Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Pink Door - Seattle

When you’ve got company in town, you want to take them to the best spots the city has to offer. I thought Pink Door was just the spot to bring Friend Ed. On a previous visit, we ended up having a great experience, and the food was truly delicious. Not to mention that their patio overlooks the water where we could enjoy some fresh summer air. I had high expectations, and sadly, tonight they were not met.

We started with the drink menu. Friend Ed ordered the Parfait L’Amore, perfect love. It was basically a gin martini with a purple tint; the taste was not out of the ordinary. Dear Ben ordered the NEW Old Fashioned with bourbon, CAMPARI, red vermouth, and cherry bitters. Dear Ben’s first comment was, “I can certainly taste the bitters.” He liked the drink, but he wouldn't order it again. I ordered the Becky’s Breezy Basil Collins. This was the best of the three. They muddled summer basil with Hendrix gin and fresh lemon. I was expecting the drink to appear similar to a Mojito, but it was a cloudy drink with only a basil leaf garnish. It enjoyed being able to freely sip through a straw without the herbs getting in the way.

Parfait L'Amore & Becky's Breezy Basil Collins

Dear Ben's NEW Old Fashioned

While enjoying our cocktails, we were really having a hard time deciding what to order for dinner. There was nothing that jumped out at us. We started with the Northwest Wild Salmon Carpaccio and Roasted Garlic. The rare salmon was thinly cut and laid across the entire plate. It was garnished with cherry tomato halves, clover, and drizzled with a grappa mustard sauce. I liked the salmon without the sauce, Dear Ben liked the salmon with the sauce, and Friend Ed didn't like it at all. To be fair to The Pink Door, Friend Ed doesn't like salmon in general. I tried to make him a believer to no avail.

Northwest Wild Salmon Carpaccio

That's a yellow grape tomato half, not an egg yolk.

The Roasted Garlic plate came with a two whole roasted garlic heads, a neat scoop of gorgonzola and ricotta spread, and five half-pieces of bread. There were a lot of toppings for the small amount of bread. Our waiter should have brought our bread basket at this time, but instead brought it just before our entrees. Maybe he liked seeing us eat the spread with our forks and perhaps got a little giggle from seeing Dear Ben make a lettuce wrap using the plate's garnish. The flavors on this dish did not seem to go together very well. Delicious separately, but when put together, it did not work.

Roasted Garlic

Instead of salads, the three of us split the risotto. It seemed like a delightful summer dish with Northwest Dungeness Crab, corn, grape tomatoes, and a spoonful of mascarpone cheese. Our waiter called this our "Intermezzo" course, but it wasn't necessarily a palate cleansing dish, as the term normally implies. Our waiter was pretty good at using big words out of context. Nevertheless, there are much better uses for Dungeness Crab, and there was way too much corn. Again, the combination of flavors did not work for us.


Dear Ben was the only one that could make up his mind for dinner. He went with the Cioppino full of prawns, mussels, clams, and calamari in a spicy tomato and white wine broth. The flavor of the broth was spicy and delicious, but two of his five mussels didn't open. When I informed our waiter about this, he completely dismissed it. He actually did not comment back when I brought this to his attention. I’m not looking for a comp meal, but a little bit of sympathy or the slightest bit of personality goes a long way in the tip department.


Friend Ed and I couldn't decide. I love thick pappardelle noodles, and Friend Ed had a feeling that The Pink Door knew how to make a meatball. We decide to split the Pappardelle al Ragu Bolognese and Rigatoni with Mama’s Meatballs. I started with the Rigatoni. It was very Plain-Jane. The rigatoni noodles were cooked perfectly al dente, and the meatballs were decent, but there was nothing that made me want to say, "Mama Mia!" The marinara sauce was zesty, but I could probably find the same spice in a jar.

Rigatoni with Mama's Meatballs

Friend Ed and I traded plates. With one bite of the Rigatoni, he said, "You're going to like that [the pappardelle] way better that this [the rigatoni]." He was right. The pappardelle was much more flavorful with the slow simmered meat sauce. Friend Ed got a little excited and exclaimed that it was the best thing he'd had in two days. Seriously? I think that was the barely drinkable house wine talking.

Pappardelle al Ragu Bolognese

I would have skipped dessert, but there was one thing on their list that I had to have, the Salty Chocolate Carmel Tartlet. You might recall how I am on a salt and chocolate kick, and I was curious to see if it was similar to another chocolate caramel tart I'd had recently. It was completely different, and I did really love it. The chocolate top was more like a pudding, and it was the perfect combination with the salt crystals and drizzle of olive oil on top. Even Dear Ben and Friend Ed jumped on my salty chocolate train.

Salty Chocolate and Caramel Tartlet

Friend Ed really wanted the Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp, but unfortunately the kitchen made Washington Mixed Berry crisp instead. Friend Ed questioned our waiter about other possible dessert choices, but he was no help. He said the Profiteroles were popular.

"Do you like them?" Friend Ed asked.

"They are very popular," our waiter replied.

No, Mr. Waiter, he didn't ask you if they were popular, he asked if you liked them. This had been a reoccurring problem for our waiter (e.g. "If you like fish, get the fish. If you like steak, get the steak."), and I'm just at the end of my rope with him. When the plate arrived, and I cut into one of the profiteroles, I could see why they are so popular. The cream oozes out of the pastry, and the dark chocolate sauce is the perfect compliment. It was a great dessert, but we all still agreed the Tartlet was better.


I tried to put my finger on just what happened tonight at The Pink Door. What made me hate the whole experience so much? Was it the summer menu that didn't have anything that I was dying to try? Was it our waiter who clearly had other priorities other than giving us the best service possible? Whatever the reason, it has left a bad taste in my mouth, and I will not be returning in the foreseeable future. That is, at least not until their new menu comes around.

The Pink Door
1919 Post Aly
Seattle, WA 98101

Pink Door on Urbanspoon


  1. mmmmmmm wow that food looks good I'm sure Ed and yourself had a nice time dining out. I have to laugh at that comment about the "egg yolk" thats actually a grape tomato...i dont know i thought it was funny.

  2. Ha! I thought it was funny too. It does look a bit like an egg yolk on first glance, don't you think? Egg yolks aren't uncommon on beef carpaccio, but I've never had one with raw salmon... I certainly would have tried it if it was served that way though. :)

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