If you live in the greater Seattle / Olympia, Pacific Northwest area of Washington state and you consider yourself somewhat of a good food connoisseur or simply enjoy fantastic dinning, you should know who Tom Douglas is. Mr. Douglas is an American chef and Seattle restaurateur. He has ten restaurants total and an event space, all in Seattle.
My brother, Ian first told me about Tom Douglas. Ian has a fantastic knowledge of wine and held a management position of sommelier at Daniel’s Broiler amongst other posts in the Seattle food and wine scene. When Ian suggests I visit a restaurant, I do my best to get there, as he seldom gives an off recommendation.
Lola was my first introduction to the wonderful world of Tom Douglas (TD). Lola is Greek and is Tom’s homage to his wife’s Greek heritage. It’s one of my favorite places, on earth! I adore lunch as they have a plate of all my best-loved items. One can choose from the different kebabs such as, chicken with yogurt & dill or pork with spiced honey or Halloumi cheese & balsamic figs, just to name a few. Your order comes with garlic smashed potatoes OR Jackie’s Greek salad (the obvious choice) AND several slices of the most wonderful pita bread (made fresh in the Dahlia Bakery) with mind-blowing Tzatziki. This is a plate of simply the BEST stuff EVER if you ask me. Finish it off with any one of the phenomenal desserts. Two sweets that are always available, but sometimes not on the menu are the white chocolate coconut cream pie (not only award winning, but adored by President Obama) and the fresh made doughnuts that come in a paper bag and “tossed” table side in cinnamon and sugar.
Just one more note about Lola, it was because Michael and I love Lola’s so much that we had our wedding at the Palace Ballroom (his event space), just so we could have it catered by the TD crew. Many of our preferred dishes were served at the wedding AND no wedding cake for us, it was different sizes of the beloved white chocolate coconut cream pie. That’s right, I said pie!
Although there are ten restaurants and I can’t mention them all, one that needs mentioning is Serious Pie, just a block up from Lola. Serious as in serious eating and pie as in pizza. This place rides the razor edge with grace, offering a traditional toothsome crust and high quality gourmet toppings. Don’t come looking for a combination pizza with everything on it or even a Hawaiian. Bring an open mind and your appetite. A few of the pizza offerings are: buffalo mozzarella, red sauce, fresh basil or sweet fennel sausage, peppers, provolone or penn cove clams, house pancetta, lemon thyme. My favorite is the penn cove clam pizza. Seriously, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, it’s amazing!
One of the TD trademarks is local, high quality, fresh ingredients. Simple flavor parings that make for something wonderful. I have never had a dull or flavorless meal at a TD restaurant. The Palace Ballroom is always hosting cool events; cooking classes, drink demos, tastings and such. He is also very involved in the Seattle community. He has a radio show, he often appears on Seattle morning TV shows and a few years back, he helped to save the Seattle Family Fourth (of July).
The next time you are in Seattle forgo the Cheesecake Factory and seek out something better! Download Open Table on your phone and make a reservation. You’ll be glad you did!
I’m also very proud (and nervous) to say I’ll be attending the TD cooking camp this summer. The event sells out every year and is full of cooking, eating, demos, lectures, local guest chefs and Top Chef style challenges. You better believe I’ll be blogging probably every day from the camp.