Dahlia Lounge

Written by on October 30, 2010 in I Eat Seattle, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(tomdouglas.com/dahlia-lounge) – Downtown
How I heard of this place: Being a Tom Douglas restaurant, and in the Tom Douglas block, it is a restaurant most foodies in Seattle would have heard of, it not sampled throughout the years.
Type of cuisine: Italian-inspired Northwest cuisine. The tastes we are familiar with in the Pacific Northwest, prepared with Italian flare: using garlic, pesto, tomato-based sauces and other such flavors.
Ambiance: The just-brighter than dim-lit lighting in this spacious establishment accents the decors set in the colors of autumn. Short wooden walls separate seating areas in order to create intimate spaces within the tall ceilings and large interior. Private dining areas are also available for larger parties or in the event of a packed house. Red velvet curtains separate dining areas to create an air of romance and passion within the walls of the Dahlia Lounge. Dress to impress, dress to kill, or come in casual attire for an evening of good food set in an easy-going, but tasteful space.
What I ordered: Seven of us joined Saturday night diners for pre-Halloween snacks in celebration of a birthday. At our table, we had three orders of the Tuscan grilled bread salad ($12) prepared with pesto, olives, mozzarella, and topped with a slice of spicy coppacola. One of our dining companions selected the Bluebird farms farro ($22) set as a bed of flavor for the pan roasted porcini, chanterelles, black kale, and toasted garlic, ornamented with lemon peel. One friend and I shared a side order of garlic butter button mushrooms ($7) that were a hit at the table! Our final dining companion opted for a sweet treat and ordered the chocolate nemesis cake ($9) served with gingerbread ice cream, gingerbread crumbs and a smoked chocolate glaze. For dessert, the birthday boy selected the famous doughnuts ($8), fried to order and served with vanilla mascarpone and housemade huckleberry jam.
What I loved: The bread salad had unbeatable flavor and texture, and thus won my vote for favorite item on the table. The bread that was brought to start, with salted butter, also held a burst of flavor with earthy undertones in the walnut and flax seed dispersed throughout. The garlic butter mushrooms presented in an asymetrical dish, held the savory flavor of butter, garlic and perhaps accented with chicken stock for a full, fall burst of seasonal goodness. The winner in the farro dish was the black kale that was perfectly wilted and full of more organic, natural, earth tones. The chocolate nemesis cake, while small, resembled the decadence of a brownie and won rave reviews for the accompanying gingerbread accents. The doughnuts are always a winner, especially considering the light, fluffy and ever-so-slightly-sweetened vanilla mascarpone.
Why I loved it: The service was friendly and without distaste as our party of seven ordered a strange array of limited menu items and no alcohol. The food is tasty and beautifully presented and the bustle of the crowded restaurant make for a fun and enjoyable experience.
Cost: Average to high ($21 to $38 per dinner entree)

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