From the alluring aroma of the wood-burning grill to the first mouthful of fresh seafood, Dahlia Lounge is an essential spot to visit in Seattle. The restaurant has been at the hub of Seattle’s sustainable food movement for more than 20 years. It opened in 1989 and was restaurateur/chef/cookbook author Tom Douglas’ first of 17 Seattle area restaurants. By many, it's still considered his best. The cooking is sophisticated but approachable and the exuberant atmosphere is retro with a pinch of irony. Its interior can be described as a Northwest lodge meets a Chinese restaurant.
Despite the retro look, the menu is very modern. Options leverage fresh seafood from Pike Place Market in addition to seasonal entrees inspired by classic Pacific Northwest ingredients. The few menu items that have been around since the early days—crab cakes, spit-roasted duck, bread salad, and coconut cream pie—are definitive for the restaurant. The service is alert, informed, kind, and accommodating, attracting anyone who wants to get reacquainted with this Northwest culinary trailblazer. Overall, it’s a reliable, even exciting choice for lunch or dinner downtown or a little something from the sea bar. The restaurant was nominated by the James Beard Association for “Best Restaurant” in 2006 and continues to be the ultimate Seattle dining experience.
Cover photo courtesy of Pixabay.