The Pink Door
1919 Post Alley, 443-3241
Tues-Thurs 11:30 am- midnight, Fri-Sat 11:30 am- 1:30 am, Sun 4-10 pm.

Part of the reason Sex and the City was such a popular show was its sense of decadent fantasy. Sure, Carrie Bradshaw was a freelance columnist in a city where you work overtime just to afford the martinis, but when she was out with her girlfriends, money was no object. In between bagging random studs and designer clothing, Bradshaw and company were always dining upscale.

Seattle feels like a tiny intersection compared to Manhattan's dense spread, but when my girlfriends and I want to go somewhere a little nicer (and more girlie) than the norm, the Pink Door is a charming escape from reality. (As a real-life newspaper employee, shelling out $50 for salads and appetizers is a steep extravagance.) The casual-yet-frilly décor of the Post Alley haunt is extra tempting during summer months, with an outdoor patio offering privacy from the street and a view of Elliott Bay.

If you're looking for light fare, check out the Pink Door's starters. The house antipasto ($11) is a savory spread of beets, Tuscan bean salad, olives, house-made mozzarella, roasted peppers, marinated vegetables, prosciutto, and salami. The cracked-black-pepper seared tuna ($12.95) is heavy on whole peppercorns around the edges, but the center of the fish has a simple, understated flavor and the accompanying red-wine mustard potato salad features crisp potato slices, asparagus, and yellow cherry tomatoes (thankfully, no mayo in sight). Salads are another Pink Door standard, whether your taste tends toward the standard beet variety ($9), with arugula, heavy doses of sharp Gorgonzola, and candied walnuts (be warned that the red balsamic-mustard dressing tastes the same as what's drizzled on the antipasto plate), or the Everything Green Spring Salad ($9.50), which mixes peas, bib lettuce, asparagus slivers, and a light, creamy vinaigrette.

Together, shared appetizers and a salad are a filling meal, but if you have room to splurge on dessert, the strawberry shortcake special we had on a recent trip was tasty as anything Samantha nibbled in private.

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