Everybody looks better in candlelight. Here are some of my fave dim dining rooms that put you in the mood for love.
Everybody rightly gushes about the fantastic deck, but summer's short in Seattle and The Pink Door shines brightest during gray months when canoodling couples can share a two-top in the corner and watch the evening cabernet. (Go Sundays for the trapeze artist.) The dining room that overlooks the stage is a great place to sup, too. The house lasagna is always a good bet, but the seafood preparations are also excellent.
This is one of those dream spots where you want to order one of everything. At lunch that includes a dynamite oyster po'boy, the sloppy good barbecue pork sammie and a pork belly banh mi. Evenings should involve seafood, letting the kitchen showcase whatever is fresh and in season. All meals should be prefaced by the crab-topped deviled eggs and an expertly crafted cocktail.
The team from Spur and Tavern Law has done it again at this stylish place in Belltown. The fried chicken makes for memorable date night, crispy and seasoned vibrantly, it's terrific for sharing. You've never had cracklings like these before, made from ham stock, whipped into a crunchy cracker-like with some gastro-genius wizardy. You cannot stop eating them.
Rione's romantic with a capital R, the gorgeously lit dining room makes for a perfect date night. The ever-changing menu is full of all sorts of interesting choices, inspired by the fare of a neighborhood in Rome. Pasta dishes are especially lovely, but be sure and save room for something sweet at the end of the meal or indulge in a selection of cheese and a glass of well-chosen dessert wine.
Tom Douglas' Italian joint in the heart of Amazonia, Cuoco is a carb lover's dream. Step inside the front door and there's pasta being made, tender and toothsome. The filled pastas are brilliant, but the main plates are worth considering, too. The options are ever-changing, but if it's on the menu, get the chicken roasted under a brick. So. Darned. Juicy! Save room for dessert from the outstanding pastry department.
Love the flavor bombs going off at this new hot spot on Capitol, the addition making this street a must-visit dining destination. Chef Garrett Melkonian isn't shy about seasoning, which means dishes are likely to stop conversation, replaced by moans of delight. If it's on the ever-evolving menu, order the braised veal shank with rhubarb, meant to be shared by two. Dare I say it? Even better than osso bucco, it's a preparation of startling depth and complexity. The housemade pita is heavenly, especially when dipped in the za'tar-spiked olive oil.
Yay meat! This sweet little spot from chef Ethan Stowell is smack next door to his busy seafood place, Anchovies & Olives. This is the turf to that surf, celebrating charcuterie and craft cocktails, it's a terrific way to start your evening. Feel like sticking around? Well, there are all sorts of interesting flatbread-style pizzas to munch on and assorted salads, too. In other words, Bar Cotto is a very cool place to hang out.