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Jul 10, 2000 10:49 PM

Romantic Dinner in Seattle

  • l

I am looking for a restaurant that is cozy and has a lot of atmosphere in addition to having great food. There are so many new restaurants to try but having not been there, I am unsure of their dining experiences and I need this one to be special. Any suggestions?

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  1. My two top picks for "cozy" + "lots of atmosphere" + "great food" are (1) Cafe Juanita, a very casual, comfortable, warm and "cozy" creekside restaurant in a wooded setting in Kirkland, just across Lake Washington from Seattle (and well worth the drive), with good lamb shanks, rabbit, and other Italian food; and (2) Tom Douglas's Dahlia Lounge, recently relocated on Fourth Ave. (downtown Seattle) in the beautiful Marshall Building, built in 1928. The new Dahlia (called "D2") has an oyster bar, a wood grill and rotisserie, and an open kitchen, and of course the wonderfully innovative food for which Tom Douglas is famous. Other contenders would be Campagne, located near the Pike Place Market, which has a somewhat more formal but still very nice ambience and continues to produce top notch southern French cooking despite chef changes (Tamara Murphy to James Drohman to Daisley Gordon) and Chez Shea, at 1st and Pike (near the entrance to the Pike Place Market), which also has nice decor and good food, although also with a relatively new chef, Amy McCray.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Tom Armitage

      I absolutely second the recommendation of Campagne. It's definitely a little formal (without being intimidating), and sometimes that's just the thing to make an occasion super-special. I had an oyster appetizer there that was simply marvelous-- six oysters on the halfshell with a champagne ice sauce. There were two each of three different kinds of oysters (all from different parts of Puget Sound), and each was more wonderful than the last. So much so that when my husband begged for a taste, I bared my teeth like a mama wolf protecting her cubs. Sometimes things are just too wonderful to share. :)

      1. re: Beth
        Steve Potenberg

        I'll be happy to "third" the Campagne recommendation. Though I've not visited Peter Lewis's wonderful restaurant since Drohman left, I always try to get my Campagne fix when I'm in Seattle. Solid & non-frilly cooking with fine, mostly local ingredients, great & polite waitstaff, and a fabulously interesting wine list -- Yup, I'm an unabashed fan.

        1. re: Steve Potenberg

          Thank you Tom, Beth and Steve for the recommendations. We had a lovely meal at Dahlia Lounge. I love the new location. The colors used are very inviting. And the food was fantastic. The seared foie gras was the best I have ever had. The salad greens were so tender and perfectly dressed. And the bread! I can see why they sell it out of their bakery. I was even able to pre order a coconut cream pie to take to my father for his birthday the next day. Campagne is next on my list. Thanks guys.