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All You Can Eat

Trend-setting restaurants, Northwest cookbooks, local food news and the people who make them happen.

January 2, 2015 at 1:27 PM

Second Helpings of Dahlia Lounge and more

The bar at Dahlia Lounge. Photo by Ken Lambert/Seattle Times

The bar at Dahlia Lounge. Photo by Ken Lambert/Seattle Times

Today’s review of Dahlia Lounge is the ninth in a Seattle Times series called “Second Helpings.” Introduced last August, the series evaluates restaurants that haven’t been reviewed in 10 years or more, but many of them have had much longer life spans.

Dahlia Lounge, the restaurant that launched the Tom Douglas brand, debuted in 1989, the same year as Wild Ginger. The Herbfarm’s history stretches back to 1986.

Café Juanita under Holly Smith will celebrate its 15th birthday after a renovation and expansion this spring. While the Kirkland restaurant briefly closes for the work in February and March, Café Juanita will move temporarily to Capitol Hill, where it will become a tasting-menu-only pop-up in the space recently vacated by Lark, which moved–and expanded–in December.

Il Terrazzo Carmine has flourished since 1984. The Pioneer Square mainstay is now comfortably in the hands of Carmine Smeraldo’s widow and sons, who last year opened a plush little bar and lounge nearby called Intermezzo.

Twenty-year-old Shiro’s Sushi carries on admirably even without its founding chef Shiro Kashiba, who recently announced he will open a new sushi restaurant at Pike Place Market this summer.

Steven Snook took over as executive chef last year at Salish Lodge, which began serving its destination-worthy breakfasts nearly 100 years ago. The Georgian has been the Olympic Hotel’s main dining room since 1924.

As a reviewer and restaurant-lover, it has been a pleasure to revisit every one of these restaurants. It’s not an easy business and staying in it for the long haul requires a mix of talent, luck and tenacity.

Best of all are the memories of bygone meals readers have sent me, prompted by the “Second Helpings” series. In the spirit of auld lang syne, I’d like to share one of my favorites, courtesy of Douglas Weisfield:

“For many recent years, my wife & I have joined a couple whose anniversary is close to ours for a celebratory dinner at The Georgian. Always special, that’s why we keep returning. My parents first took me to dinner at The Georgian Room around 1946, just after my father returned from WW II… I loved the surroundings, the menu and the service. Did you know that in those days there was an orchestra & dancing on Friday & Saturday evenings? I once took my girlfriend for her birthday and was sure that I had brought enough money. Much to my dismay, I noticed on the bottom of the menu this line: “Cover Charge $2.00 for Friday & Saturday Dinner.” I did not have the required $4, so I excused myself and phoned my father, who told me to meet him at the Seneca St. entrance in 20 minutes. I excused myself again and picked up the needed cash from my father as he leaned out the window of his car. I never told my date about that.”

Comments | More in Restaurants | Topics: Cafe Juanita, Dahlia Lounge, Il Terrazzo Carmine

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