Fulton's Crab House

Restaurant Details

Casting into the pool of local seafood restaurants has always yielded an uncertain catch – water, water everywhere but not a decent broiled flounder to eat. That's what made a recent trip to Fulton's Crab House – the former Empress Lily gone Huck Finn – seem all the more like a fish tale. Were it possible, our dinner should have been stuffed and mounted, a trophy from a high-priced adventure.

A Saturday morning call secured a table for 8 o' clock that night. Fashionably late, we were whisked through two checkpoints to an upper-deck booth with a sunset view.

A Saturday morning call secured a table for 8 o' clock that night. Fashionably late, we were whisked through two checkpoints to an upper-deck booth with a sunset view.

With excellent service and insights provided by our waiter, we browsed the exhaustive menu over spicy Bloody Marys ($4.95) and the house crab dip and crispy lahvosh. The horseradish thickness in the drinks prompted an order of the oyster sampler platter (half-dozen $8.95, dozen $16.95) harvested from the Pacific Northwest. Other than names – Spencer Cove, Kumomoto, Malpeque, Penn Cove, Snow Creek and Quilcene – the twist on this succulent sampling was an awakening jalapeño Tabasco ice. We took our waiter up on the suggestion of Manila clams ($8.95), a deep bowl of tender clams steamed in a soy sauce and scallion broth, enhanced by a round of fragrant thyme-onion rolls.

With excellent service and insights provided by our waiter, we browsed the exhaustive menu over spicy Bloody Marys ($4.95) and the house crab dip and crispy lahvosh. The horseradish thickness in the drinks prompted an order of the oyster sampler platter (half-dozen $8.95, dozen $16.95) harvested from the Pacific Northwest. Other than names – Spencer Cove, Kumomoto, Malpeque, Penn Cove, Snow Creek and Quilcene – the twist on this succulent sampling was an awakening jalapeño Tabasco ice. We took our waiter up on the suggestion of Manila clams ($8.95), a deep bowl of tender clams steamed in a soy sauce and scallion broth, enhanced by a round of fragrant thyme-onion rolls.

Alaskan red king crab claws ($34.95) was the winning selection from the crab and lobster offerings. The Cousteau-worthy specimens neatly yielded meaty portions for dipping in drawn butter. Though the boiled red-skin potatoes were perfect, I found myself thinking of spicier versions on the menu, like roasted garlic and pepper whipped potatoes.

Alaskan red king crab claws ($34.95) was the winning selection from the crab and lobster offerings. The Cousteau-worthy specimens neatly yielded meaty portions for dipping in drawn butter. Though the boiled red-skin potatoes were perfect, I found myself thinking of spicier versions on the menu, like roasted garlic and pepper whipped potatoes.

From the fresh fish and seasonal specials came Alaska's Copper River king salmon – charcoal-grilled, served with field greens, roasted jalepeño tomato vinaigrette, corn salsa and rice ($22.95). This work of art and nature was best enjoyed like a sophisticated salad, scooping together petals of salmon with delicate greens and the chunky piquant salsa.

From the fresh fish and seasonal specials came Alaska's Copper River king salmon – charcoal-grilled, served with field greens, roasted jalepeño tomato vinaigrette, corn salsa and rice ($22.95). This work of art and nature was best enjoyed like a sophisticated salad, scooping together petals of salmon with delicate greens and the chunky piquant salsa.

The sun was down by the time we sipped cappuccinos ($2.95), savoring the divine sour cherry pie ($4.95) and milk chocolate crème brûlée ($3.95). But there's nothing like the sight of tourists throwing money around to help you loosen up and enjoy such a costly yet memorable indulgence.

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