The 1978 opening of a new restaurant in downtown Anchorage was accompanied by mayhem on the scale of A Night at the Opera (lots of alcohol and cops were involved), which led the owners to name the place the Marx Bros. Cafe. It has grown up and settled down to become the standard bearer for fine dining in Alaska, one with such a loyal following it puts out a newsletter. Photos from the madcap early days hang in one the two snug little dinning rooms of the original location, on the ground floor of an early Anchorage home. The four original partners, long-haired and bearded, ham it up for the camera. Two remain, and one, as it turns out, is the maitre d’, who moves from table to table making Caesar salads in a giant wooden bowl. The other partner, Jack Amon, holds down the kitchen, where meticulously prepared appetizers, such as Neapolitan of seafood mouse (lobster, smoked salmon and halibut with a “yin-yang” of osetra and golden caviar), and main courses like the macadamia nut halibut(with mango chutney, mild coconut curry, and steamed jasmine rice) originate. The cuisine is, broadly, an Alaskan-Asian-Italian fusion. Dinner here is a slow, leisurely, expensive affair, and definitely a worthy splurge.
- Frommer's Staff