A dining club for hip, young Seattleites meets once a month for dinner and drinks. High jinks ensue.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dating & Dining

So my recent spate of dating has been accompanied by a spate of excellent dining. Here's the rundown:

Fine Dining Date #1

Location: Barolo (1940 Westlake Ave in downtown Seattle)

Website: http://www.baroloseattle.com/

Type of Food: Upscale Italian

Vibe: Trendy, posh, romantic - definitely a place for special occasions

Overall Impression: Food was excellent! Reviews I'd read beforehand said that the food was inconsistent, but everything we had was amazing. We started with calamari (not the fried kind) in a light garlic and lemon sauce - it was possibly the most delicious squid I've ever eaten that wasn't battered and deep fried. For entrees I had the salmon. It was served rare, which is exactly how I like my salmon. And it's so hard to find a restaurant that serves its salmon anything short of overcooked and dry!! My date, "B1," (as he shall be referred to on this blog) had the filet mignon. It was soooo good! It reminded me why I love steak so much, even though I hardly ever order it. For dessert we shared a glass of port; since I generally don't drink, I can't comment intelligently on the wine.

The ambience was amazing too. Definitely the kind of place to visit the bathroom just to check out the decor. This is one of the see-and-be-seen restaurants of Seattle. According to the owner, who stopped by and chatted with us (he's a friend of a friend of B1's -- as a result, we got the hook up on a nice booth instead of a normal table for two), Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake had reservations there before they broke up. Don't know if that's true, but if they were going to be in Seattle, then Barolo would have been a great place to try. He also said that the local celebs and professional athletes eat there frequently as well.

Barolo Ristorante (Metropolitan Tower) in Seattle

Fine Dining Date #2:

Location: Palace Kitchen (2030 Fifth Ave in Belltown)

Website: http://tomdouglas.com/palace/index.html

Type of Food: Pacific Northwest/Eclectic

Vibe: Hip, fun, equally good for special occasions and casual dining (though a little spendy for a spur of the moment, "Hey it's 7 pm, let's grab some dinner," kind of thing)

Overall Impression: Food again was stellar! (Maybe my palate is easy to please because it seems like I enjoy almost everywhere I eat or can at least comment favorably on something. Maybe I just enjoy eating anything as long as I don't have to cook it. Anyways, I digress...) We started with the roast pork & chard ravioli and with the seared ahi tuna (served with "truffled green nectarines" and some kind of pepper). So delicious! I can't decide which I liked better -- the ravioli were so tasty, but I always love seared tuna and the peppers gave it this amazing kick. For entrees we shared the wagyu flank steak, which was served with sauteed kale and mashed potatoes, and a sea bass, which was served with celery root ravioli. The flank steak was amazing!! The bass was good too, but the flank steak was truly memorable. The marinade was amazing. For dessert we had Tom Douglas's famed coconut cream pie. B2, as he shall be referred to on this blog, knows all about my sweet tooth already (he sneaked cupcakes into the movie for me on our second date, which is a date move that just screams out "He's a keeper!!"), including my great love of whipped cream. So the coconut cream pie was a perfect choice for dessert -- it was basically a mountain of fresh whipped cream with toasted coconut flakes and white chocolate shavings. I think there was probably some pie crust in there too, but I was so focused on the football-sized mound of whipped cream, that I didn't even notice it. My god, can you say HEAVEN??

Ambience was more casual than Barolo -- more upbeat and energetic, which was perfect since we'd been wandering around downtown earlier and it was great to keep the energy going. I liked the decor, which was a combination of old/classic furnishings with industrial elements (like steel paneling on the wall that leads from the main room to the bathrooms).

Palace Kitchen in Seattle

Casual Date Dining

Quick notes - have also been to Typhoon on Western (good Thai, reasonably priced, especially for the location), the Indian place on 1st Ave in Pioneer Square (decent Indian food, reasonably priced, but we were literally the only patrons the night we went), and Virginia Inn (just for apps -- pretty good; got a great casual atmosphere).

Also recommended Casuelita's to Tia for her upcoming first date. I think that's a good pick if you're in the vicinity of the Sculpture Park.

That's all for now...


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