Tom Douglas Gift Card: What To Do?
I was recently given a $50 Tom Douglas gift card. Originally, I was thinking of going with my wife to Serious Pie since it would probably cover most/all of our tab, we've heard good things, and we love pizza.
Now, I'm thinking that maybe I should leverage it to go somewhere I'd never otherwise go - a place like Dahlia would definitely be an extravagance, otherwise, on our budget.
So, where's the most bang for the buck? Which restaurant would you recommend I bank on? What's memorable?
We once had dessert at Dahlia Lounge, but that's our only experience with a Tom Douglas restaurant. We're pretty omnivorous, though my wife stays away from red meat.
I would consider going to Etta's for lunch. Nice atmosphere, in the Pike Place Market, friendly service, they use really fresh, local ingredients. Try the sashimi tuna and mini crabcakes - you can dine just on apps and be perfectly content. Also the mussels. Good wine by the glass selection too. Best fresh salmon in town.
I'd sell the gift card on ebay or craigslist and with the money you get eat somewhere outside of the TD empire.
I've been to all of his restaurants several times and, for dinner, Dahlia remains the best. Palace has a limited menu that is hit or miss and Lola still has some kinks to work out. Etta's has never done much for me for dinner, although brunch and lunch are good. With a $50 gift certificate, though, I think your original hunch to go to Serious Pie is still a good one. There is better pizza in town, but the choices are interesting, the flavor combinations are somewhat unique and the environment is lively. It will make for a nice night out.
It will pay for the entire meal
Of all the TD restaurants, I still like Dahlia the best---the food won't disappoint, and the ambience and service makes for a complete dining experience. Serious pie has unique pizzas, but the communal tables and the loud background noise and a rushed waiter took away from the dining experience. You're better off ordering a pizza to go if you want to try the unique pizza creations (the crust is amazing, by the way).
If you're flexible on your timing, you'll get the most bang for your buck by going to Dahlia for lunch. You can get the same wonderful salmon and crab cake dishes, but for nearly half the cost. Furthermore, you won't feel guilty splurging on dessert afterwards b/c you end up spending less for the entire meal. I don't go out of my way to get donuts, but those made-to-order donuts on the menu are beyond anything I can describe in words.....
have a fabulous time!!!
re: domestic diva
The Dahlia would be my vote as well for many of the same reasons.
Although I think that the atmosphere at Pie is intended to create inter-conversations in the way only communal dining does. However when it's packed at night, it's certainly not the best place for a special dinner with your wife.
I think you should splurge a little bit and go out to dinner at the Dahlia for the full-experience. With $50 off, the bill shouldn't be too intimidating.
I also really like Palace, but I have so many fond memories of the Dahlia.
If it's your first real experience with Tom, you should go all the way, relax, and enjoy yourselves.