Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Pink Door - Seattle

Seattle. A new city of restaurants to explore. Dear Ben is going to be doing some work in Seattle over the coming months, so I've started making my list of all of the restaurants that I must try. We flew into town on Friday May 1st. Not only did I want to have a deliciously fabulous meal for our first night there, but it was also my birthday. It would be a huge understatement to say that I had high expectations.

After compiling a list from friend Kelly... after lots of internet research... and after back and forth with dear Ben, we decided to give The Pink Door a try. The Pink Door is located in the Post Alley of Seattle's Pike Place Market. Apparently, Seattle is a relatively casual town. I was wearing kind of a dressy-dress (it was my birthday, after all), and I felt a tad overdressed when I saw a man wearing a white t-shirt and jeans. Anyway, we were seated on their outdoor deck with a view of the entire restaurant and the lights over the water of West Seattle. It would have been the perfect spot if I weren't wearing a dress without coat (did they do that on purpose to make the girl in the dressy-dress suffer?).

A view of the restaurant from our table
After about 10 long minutes, our waitress came to offer us water. Well, sure... but could I please have a cocktail too? I ordered the Pink Slip (ironic, I know). It was basically bubbles and grapefruit juice. Not particularly awesome, but it did the trick. Dear Ben went with his old standby, Jack on the rocks.

Minutes past again. I already have the menu memorized.

I'm getting irritated. The waitress is slow. She's a tiny bit condescending. I'm starting to sort of hate her. She finally takes our appetizer order, and she was off once again.

As we waited, I feel like I've had it with this place. The drink is mediocre, the waitress is terrible, and I'm cold! Dear Ben suggested we leave after the appetizers, and in an effort to preserve a birthday dinner, I agreed.

But then the food arrived... Nope, we're staying! Oh my dear goodness, was it yummy!

We started with a half dozen Fresh Northwest Oysters. They are served with a frozen pink balsamico ice mignonette. I love the creativity of the chef; it was quite a great accompaniment! We each had three them, then moved along to the "Trio of Smoked Fishes." The trio included salmon, tuna, and swordfish. Ea
ch fish was thinly sliced like lunch meat, but the flavor was much richer than anything you would find at a deli. The salmon was my favorite. It was served simply with a light pesto sauce. The next best was the tuna, which came along side grilled eggplant and roasted tomatoes. Finally, the swordfish, and it was served a top a bed of wispy red onions and jicama and some kind of chipotle aioli (I think it was chipotle, anyway?).
Fresh Northwest Oysters & A Trio of Smoked Fishes

We had a few last minute decisions to make since we had decided to stay. We split The Pink Door Cesar with fresh Dungeness Crab. The romaine leaves were perfectly intact with fennel dusted croutons and plenty of sweet crab meat. I'm glad we split this salad; it was certainly not a one-person serving. The glass of Soave was again the perfect wine for a Cesar salad (thanks, Charlie Palmer sommelier).
Pink Door Ceaser with Dungeness Crab

Our dinner soon arrived. I ordered the beef tenderloin with green peppercorns in a brandy and cream sauce. It was the peppercorns that won me over. The meat was served medium rare, and the texture was supple and flavorful. Truffled mashers and grilled spring onions came along side of this dish. I didn't taste the truffle, but the potatoes were smooth and creamy. I like onions, but I couldn't finish all that were served to me.

Filetto con brandy, crema & pepe

After eating half, dear Ben and I switched plates. He ordered their most popular item, The Pink Door Lasagna. I can see why it's so popular too! Although I enjoyed my beef, the flavor meter was placed into overdrive the moment I tasted this dish. Layers of spinach pasta with three sauces: béchamel, pesto, and topped with a chunky marinara. The menu mentions nothing of it, but it had hints of artichoke. So fresh. So light. Yet so rich. It might be my favorite lasagna ever.
Lasanga Pink Door

The deck crowd had dissipated, and it seemed that the folks inside the lounge were enjoying the sounds of a live band. We asked our waitress, who is starting to grow on me a bit, if we could find a table inside for dessert. She led us to a table along the window where we had a perfect view of the band. We ordered an after dinner drink and lemon pine nut tart for dessert. As we listened to Barton Carroll sing his tunes (we're new fans!), we slowly ate the mildly sweet tart until it was gone. The candied kumquats served with the tart were an unusual flavor, which was not my favorite, but I did enjoy tasting candied rosemary for the first time. Dear Ben wasn't a fan of either, but I applaud their willingness to go out on a limb with dessert garnishes.
Lemon Pine Nut Tart

We finally made our way back to our hotel at almost 2am! It turned out to be one of the best birthday dinners yet - despite the rough start. I definitely hope to return sometime, but I'm looking forward to trying more of Seattle's Best. Send your suggestions, if you have them!

...and those are my Notes from the Napkin!

The Pink Door
1919 Post Alley Way
Pike Place Market
Seattle, Washington 98101

Pink Door on Urbanspoon

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