Monday, February 9, 2009

Really did like Dahlia Lounge

It gives me no perverse pleasure to write harsh reviews, but sometimes I've got to. As a restaurant critic, I view my job as being the ultimate consumer advocate, going to a place three times to evaluate it before giving my report. 

It's a real treat to find a restaurant like Dahlia Lounge, where they're doing so many things right. Maybe that's because it has been in business for 20 years, or maybe it's been in business 20 years because it does so many things right. (Click here to read the review.)

Because I only have so many words, I didn't get to fully gush about the dramatic dining room, which reminds me of a movie set. (In fact, the original Dahlia was featured in "Sleepless in Seattle", which I caught recently while on a ski trip in Montana. Man, does Tom Hanks look young!) The paper lanterns that are strung around the current space cast this soft light that could make anybody look like a movie star. (Especially after having a signature martini made with Dry Fly gin from Spokaloo, which is where Tom Douglas's wife and business partner, Jackie Cross, grew up. My first trip to the Dahlia nearly 20 years ago, I was thrilled to see a "Manito salad" on the menu, named for the prettiest park in Spokane, heck, in the whole state, truth be told. Whew, long random aside.)

The seats are comfortable, the greeting at the front door warm. I did have to wonder how come I kept getting seated back by the kitchen, especially after making a reservation via Open But it gave me the chance to listen in on the chatter just behind the screen. (Yes, gals and guys, we can hear you!)

Would I go back and spend my own money at Dahlia? You bet. How about you?

1 comment:

Just Me said...

Just wanted to inform you that the Dahlia Lounge kitchen is a disgusting mess. There is dried blood and bits of food on the walls, the blender and robot coupe were sticky and crusty----the dishes that came straight out of the dishpit were still filthy. I worked there for one night and saw the line cooks grabbing ass, snapping towels, kicking food under their work station, and talking about dropping ecstacy later on. The cook who was training me refused to wash the chanterelle mushrooms even though there was still pine needles in them-----------total crime against food! I walked out immediately.

Go to Dahlia if you want food poisoning!