Last week, a few of us were invited to have lunch with one of our clients at Tom Douglas’ Serious Pie Westlake, the new location in the booming South Lake Union neighborhood. The space, fondly referred to as the Dahlia Workshop, is now home to Serious Pie, a prosciutto bar, biscuit shop, bread bakery, pastry kitchen, and Michael Teer’s Soul Wine. As we sat perched on the mezzanine at our communal table, we watched as our pizzas were carefully prepared, then cooked perfectly in the stone-encased applewood oven. Our table allowed us a view of the bakery downstairs, with loaves of artisan bread coming fresh from the oven. And a glance over the back balcony showed the bustling pastry kitchen, with chefs laboring together over beautiful heart-shaped cakes.
As I made my way out the door, I realized the real genius of the Dahlia Workshop (in addition to the food). So often, restaurants create barriers between the customer and the cooking. You sit in a lovely dining room sipping your glass of wine with no idea what goes on in the kitchen. Here, they are literally inviting you to come sit in the middle of their kitchen to witness all the wonderful, hectic, creative work behind the Tom Douglas culinary process. It sets the stage for customers to see the bakers and chefs making dishes from scratch using beautiful, fresh ingredients. With the Dahlia Workshop, Tom Douglas’ team has curated an inviting experience for his customers that provides a glimpse into the heart and soul of the Tom Douglas brand.