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Tom Douglas restaurants and other recos? (seattle)

Xericx Jul 22, 2006 04:33 AM

Which one is good? I saw him on Iron Chef and wanted to try when I visit.

Going to Salumi as well for lunch...tips?

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  1. l
    Leper RE: Xericx Jul 22, 2006 01:53 PM

    Xericx, The interesting thing about Tom's 4 restaurants is how they differ from each other. (In cooking styles, menu's, decor, etc.) By far, the strongest is The Dahlia Lounge. However, Palace Kitchen offers very earthy foods with a more boisterous atmosphere. Etta's is the weakest of the four but still quite good. I would recommend LOLA for breakfast (Tom's Big Breakfast of grilled octopus, pork belly and eggs) and Palace Kitchen for dinner. LOLA, Palace Kitchen and The Dahlia Lounge are all located on the same block (!) so you can review the menu's in the windows, look at their style and decide.
    Have fun at Salumi, it's a gem.

    1. h
      howard 1st RE: Xericx Jul 22, 2006 04:24 PM

      when tom douglas was still at the point that he worked every day in the kitchen of dahlia, the food was consistently inventive and delicious. now that he is an author, the manufacturer of various products and national culinary personality, the cuisine at all his places is produced by hired employees without owner supervision and varies according to their moods; it differs from appleby's only in scale. lola was wonderful for a few weeks when it opened during which he was in the kitchen constantly (indeed, all his places opened stunningly) but is now just as unpredictable as any of his other places - i go to dahlia/palace/etta's like i used to go to fisherman's wharf when i lived in san francisco; only at the insistence of guests who just have to try it for themselves. much better that you go somewhere like union or ray's or il bistro where the chef is in the kitchen rather than on airplanes.

      3 Replies
      1. re: howard 1st
        Seattle Rose RE: howard 1st Jul 27, 2006 07:46 PM

        Howard, comparing Tom Douglas' restaurants to Applebys is simply rediculous. I had dinner at the Dahlia a couple weeks ago and found the food delicious and the service excellent. It seems like you are putting Tom down for being successful. He has worked hard to get where he is and he treats his employees well. Note: I have no professional connection to Tom Douglas' enterprises.

        1. re: howard 1st
          maggie RE: howard 1st Jul 29, 2006 12:46 AM

          You equate Dahlia to Applebee's and then go on to recommend Ray's and the ever in decline Il Bistro? Whoa. I smell a bit of bitterness. Hounds, I've been in the service industry forever and the Dahlia has been consistenly superior to most other Seattle restaurant offerings for all of my 8 years in this city. (I'll refrain from the "when I lived in.." qualifiers.) If I had anything to say to the poster, it'd be bring a book when you go to Salumi. I can't wait in that line anymore.

          Oh, and Howard Pike Place Creamy is THE place to go to refill your saucer.

          1. re: maggie
            howard 1st RE: maggie Jul 29, 2006 05:44 PM

            bitter, indeed, at spending first quality cash on third quality food and service and then having one's motives questioned. i have been in hospitality for 30 years, at the range, at the door and in the classroom and recommend those places which i have personally found to consistently maintain high standards of food and service with little regard for the fluff of press agentry and marketing mavens. btw, i am a one of nancy at the creamERY's steadiest customers; you may benefit from her new line of raw milk products.

        2. n
          naes RE: Xericx Jul 24, 2006 05:37 AM

          None of them. The only one that comes close to palatable is Palace Kitchen.

          Salumi is a decent choice, though.

          1. l
            Lauren RE: Xericx Jul 24, 2006 04:07 PM

            Palace Kitchen is my fave TD restaurant. It's more casual and has a "party" atmosphere. If you are going soon, you can have the deep fried corn on the cob, which is one of the more interesting and tasty things I have eaten recently.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Lauren
              Xericx RE: Lauren Jul 24, 2006 05:45 PM

              Going in a week or two....I like the party atmosphere..kinda looking for that.....

            2. TheDexter RE: Xericx Jul 28, 2006 11:09 AM

              How does anyone compare a sandwich shop like Salumi to Tom Douglas' establishments? I don't get it. As for the Appleby's reference, perhaps the writer had things confused with the corporate owners of Icon Grill.

              1 Reply
              1. re: TheDexter
                Lauren RE: TheDexter Jul 28, 2006 04:14 PM

                Unless I missed someone else comparing Salumi to TD restaurants, the original poster stated they wanted to go to a TD restaurant and asked which one was good. They also mentioned they would be going to Salumi on the same visit but I don't think it was meant to compare the two.

              2. s
                serafina pekkala RE: Xericx Jul 28, 2006 10:54 PM

                the success of TD's restaurants are the result of clever marketing. don't waste your time with any of them. even palace, the only one worth mentioning, has deteriorated gravely in the past five years. the emperor has no clothes, my friend, and it is not a pretty sight.

                salumi is in a class by itself, far superior to any of Douglas's offerings. here's an insider's tip: get there early, when they open, before the lunch rush. since there are only a few tables, anytime after 11:30 is a crap shoot.

                or do as i do: call in your order in advance, skip to the front of the line, traipse happily away, and eat at home or outside. it's heaven.

                1 Reply
                1. re: serafina pekkala
                  mrnelso RE: serafina pekkala Jul 29, 2006 06:51 AM

                  or call early and go late, as I do, regularly (usually about 2:30).
                  Find out what's on the (weekly) specials menu and ask them to reserve your choice for you. I do this often, as a fellah can only eat so many salami sandwiches, as grand as they are, before a nice soup, or an interesting, home-style (if you live in Italy) pasta, or a Tuscan vegetable dish sounds like lunch. This is a place you will tell grandchildren about, but it is not forever, so don't waste any time...

                2. terrier RE: Xericx Jul 29, 2006 11:40 PM

                  If Palace Kitchen is lousy now by comparison to 5 years ago, I can't imagine what it must have been like.

                  I first walked in at random one day last year just after I'd moved from New York, knowing nothing of Tom Douglas or the restaurant. It became then, and remains, one of my favorite restaurants in the world. I don't care if TD never sets foot in the place - I've never had anything bad there, ever, and I'm there at least once a month. It's been, in my experience, far more consistently excellent than Ray's, Il Bistro, or even Union.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: terrier
                    TheDexter RE: terrier Jul 31, 2006 03:14 AM

                    Salumi, again. How silly. A sandwich shop vs. Dahlia. Wow.

                    1. re: TheDexter
                      not the bad Steve RE: TheDexter Jul 31, 2006 06:52 PM

                      I much prefer Salumi to every visit I've made to Dahlia since its relocation.

                      1. re: TheDexter
                        serafina pekkala RE: TheDexter Aug 2, 2006 02:05 AM

                        TheDexter, your construction of "sandwich shop"-v-"real restaurant" is quite sad.
                        we're talking a stellar salumi -v- an embarrassingly mediocre dahlia. it's a no-brainer.

                        1. re: serafina pekkala
                          mrnelso RE: serafina pekkala Sep 3, 2006 03:31 AM

                          And, if you pay attention, you can skip the sandwich and eat the seasonal specials. This is where Armandino's second heart lives (though I am persistently thrilled with the salumi). Stuffed zucchini, rebollito, dente pasta with guanciale, pesto artichokes, gnoccho frito with prosciutto, fresh gnocchi with lamb sauce, minted chiled pea soup, eggplant tialla, Panzanella salad, fresh mozzarella (made there daily) Caprese when tomatoes and basil are in the market. The list of Italian-home dishes is long and satisfying. "Sandwich shop" is a cheap shot by somebody who seems to have an agenda, imho, as these are not the only offerings, and if they were, Armandino's table still reflects stellar value. It is shallow and unfair to dismiss him so glibly.
                          Do yourself a favor and join the table at Salumi for fine slow food, after 2:30.

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