I visited “Damn the Weather” DTW in Pioneer Square on a late September evening as the sun was going down and the nightlife was picking up. I was really looking forward to experiencing the new Bryn Lumsden restaurant that everyone was talking about.
The summer season had just ended, it was a week night and I thought for sure I’d have the place to myself; that was definitely not the case.
As I walked from Yessler on 1st Ave S. I passed many of the Pioneer Square staple saloons and a few overly chichi restaurants all with a smattering of patrons around a handful of tables. By all appearances it was going to be a quiet night, but all that changed when I arrived at DTW. The place was packed, in fact I could barely get though the front door.
I thought maybe I would need to reschedule but the very polite host simply smiled, greeted me warmly and said follow me. As I squeezed into the one space available at the bar I was immediately struck the by warmth and welcoming atmosphere…this place radiates the vibe to come and play. Great lighting, the perfect music and comfortable fixtures, I was right at home.
I was almost instantly greeted by Tyler the bartender, a great 20-something guy with an intimate knowledge of the cocktail menu. I had read that “Damn the Weather” was the name of a classic cocktail and I was eager to give it a go. However, when I asked for it Tyler leaned in close and said with a grin “it’s a much better name than an actual drink” so I opted for the “Despite the Weather” instead. Cachaca, dry vermouth, basil syrup and lime shaken and served with a cucumber garnish, the perfect choice!
With beverage in hand I perused the menu while chatting with the expert bartender and learned that DTW is a restaurant that is constantly on the move. From the cocktail list to the cuisine the menu is constantly changing, evolving and introducing something new. There is definitely something for everyone. Small bites to full plates with a smattering of pork or fish with vegetarian options and unique combinations. If you’re a foody, this is the place. My recommendation…try everything at least once and repeat.
The first item that stood out was the spectacular looking daily oyster selection. The Hama Hama being served seemed to be the star of the show as evidenced by the plates and plates being served to just about every table in the house.
The Fried Brussel Sprouts, the Tuna Hotdogs and English Dip all caught my eye but it was the daily special of Matsutake Ravioli with apple and celeriac that won me over. It was a perfectly prepared pasta crafted in-house with a delicate sauce and thinly sliced apple. Perfection. When I checked in on Facebook a friend replied back and I completely agree,
“Some of the best fresh house made pasta I have ever had. Love this place!”
The wine list was small but very effective with a great selection from local to afar. With my dinner I chose to sample a brew from Oregon that I had not tried, Pelican American Ale, it was a great choice to pair with the ravioli.
All through the evening the place was full of energy with lots of people laughing, romancing and enjoying good friends. It was also clear that this place was date central. With love happening on both sides I was definitely the awkward alone guy whose date was his computer, however, this gave me a great opportunity to observe and overhear.
There was a couple on my right who appeared to be on a first date which seemed to be going very well. There was a guy who couldn’t stop talking about attending last year’s Super Bowl and his date who kept rolling her eyes but that didn't stop them from laughing and sipping througout the evening. There were two 20-something guys to my left that had long hair and talked tech all evening over glasses and glasses of red wine. All very entertaining.
In the end I found the whole experience to be more of a journey than a meal. A short story rather than a quick hit magazine article. This is a place that doesn’t stop, the more you look, taste or connect there is always something new to experience.
The food, the team, the space and the story…4 corners of a box that is certainly not square. If you have not visited, you must. Just remember to go hungry and enjoy the ride.
Project 968; Whether you are a couch potato or a collegiate athlete, Michael Browder has you covered!
August 2, 2018
March 2014 Non-Profit Spotlight: Breakthrough Partners