Besides Canlis, which we are already considering for a small family dinner to celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary, we're hoping for recommendations for a special occasion restaurant in Seattle or possibly nearby 'burbs. The food does not have to be conservative, as in what I gather to be the case with Canlis!
Here are our parameters:
--Noise level fairly low
--A private room we could book would be a plus!
--Portion size neither nouvelle cuisine nor American style huge slabs o' meat
--Nice wine list, sure -- but not a place that is really centered on the wine component (my parents don't drink -- though their two daughters and son in law certainly will!)
--As for ethnic preferences -- they lived in Italy and Germany for several years each -- so northern Italian or German/Alsatian would add a touch of nostalgia to the meal. But generally we would be open to any possibility, as long as it fulfills the elegant/fine dining requirement.
Thanks so much for everyone's help. We had originally planned to take them on a river cruise in Europe for their 50th, but a while back had to cancel that plan because they can't travel that much any longer. So then, we tried arranging it in San Francisco followed by a couple of days in Carmel, but unfortunately it appears that we will have to stay local, since even a hop over to SFO would be hard for them. I hate to approach Seattle as a disappointing conclusion in our plans, but this is our context. We all have long-term connections here -- I lived in Seattle for 15 years (now in New England), my sister has lived in the city for at least as long and is still living in Queen Anne, my parents also live in the area. Funny with all this context, but we're really drawing a blank on ideas for the level of formality and specialness that we hope for, for our parents.