Dear Canon, I’m Sorry But Blame Eater Seattle

canon seattle menu logo

Dear Beth,

Let me start by saying that I am sorry.  You did a great job and thanks in part to owner Jamie Boudreau (@JamieBoudreau) and chef Melinda Bradley, you have a fine product to work with.  But when we arrived at Canon in Capitol Hill, we were several sheets to the wind and in the midst of culinary gluttony.  You were server number four of six on the night.  Though you had to engage our already drunk asses, you left the most indelible mark of all our assistants.  We may not have been the quietest of tables; but, I believe our behavior was somewhat justified.  Let me explain.

dining room at canon seattle

Upon arriving at Canon, we comfortably settled in amidst the seductive décor at the newly opened, 40-seat Seattle “whiskey and bitters emporium.”  I have no idea what the restaurant looked like as Licorous; but in just a few months, it’s been transformed into a space that’s nostalgic.

From the liquor lined shelves to the plush leather booths, I couldn’t have been more settled.  While we’re on the subject of the stylings, make sure your patrons pay attention to the restaurant’s accents.  I can’t remember the last time I saw an emporium with a push button register and a phonograph.

Further to the point, it is in the attention to detail that Canon’s setup truly rewarded we patrons.  Even the tres chic bathroom was smile inducing.  We watched with glee as each member of our party snuck away to the bathroom simply to peer in.  Seriously Beth, the bathroom rocks.  I suspect that even Tony Bourdain might want to enjoy a meal in your room of rest.  And where those books on tape playing?

bathroom wall at canon seattle

Ah, but beyond the style there was substance.  Beth, I must tell you that your attendance to our needs was no less than stellar.  You bantered and joked, explained when needed, and did everything but patronize.  In simple terms, you gave us exactly what we needed.  As we navigated the menu (covertly stored in a tableside cubby hole) and rattled off our order, I appreciated your hesitation.  When we selected three items, then asked you for suggestions, and then took your suggestions and ran with them,  I know you were nervous.  Perhaps your nerves rattled under the misguided auspice that we’d complain when the bill came or that we’d be upset if your suggestions weren’t up to snuff.  I can assume that this apprehension had something to do with some previous experience.  You fucking rocked – so if that is the case – I assure you it was them and not you.

I’ve heard that there is a 100-page cocktail menu on the horizon.  I can only imagine what it will be like to imbibe through that seemingly endless list.  In the meantime, my beer drinking compatriots assured me that Canon’s streamlined offerings provided ample amount of choice.  I will extend that point to the wine selections.  Most were reasonably priced and there were more than a few that lifted my eye in anticipation.  But the pièce de résistance, as the slogan suggests, was the cocktail menu.  I can only imagine what Boudreau will conjure up as time goes on.

I want to elaborate on each little turn and twist from the presentation to the composition, from the flavor to the value of your libations.  I won’t, as I refuse to rob future visitors of that initial delight.  That trip into the unknown is something to be cherished, where initial sips are as mysterious to first timers as the inner workings of the female mind are to me.  But it seems as if Boudreau has both ripped the pages of Harry Johnson’s famed bartender manual to provide guests with some real classics and whipped out a few modern beverages to delight tongues.

pork belly buns at canon seattle

The food, though not perfect in all aspects, seems destined to serve as a worthy accompaniment to that impressive lineup of cocktails.  Bradley’s grub serves as a cannon shot across the bow to all competitors in the vicinity.  Locally influenced and seasonal in its composition, there is a lot to appreciate in an 8-item sharable menu of this quality.

The six plump and musky Barren Point oysters were a lesson in bartering.  Did you notice us wheeling and dealing amongst ourselves for the extras?  And thank the kitchen for putting the kicked up red wine mignonette on the side.  It was delicious, but there’s something wonderfully sexy in a naked oyster.  Meanwhile, those pork buns were ludicrously flavorful.  Even if they are showing up on everyone’s menu, I still welcomed them into my belly.  Perhaps you can pass on a couple suggestions:  Some of Bradley’s food seams a little over sauced.  The hoisin sauce on the steamed buns was a prime example.  Additionally, sweet seemed to be a somewhat pronounced aspect to several dishes (the flank steak over succotash for example). Ultimately though, I loved the playfulness (the risotto cake in the chicken pesto was a stellar surprise), appreciated the single price point, and I thought your recommendations were spot on.

But alas we arrive at the true impetus for this apology: the trinkets, my group’s dexterous hands, and  You see, Eater runs a series of posts entitled “Shit People Steal” and the Seattle outlet has more than a few entries.  Walking in, I had no intention of accidently ending up with a concrete memento of our visit.  However, as soon as the glassware hit the table, I knew my id had reared its ugly head.  You see, Canon is destined for SPS’s pages and we the gods felt it incumbent upon themselves to make sure that the toys found a good home.

stirrer at canon seattle

I must assume it’s to be expected.  First off, the fact that you are able to serve intoxicating beverages in content appropriate glassware is the first sign that Canon’s shit is highly desirable.  Those kick ass St. Germain stirrers were just too awesome.  Unbeknownst to me, one of them accidentally fell into one of the purses at the table.  But in reality, the true coup of the evening was that little toy cannon.  As soon as it arrived, serving as a support system for those little steamed buns … it called to me: “Take me, have me, make me yours.”  I knew it was not to be as my parents taught me better than to listen to the voices in my head.

You knew it was missing, we knew you knew it was missing, and I suspect that we knew that you knew that we knew.  Honestly, it pained us all to no end to see you search for it.  It had, somehow, found its way into my pocket.  Yet don’t blame me, the innocent bystander who simply ended up with it.  No, the blame is almost entirely Eater’s for teasing fate with such notions!  The rest of the blame should fall squarely on your shoulders and Canon’s shoulders.  Had you not made our time so freaking easy and had the establishment not been so good at what it needed to be good at, I most certainly would not have been so delighted to have a palpable, three-dimensional homage to my time with you.   Yes, it is in fact your fault that we stole from you somehow ended up with your stuff in our pockets.

Now known as “Little Buddha,” he has, like the gnomes, traveled extensively since his departure from Canon.  Unlike the gnomes, who are usually pictured against some scenic backdrop, Little Buddha’s time to shine is at restaurants of equally important ilk that I travel to.  Maybe that will ease your pain.  As we absconded from the restaurant, I couldn’t help but hope that our tip made up from the stress of losing such a wonderful little restaurant accent.  I can only say that if Boudreau hopes to keep these indiscretions to a minimum, the restaurant must rethink its decision to put forth such cool objects.  In the meantime, I think any attempts to recoup the cost of said object should be directed squarely at Eater Seattle or the national branch.  But that’s all in the past, so let’s move on!

the canon at canon seattle

In all honesty, I’m left with some questions about things that couldn’t possibly be answered based on one visit during a night where the restaurant, while full, wasn’t teeming with people.  I must wonder if the classic register lends itself well to the era of credit cards and impatience, if the kitchen and the barkeeps can produce such an experience during nights when liquor starved patrons line up and scream “Please have a party! Feed us drinks!” while requiring instant gratification.

As residents of Seattle have certainly descended en masse, I’m sure I’m not the first (nor the last) to lay on the praise.  There is certainly room for improvement, but even for a restaurant just out of the gates, you’ve already put many places (even highly regarded ones) to shame.  Canon has already found its way near the top of my very tenable list of awesome Seattle eateries.  Beth – you were a big part of that reason.  While the restaurant may tag itself as a neighborhood bar, let me assure you – I would travel a great distance to come visit you with regularity.

Foodie Buddha

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Canon Restaurant Address & Information

928 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 // 206.552.9755 // website // tw // fb
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3 comments Write a comment

  1. Dear FoodieBuddha,

    I’m sorry, but you only have yourself to blame . . .

    . . . ’cause passing the buck just doesn’t cut it when you’re the thief.

    So nice of you to travel all the way from Atlanta and pay your respects to our premier Seattle eating and drinking establishments by stealing their decorations and silverware! Kudos to you and your encouragement of your fellow guests and readers to do the same then lay the blame on Eater’s popular police blotter detailing one of the challenges of being a provider of hospitality.

    Curious ~ if and when one or more of your blog fans follow your lead to gain their 15 seconds of Eater fame, and perhaps take your call to action as a challenge to go for a big haul to ensure their fame ~ should they call you or Eater when they are caught and prosecuted? 

    BTW: If you want another cannon, Amazon is selling the same Miniature Brass Cannon for a measly $23.00

    Apart from fast food, it’s a rare restaurant that earns more from the sale of food than it takes to pay to cooks, especially those costly meaty items you ordered. In most restaurants such a blatant theft would be taken out of the wages of the server though in this case, what with Canon being a brand new establishment, the cost of said items of finery no doubt came out of the owner’s pocket instead. One can only hope your beers, wine and cocktail (what – no cocktail photos after all that talk about presentation?) will help repay the cost of the items you stole. BTW: one would think with all the dining you do you’d have been previously been informed that a tip is meant to provide a means to acknowledge when one has received good service, rather than a backhanded way to compensate an establishment for your personal indiscretions and those of your guests whilst dining).

    Perhaps next time you visit Seattle you can be like Charlie Bucket and quietly return the sweet goods you’ve pocketed; then again perhaps you liken yourselves to be more of Augustus, Violet, Veruca & Mike TV ilk.
    BTW: To satisfy your curiosity ~ I’ve paid visits to Canon on those nights where it’s “teeming with people” and have yet to wait long for a hand-crafted cocktail or culinary treat that’s to my liking.  Contrary to your somehow misguided belief, Canon patrons don’t line up impatiently expecting to party & be “fed drinks” – most of those I’ve become acquainted with (yes one does make a lot of friends in such a place) show up there  specifically to avoid such “drunk asses” as you’re describing, preferring rather to dine midst people who know and care what’s in their cocktail and appreciate that it’s being served in glassware that Mr. Boudreau has been ‘hand picked’ to suit the flavor and history of the drink. [Hopefully none of you stole glassware, for I have it on good authority that Mr. Boudreau has spent years collecting them piecemeal to add that little bit of extra-special presentation to one’s cocktail choices. To think my friends whom I bring to the emporium for the first might be robbed of that pleasure would a travesty.]

    ~ Canon Contented Customer, who departs only with a smile, personal satisfaction and a happily signed copy of my hand-tallied cheque.
    P.S. It’s spelled St. Germain ~ your misspelling is surprising seeing how easy it would have been to pause and reference the name imprinted on that “kick ass stirrer” you sidled out the door with.

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