. winter) sits atop the Hotel Captain Cook at 4th Avenue and K Street, 20 floors above the masses, with fine dining and prices (and a view) to match. You can either order off the sky-high menu or choose a five-course tasting menu spectacular for $65, or $95 with matched wines from the 10,000-bottle wine cellar. Other entrées run $34–48. This is one of the only places in Alaska where you can’t eat in Carhartt work clothes; not only would you stand out from the rest of the crowd, there’s also a dress code. Reservations are strongly recommended.
Don’t let the strip-mall setting for Jens’ (701 W. 36th Ave., 907/561-5367, www.jensrestaurant.com, lunch Mon.–Fri. 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m., dinner Tues.–Sat. 6–10 p.m.) throw you off—this is a great European-style bistro with an Alaskan twist. The atmosphere is art-filled, and the food is equally beautiful, from the rockfish filets to the tenderloin of veal. Attentive service, a nice wine list, and delectable desserts complete the picture. Reservations are recommended. It’s easy to spend well over $150 for two people, but you’ll go away satiated and happy. You can also hang out at the wine bar, which serves appetizers until midnight (and can get noisy).
It’s pretty far off the main tourist trails, but Kincaid Grill (6700 Jewel Lake Rd., 907/243-0507, www.kincaidgrill.com, Tues.–Sat. 5–10 p.m., entrées $26–36) is well worth the detour. Telegenic owner-chef Al Levinsohn—whom you might recognize from his Food Network appearances—has created a playful setting with a wine bar and an ever-changing menu. Alaskan seafood is always on the menu, along with rack of lamb, gumbo, and chocolate bourbon soufflé.
© Don Pitcher from Moon Alaska, 10th Edition