Photo courtesy of Dahlia Lounge
Tom Douglas has built a culinary empire here in Seattle, and downtown's Dahlia Lounge is merely one of his masterpieces. Sophisticated yet unpretentious, this popular destination envelops diners with soft jazz and rich, muted surroundings. Asian inspiration and fresh ingredients from the Northwest on a menu where everything sounds tempting.
The restaurant's signature goat cheese, which figures into several dishes, is made onsite. Look, too, for Thai wood-smoked duck salad, crostini with white Spanish anchovies and olives, Asian shrimp dumplings, salmon and crab cakes. You'll also find a range of fabulous desserts, including pear tart with dark caramel and white chocolate coconut cream pie. Dahlia also offers an impressive wine list.
This month, a Seattle Restaurant Week menu enlivens the popular eatery Sundays though Thursdays, October 13-17 and October 20-24. The three-course lunch menu costs $15 and includes starters like duck liver mousse, entrees like Beecher's grilled cheese (potato bread, watercress and fennel salad) and seafood stew plus delectable desserts like a half truffle chocolate cookie and pumpkin whoopee pie with brown butter cream cheese.
The three-course dinner menu ($28) features gems like parsnip root soup to start, grilled Coho salmon as the main dish and, as a finale, pear Riesling sorbet or the venue's famed doughnuts topped with seasonal jam and vanilla mascarpone cream. (Restaurant Week note: With Windows 8 apps like OpenTable and Urbanspoon, diners can search the best local restaurants and make table reservations straight from their Windows 8 PC or Windows Phone.)
Year-round, happy hour takes place at Dahlia Lounge from 5 to 6 pm on weekdays, showcasing delicious bites and cocktails like the Crimson Dahlia made with hibiscus infused gin, Aperol, grapefruit and an orange twist plus the Dahlia lemon drop, concocted with citron vodka, triple sec, fresh-squeezed lemon juice and a tart citrus rim finish. Bon appetit!