As I watched the tall, glass building appear before my eyes, I wondered what would be there. I work near the new Lotte Hotel in downtown Seattle so I know the area was in dire need of a fabulous dining option. Although I haven’t had the pleasure of staying at the hotel yet, I can say that Charlotte Restaurant & Lounge delivers on a promise of impeccable service, thoughtful plates, and dynamite cocktails.
Immediately upon entering the hotel, my guest and I were greeted by multiple employees before having my temperature checked for a sneak peek preview. We were escorted to (and up) the elevator by an attendant that represents old time elegance. Upon exiting the elevator, we were greeted by more employees and the restaurant staff. We were seated near the window overlooking the Sound. The staff politely apologized for us not being able to see the water because of poor air quality. That was a nice touch, but we all know that wasn’t their fault. Still, it was nice that they recognized part of the ambience was lost. Every staff member that came to the table was unbelievably friendly and helpful. Our server was fantastic!
The lounge is perfect for happy hour and I imagine I’ll be spending a lot of time here in the future. The bar scene in the area is stale and this is exactly what I need at the end of a hard day at the office. The restaurant is spacious with high ceilings and blond accents. The bar is impressive, backlit to inspire you to choose a cocktail to your liking. The bathroom is reminiscent of a fun house, filled with mirrors. I’m embarrassed to say that I almost ran into a reflection of myself because I was so awed by my surroundings. Prepare for selfies galore!
Beverage Director Amanda Reed, who I know from her previous position at Heartwood Provisions, stopped by the table with a few drinks. The cocktail and spirit-free options are glorious! Although I couldn’t partake in much alcohol because of my reactions to the air quality, I did have some and they were delicious! The cocktails range from $12-$20 which is appropriate for downtown Seattle.
The Gold Fashioned had wonderfully smooth Japanese Whisky, Saffron Tincture, Angostura and black lemon bitter. It’s hard to imagine a more sophisticated drink.
The Apple Cup was a nice spirit-free option, composed of apple dry soda, apple-cinnamon, and verjus.
Our first dish was the mushroom soup. As I raised the spoon to my mouth, I smelled the earthiness of the mushrooms. The first bite was creamy and rich. It was served with huckleberry and pickled mushrooms. The presentation was beautiful!
I eat a lot of Dungeness crab and the Pacific Northwest is the place to be! This dish was the perfect contrast to the mushroom soup. The sweet crab was paired with spaghetti squash, apple, sorrel, and walnut. It was fresh and vibrant.
At this point, we had two fantastic dishes so I thought I’d have to taper my expectations. Wrong! The squid ink cavateli was the show stopper of the night! Let’s start with ingredients like penn cove mussels, razor clams, chorizo, olive, tomato, and idiazabal – yum! The textures were complete perfection. The balance of the components created the most harmonious dish I’ve eaten in a long time.
Anyone else love crisp, fried fish skin? The black cod was lovely. The salty, crisp skin went perfectly with heirloom squash, purple scallion, maitake, and nasturtium. Lovely and delicious!
I’m a fan of beef and the Washington striploin delivered! This lovely cut of beef is served with dandelion greens, onion soubise, fromage blanc, kumquat, and bacon marmalade. The bacon marmalade was savory and packed with bacon flavor. It was the perfect accent for the beef!
I’ll never pass up dessert. The chocolate souffle sounded perfect and it was! It rose perfectly and was paired with an almond crème anglaise. I can’t think of a better way to end a perfect meal!
Charlotte has extended a Grand Opening Special from now until October 31st. It’s good for 50% off food for lunch and dinner service Monday-Thursday. The offer is limited to the first 20 guests per meal period and does not apply to beverages. To take advantage of the offer: 1) mention “50% OFF FOOD” when making your reservation; and 2) present the flyer above when you arrive. I’d love if you mentioned you heard about it from me (just sayin’).
If you miss the special, don’t worry. I was impressed by the prices for the portions and quality of the food I was served. I have a feeling I’ll be visiting a lot when I return to my office. Visit my Instagram highlights for more visual storytelling.