If you happen to be heading to Seattle and you’re in the mood for great food and wine, then Tom Douglas’s name needs to be encrypted in your iphone.
Fortunately, this is the only piece of information you’ll need to know because once you’re in Seattle every man and his dog knows him and his empire of cafes and restaurants. He’s a bit like Midas, the king in Greek mythology, everything he touches turns to gold.
Google Tom Douglas and up pops nine of his eating establishments: his famous triple coconut pie can be found at Dahlia Bakery, fresh pasta at Cuoco and serious pizzas are found at Serious Pie of course.
It was Etta’s – one of his seafood restaurants on the shores of Puget Sound – that hooked us. So much so, that we broke the golden rule of travel and returned on two consecutive nights.
‘Tom’s tuna sashimi with a green onion pancake and tobiko’ was seriously addictive, ditto the ‘steamed Dungeness crab with grilled lemon and drawn butter’. The excellent Washington State wine list plus the waiter caught our attention; hook, line and sinker.
Other tidbits of fabulousness in Seattle were the Tasting Room – 1942 Post Alley – a cellar door outlet for seven Washington State wineries. One of their wines, the Wilridge Nebbiolo, gives Barolo a good run for its money.
As for accommodation, hovering above the Tasting Room is Pensione Nichols – brilliant location, interesting folk (we shared our muesli with a Cuban jazz band), extremely clean and reasonably priced.
One last name to put in your iphone is Dale Chihuly. The most out-there glass artist in the world has permanent exhibits in Tacoma. Check out the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, Tacoma Art Museum and Union Square. Tacoma is a one hour bus ride south of Seattle.