One of the main goals of our visit to Alaska was to consume a significant quantity of the northernmost state’s famous fresh seafood. We began this quest at Flying Machine Restaurant, and were not disappointed in the least! We chose to be purists by ordering two of Alaska’s most renowned offerings, Alaskan King Crab and Wild Salmon.
The enormous Alaskan King Crab legs ($35.25) were truly a sight to behold. We were quite baffled in our attempt to imaginatively reconstruct the entire body of the beast from whence they came. Two thick legs were divided and arranged in such a way that they could actually fit on the platter-sized plate. The meat was deliciously sweet and succulent.The Broiled Wild Salmon ($18.25) was another excellent choice, served with a savory onion roasted shallot crown an herbed butter that was absolutely complementary to the tasty fish. Both dishes were served with a yummy, buttery rice pilaf and colorful array of roasted vegetables, including asparagus, zucchini, broccoli, squash and grape tomatoes. The menu includes a variety of other dishes such as creative pasta combinations and interesting salads. As for our choice to go with Flying Machine’s seafood fare, we regret nothing.
The restaurant’s dining room itself is pleasant, although it has an older look and could perhaps use a bit of an upgrade. Looking out, however, is another matter. Large windows offer a fine view of Lake Spenard, where a stream of float planes continually land. An even better view of this picturesque scene would be had dining on the open air patio adjacent to the main dining room, weather permitting, of course. After dinner, we relaxed on one of the comfy leather couches in the remarkable hotel lobby just outside of Flying Machine. The lobby is done up like the great room of a hunting lodge, with a grand stone fire place, and an impressive taxidermic collection of Alaskan wildlife (including both Kodiak and polar bears, and an enormous king salmon). It also includes a coffee and snack bar.
Flying Machine is listed in the “Fine Dining” sections of many Anchorage guide books. While the food is certainly fresh and delicious, the atmosphere of the restaurant itself is decidedly casual. There is no formal dress code, and it is not uncommon to spot guests wearing jeans.
At the time of our visit, reservations proved to be quite unnecessary. Despite the fact that we visited Flying Machine during the tourist season and over the dinner hour, many tables around us were vacant. Nonetheless, might we suggest that you reserve a table if only to specify your wish to sit right by the window for an optimal view of Lake Spenard and its famous float planes.