Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dahlia Lounge

I always enjoy dining at Dahlia Lounge. It's upscale but not stuffy, and the food is great. A friend and I had dinner there last night (as part of Seattle's Restaurant Week), and it was great, even if it wasn't one of my favorite meals that I've had there.

I don't always take a picture of a restaurant's bread selection, but this one turned out well so here it is. We both went for the plain sourdough first, but it turned out that the walnut and olive (?) bread was excellent.
Bread Selection

Here's the appetizer "salad" I started out with. Shrimp and octopus, mmm. I don't remember what the "sauce" was.
Shrimp & Octopus Appetizer

My entree: Pan seared Alaskan halibut, la ratte fingerling potato, ham hock, collard blossoms, with ramp vinaigrette. Very good, but if I could go back in time I might not have selected it. It's halibut season now, so every restaurant's serving it, and it's just not that interesting. Still, the server recommended it so I felt that I would regret it if I didn't order it.
Pan-seared Alaskan Halibut

J.'s dessert, Tom's World Famous Creme Caramel. I've never understood why this dessert has this name. I suppose it must have some culinary history I'm ignorant of, because as far as I've seen, when people talk about a Tom Douglas restaurant's dessert, it's always the triple coconut cream pie. Plus, I like custard and this is good, but it's basically flan and flan isn't my favorite dessert.
Creme Caramel

And here's the star of the show, the triple coconut cream pie. I love the flavor of coconut, but I'm not a fan whatsoever of the shavings. I happily put up with them in this pie, however. It's wonderful. The recipe for it is in one of the Tom Douglas cookbooks that I actually own, but I haven't gotten around to making it myself yet.
Triple Coconut Cream Pie

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ready to be Crushed

It's Restaurant Week here in Seattle and that means plenty of eating out. 3-course dinners for $25 at some of the area's finest restaurants? There aren't enough days in a Week! I've been to Mistral Kitchen, Canlis, and just last night, Crush. I had such a great experience at Crush the only other time I've been there that it had a lot to live up to for my second visit -- and it was again wonderful.

My friend S. and I had our server give us recommendations, and I thought she generally did a very nice job. S. also ordered the Crush wine pairings to go with his meal, while I had a cucumber Dry soda (and an Americano during dessert).

Amuse bouche: Warm gougeres (French cheese puffs).

Crisped Pork Belly in Bourbon Sauce
First course: Crisped pork belly on a bed of creamy white grits and drizzled with a bourbon sauce. The couple next to us were exclaiming over the deliciousness of the stinging nettle soup they both got. The pork belly was amazing, but fairly similar to the second course I chose, so in that sense I wished I'd gotten the soup or salad to start.

Flat Iron Steak
Second course: Painted Hills flat iron steak cooked medium rare, on a bed of Yukon potato puree, with baby carrots and a parsley truffle oil sauce.

Buttermilk Donuts in Spanish Coffee Sauce
Dessert: Crispy buttermilk donuts with a Spanish coffee sauce and powdered sugar.

Madelines and Brittle
Mignardises: Bite-sized madeline cookies and nut brittle. Unfortunately the sun was going down toward the end of dinner so the light wasn't as good for this or the last photos, hence the blur and grain. :/

Crush, never change!