We’ve got another Tom Douglas restaurant down. If you are not from the Seattle area, then you probably are unaware of the city’s mini celeb chef with his numerous successful and much-loved restaurants. Our engagement took place at one of his seafood places, Etta’s, right in Pike’s Place. But our most recent adventure was to Palace Kitchen, a wonderful building on the corner of 5th Avenue with Seattle’s Monorail running just beside the dining room. Outside on the corner is the sign that flashes “Kitchen” and “Cocktails.” And in both departments, Palace Kitchen delighted.
We started off with drinks– French Kiss of Grey Goose Pear+St. Germaine+lime and a Turkey Shoot of Wild Turkey+Cider+Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters+Spices. The Turkey Shoot tasted distinctly whiskey, yet the drink stunned me with its focus on the bitter, demonstrating the complexity of the ingredient and definitely shaming the typical Angostura Bitters. The French Kiss was light and refreshing, but if I were to order another drink there I'd probably experiment with something else.
As our drinks arrived, so too came the Lavender and Goat Cheese Fondue, plated with crisp apple slices and heavenly wood fired Dahlia Bakery bread. The taste of either apples or bread coated in creamy, warm goat cheese with the subtle lavender flavor is something I could love every day forever. Crunching into that smoky bread from one of Seattle’s Best Bakeries is good enough on its own. And as we all know, dipping anything in cheese always makes it better.
Our main entrees were the Palace Burger Royale (recommended to us by a server at another Tom Douglas restaurant as the best burger in Seattle) and a homemade tagliatelle with braised leg of lamb.
I'm not sure if the burger was the best in Seattle (I think our vote is for Seastar's happy hour burger), but it was excellent. The beef was high quality, and you have the option of several kinds of cheese— white cheddar, swiss, or bleu cheese. The thing that impressed me most about the burger was the fact that it actually wasn't particularly juicy, but it was still cooked to medium perfection. Usually the best cooked burgers end up leaving a messy trail of their juices behind, but not this one. I also really enjoyed the pickled green tomatoes rather than plain Jane tomatoes served alongside to top the burger. The crispy fries and the aioli served beside them were also top notch, although you do get a ridiculous amount of them. The woman who took away our plates commented on how many fries they throw each night, which seems a little wasteful to me. But I guess it's all a part of the presentation.
The tagliatelle tasted fresh, homemade and was wonderfully composed with tender lamb, cooked with a delicious smokiness. Our combo of burger and pasta worked out great, so we could get a taste of the "high-class" pasta dish but also partake in the "lowly" hamburger. But in both cases Palace Kitchen took each dish to an artisan level.
We'd really like to go back for happy hour sometime if we can ever make it into Seattle early enough on a weekday. Their discounted wood grilled chicken wings with coriander cream are calling to us.