Dahlia Lounge – Seattle

I was in Seattle for work and I only had one free night. Other nights were booked, booked, booked! So with my one night of freedom, I headed out for a quick bite at Dahlia Lounge in Belltown. In the same way that Philadelphia has Jose Garces, Seattle has this Tom Douglas fellow. He has a handful of restaurants in downtown Seattle and he’s an actual chef. He’s won a bunch of awards and is rather famous! I really had no idea, I just picked the place randomly!

The place is rather ginormous. Man, the tables did not stop! And I think there was even another dining room which I could not see. This is no teeny tiny mom-and-pop operation. I don’t know how to describe the menu. I would call it fresh and organic american, heavy on the seafood, and with a definite asian influence. Complimentary bread. This was the second place during my trip where they sprinkled sea salt onto the butter. Why doesn’t everyone do this? Because I’m definitely a fan. Is this a west coast only phenomenon?

I got a couple of little starters. In the front is the ahi tuna with yuzu kosho and avocado topped with some roe. This was only so-so. It tasted fine, but it wasn’t really all that interesting. I also got a Taylor shellfish oyster with a daikon mignonette. This was great! The mignonette I could have eaten with everything and the oyster was super fresh and delicious. I also liked the long and peppery breadstick that I got with these two dishes.

For my entree, I got the pan roasted alaskan black cod with braised escarole, black eyed peas, pickled green tomato, and smoked ham hock. This was delicious! There were two pieces of buttery soft and flaky cod that just melted in my mouth. All the non-fish parts were awesome too. I loved that there was ham hock in this because it’s a fish dish, yet there’s so much pork in it! And it all worked so well together. Ham hock was an odd touch, but much welcomed. The black eyed peas were fantastic and so were the tomatoes. And the braised escarole was the perfect green for this. It was a nice southern influenced dish. I could have eaten many more of these! I was at the bar and the bartender was nice and attentive. And my food came out super fast! So from what I could tell on this tuesday night, they run a pretty tight ship here!

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