Best Restaurant When Someone Else Pays

Palace Kitchen

You can't write about the "best" anything without having experienced it yourself. So while there most certainly are many Seattle restaurants more expensive than Tom Douglas' Palace Kitchen, his new American creation is the one that provided, for me, the most sublime combination of good food and relief at not having to cover the bill. I can't remember all that was eaten, but there were definitely fresh oysters, foraged mushrooms, Idaho trout, sockeye salmon, a bottle (OK, bottles) of wine, Plymouth gin, and the famous triple coconut cream pie (OK, pies). Then came the check. And not picking it up was the most delicious part of the night. CALEB HANNAN 2030 Fifth Ave., 448-2001,

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