Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Tom Douglas Experience: Serious Pie and Dahlia Lounge

After going to school in Washington for five years, I frequently heard about Tom Douglas, a famous Seattle chef. Tom owns a number of restaurants including Lola, Etas, Dahlia Lounge, and Serous Pie, just to name a few. I had the chance of eating at Etas for breakfast when visitng my friend Aimee at Seattle University and I was hungry for more. So, before leaving Washington to move back home to Hawaii, my friends and I ventured out to two Tom Douglas restaurants in one night! Serious Pie for dinner and Dahlia Lounge for dessert!

Serious Pie is a pizza restaurant that lives up to its name... it truly is "serious" pie. This is gourmet pizza at its finest! I mean, where else would you find pizza topped with pears, proscutto, and gorgonzola cheese?! The restaurant is small and cozy, making it hard to get a table. Because of this, they suggest that you sit at the bar in the neighboring Dahlia Lounge while you wait. We waited almost an hour for a table, but it was surely worth the wait!

My pizza (the one with the pears and proscutto) was a real treat! The crust itself was yummy... it was crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Just thinking about it makes me want another pizza! The sweet pears complimented the salty proscutto and gorgonzola cheese! This was truly the most unique and tasty pizza I have ever eaten!

I had a taste of each of my friends' pizzas and they were all amazing! We tried mushrooms with truffle cheese, cherry bomb peppers with sweet fennel sausage, yukon gold potatos with rosemary olive oil, and "green eggs and ham" (spicy coppa ham with arugula and a soft egg). Having an egg cracked on the top of your pizza sounds strange, but it was very delicious!

With our stomachs full and satisfied, my friends and I made our way around the corner to Dahlia Lounge for Dessert. The ambiance of this restaurant is lively and inviting with its dark red walls and Chinese hanging lanterns. Although there were only nine desserts on the menu, they all sounded tempting and choosing just a few was a challenge! We finally decided on the three "classics:" Tom's World Famous Creme Caramel, Triple Coconut Crem Pie, and Doughnuts with Marscapone Cheese and Raspberry Jam.

My favorite was the coconut cream pie. The crust was flaky and the filling was so scruptious it kept making me go back for "one last bite."

The donughts were a "must try" for me because I saw my favorite food network chef, Giada DeLaurentis, try them on her show. The donughts were brought to our table in paper bags and shaken with cinnamon and sugar before dumping the onto our plate. They were pillowy bites of goodness and the cheese and jam added richness and tangyness!

The Creme Caramel was good, but honestly, not very memorable. Although it was "world famous" I think the other two desserts were much better!

My Tom Douglas experience was truly memorable and satisfying! I admire this chef's talent and ability to create impressive restaruants with such diverse themes! Anyone venturing to seattle must experience Tom Douglas!!

Serious Pie
316 Virginia
Seattle, WA 98121

Dahlia Lounge
2001 4th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98121

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


Asado is Tacoma, Washington's newest Argentinian hot spot. Located in the 6th Aveue Business District, this restaurant fits right into the surrounding jazz clubs, restaurants, and dueling piano bar. The atmosphere is trendy and the decor is warm and inviting. My friends and I chose this restaurant for the cultural experience, and we had an amazing time!
In order to have to full cultural experience, I started off the night with a caipirinha, the traditional Brazilian cocktail. It was a little too strong for me, but I'm glad I tried it. For appetizers, we had the ceviche, which was marinated fish with avocado and plantain chips. This fish and avocado paired very well together and the plantain chips were light and crispy! We also had the empanadas, which were filled with savory beef and lamb. These were also delicious, but I prefered the ceviche.
For dinner, I had the "Pitu Puerco" which was a pork chop suffed with chorizo, cranberries, golden raisins, almonds, apples, and fennel served with cachaca cider jus and mased potatoes. I chose this dish for the interesting flavor combinations and let me tell you, it was amazing! For a girl who usually orders pasta or seafood, I was delightfully surprised! I ate every last bite of it AND had a tasting of each of my friends' dishes.
Other dishes incuded braised lamb shank with bacon leek butterbeans; butternut squash gnocchi with macadamia nuts, wild mushrooms and brown butter sauce; and Black Angus hanger steak. Everything was delicious and all of my friends thoroughly enjoyed their meal!
My friends and I all agreed that this place was worth visting again. The prices were reasonable, the food was exceptional, and everything came with a cultural learning experience!!

2810 6th Ave.
Tacoma, WA