Pizza, privacy, and face time with the kitchen? Excellent. Photo via Tom Douglas Restaurants.

I confess—I absolutely love chef’s tables, or kitchen tables, or whatever you want to call them. If a seat at an open kitchen counter is like watching food-preparation theater, then the chef’s table is basically an upgrade to HD. I’m talking about tables that take diners out of the dining room and back into the actual unglamorous workings of the kitchen.

Tom Douglas’s original Serious Pie location sent word recently that it has added a private table back in the kitchen area, in the glass-walled space that used to house T-Doug’s production bakery before it moved over to South Lake Union. During the day, the table is where cooks shape the restaurant’s lovely, salt-tinged pizza dough. By night, it offers views of the kitchen’s hustle, service, and all those people trying to not eavesdrop on each other at the communal tables in the main dining room. The white lights strung overhead make the utilitarian plastic bins of ingredients and service station seem like honest-to-god ambience.

The table seats up to 12 people; and reservations must be for parties of at least six. Back there the menu is served family style, which just happens to be the optimal approach for sampling as many pies as possible. More details on booking the table (and special back-room menu options) are right over here —the kitchen table is also a rare opportunity to actually reserve a table and forego those enfamishing waits.

Madrona newcomer Restaurant Bea also has a chef’s table where chef Tom Black does a special menu for two to four people and promises the true kitchen experience, complete with jostling from both servers and_bartenders.">MistralKitchen has a fancy chef’s table, though instead of being located back in the kitchen, it’s in a corner of the dining room with a satellite kitchen of its own. Any others I’m missing?

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