Review: Matt’s in the Market – COPPER RIVER SALMON!

Sorry this entry comes over a week late. As most of you foodies know, Copper River Salmon is here!! For those of you who are unfamiliar or don’t know what the great who-hah is about this amazing fish, I’ll give you a quick run down.

What’s the big deal about Copper River Salmon?
Copper River Salmon comes from the Copper River in Alaska. This river is almost 300 miles long, so the salmon that make this journey every year are usually pretty meaty and pretty fatty. Hence, they are the tastiest salmon – but the season to catch them is very small, usually only a few weeks (sometime in May to mid June).

So when I heard the great news a couple weeks ago, I texted a new friend of mine, Benjamin, who is a chef at the famous Matt’s in the Market in Pike Place Market. I failed to ask him if the restaurant would be serving up a great copper river salmon dish, but had reservations the next day with a friend and was too excited. I have never been to Matt’s in the Market, but have heard a lot about it, from various people. More notably, Matt’s in the Market was featured on Food Network’s Bobby Flay’s Throwdown show for their Salmon Chowder. Chef Gerl of Matt’s in the Market won the impromptu challenge. You can get the recipe and watch Chef Gerl make it himself online.

What I love most about Matt’s is that it really is casual fine dining. Exceptionally equisette food but you’re not required to wear a certain attire. Located in the heart of Pike Place Market, across from the golden pig and the flying fish, the upstairs restaurant features a small bar, a fair amount of seating, and my favorite part: an open kitchen. I love open kitchens for many reasons, which I won’t get into now, but before we were even seated I was pleased. We arrived a little early so we chatted at the bar until our table was ready. Our server came by and told us the specials, and he only had to get out two words before I started squealing and clasping my hands with excitement: Copper River. I cut him off before he could even finish telling me what it came with, but I really didn’t care what it came with. I was STOKED.

I started with the Baby Arugula and Dungeness Crab salad with mixed cirtus citronette, avocado, marcona almonds:

Then came the entrees:


Jenn had the Painted Hills Beef Tenderloin (8oz) with wild mushroom ragout, rapini, bluebird farms farroto.


I of course had the Copper River Salmon, and I can’t rememebr what it came with, but believe me, it was heavenly. The salmon was PERFECT. crispy skin, buttery flaky meat. DROOL. Man I really want some again.

Jenn got the creme brulee for dessert. I am not a huge fan of creme brulee just because it’s far too rich for me. With the exception of Mashiko’s Jasmine Creme Brulee which is to DIE FOR (but that’s another story).

I had the bread pudding. Also two words I immediately start squealing after I hear them. I love bread pudding. Love love love. I only recently discovered it a year or two ago. Now I can’t stop myself from ordering it ANYTIME I see it on a menu. And THIS bread pudding, served with salted caramel ice cream, is unlike any I have ever had. While most people thinking of a fluffy mess turned goopy with sticky sweetness, Matt’s bread pudding is incredible. The bread was not soggy or goopy, in fact it was soft with a slight crunch to it and incredibly buttery/creamy/amazingness. If you ever go to Matt’s, please please PLEASE get the bread pudding.

The service was prompt, attentive, and not overbearing. We even chatted with our server about plenty of other foods we love. I’d like to go back and try their lunch menu…but we’ll have to wait until I’m not poor (UPDATE: READ ABOUT THE LUNCH EXPERIENCE). The salmon was $38, but for those who are not familiar, that is a fairly decent price for such a dish. Reservations are encouraged if you go, and if you do, tell me about your experience!

Rating: ***** (Everything about this place is fantastic)
94 Pike St # 32
Seattle, WA 98101-2066
(206) 467-7909

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