Pink Door Lemon Tart © 2011 Natasha. All rights reserved.

The Pink Door

The Pink Door is an Italian restaurant located in downtown’s Post Alley.  If it had opened eighty years ago instead of thirty, it would’ve been premium bootlegger property.   As it is today, there’s no sign to find the joint, just a, well, pink door.  Sure it’s simple and cute, but please.  This is the 21st century downtown Seattle, who knows what’s behind the pink door with no sign? The first time I visited the place, I thought it was supposed to be that way because I was going to see my first burlesque show and had no idea it was an actual restaurant as well.

Even though there was no burlesque when we had dinner last week, you can still see the swing one of the artists uses during her show in the upper left top of that photo.

Passing through the dining room and into the bar is like crossing over into a completely different restaurant.  We always find ourselves in the bar because we’re usually watching a performance.  Other than moving from my seat in the bar to crowd around tables during the burlesque show to watch the trapeze artist do her act, I’ve never spent time in the dining room.   Apparently there’s also a patio area for dining outside, but I’ve only ever been here at night so I can’t prove it.  To add further adventure to this joint, the bathrooms are completely outside of the restaurant, down two long hallways, and don’t forget to ask your server for the code.  How many fine dining experiences can maintain that MO and still call themselves bona fide?

Roasted garlic, herbed ricotta cheese and bread.  Squeezing the cloves out of the bulbs = really good time.  Delicious appetizer, but I don’t recall how much.   You’re probably thinking, “Ew, that’s harsh light on that plate.”  I know!  It’s pretty dark throughout the place, so James rigged the Droid light to shine.  Not the best photos, but I wasn’t leaving again without pics of the food.

Every time I go, I get the whole fish.  I have no idea why on earth the PD insists on serving these beans with it, because I literally hate them.  They’re firm and vinagery and not at all appetizing, but the trick is you don’t even need them because there’s so much fish.  A nice side of salad would be so much better, Pink Door!

James had the paglia e fieno ($19), which is a “straw and hay” white & green fresh fettuccine with exotic mushrooms, light cream sauce, fresh herbs and essence of truffle.   The noodles were very good, but for the most part this wasn’t as flavorful as I’d expected.  Maybe it needed more garlic, some reggiano, something?  James liked it ok, but said he wouldn’t order it again.  That picture’s even scarier than the garlic, isn’t it?

It’s a tie between the roasted garlic and this, the burnt lemon tart in a shortbread crust with a…mango? sauce, for my favorite dish of the night.  I didn’t dip into the sauce much as the tangy tart didn’t need it.  The crust was perfect and the decision to burn the top was brilliant.  This dessert is amazing and I would order it again and again and would be really happy to have it right now.

I’ve seen several musicians and burlesque shows here, but the only photo I’ve got was one Christmas when we saw Craig Flory and Del Rey perform.

That’s Matt Weiner on bass.   The small stage at PD is perfect for little sets like this, and if you ever get a chance to see a performance there, it’s great.  Definitely go to check out the burlesque.  Nothing goes with a sugary lemondrop like a side of pasties.

I need to try more entree dishes from Pink Door and get over the fish thing, so I can’t really speak to the authenticity of the Italian dishes.  It’s a wonderful place to go for cocktails and snacks while listening to music, and this summer I’m going to make it a point to check them out at lunch time to see how the light is in there.  The bootlegger entrance just adds spice to a  place with great ambiance and is a Seattle experience that everyone should have at least once.

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