For your viewing pleasure, Voracious today offers a mega-slideshow to complement my review of Tom Douglas' trio of new restaurants in South Lake Union.
Our photo department decided it was impossible to jam three different restaurants into the standard 10-photo set, mirroring my conclusion that I couldn't shoehorn a Tibetan dumpling house, an upscale Italian restaurant, and a tavern into an uninterrupted block of text.
Wrestling with Ting Momo, Cuoco, and Brave Horse Tavern recalled my 10th-grade European history teacher's attempts to explain why the Trinity rattled early theologians. Were these disparate eateries three distinct entities or three manifestations of one vision? Would it make more sense to tackle the Terry Avenue Building as an overarching concept or assess each restaurant individually?
I went with the latter strategy, largely because I think that's how most eaters will approach the project. With the exception of former Seattle Weekly critic Jonathan Kauffman, who joined me for one of my review visits (our publisher later made a special visit to my cubicle to ask where two critics go to eat. The answer: Wherever the review schedule dictates), none of my dining companions were aware of the other restaurants in the building. They didn't know they'd broached the Tom Douglas empire.
Unlike folks who spend a great deal of time obsessing about the local restaurant scene, my friends didn't particularly care whether Cuoco's agnoletti advanced Douglas' brand, or how Brave Horse's sandwiches stacked up against those served at Dahlia Bakery, or if Ting Momo's pork samo was evidence of Douglas overextending himself. They just wanted a good meal.
Unfortunately, that sometimes proved elusive in my many visits to the Terry Avenue Building. Even without lumping together the venue's three restaurants, I faced a jumble of excellence and errors there. For more on what worked--and what didn't--skedaddle to the complete review.