Mad Men begins its end in a few days, and Seattle’s got midcentury on its mind. You know, the sleek, suave look of the '50s and '60s. It’s emerging more and more as design inspiration in Seattle restaurants, giving good ol’ exposed-brick-and-open-ductwork a run for its money as our restaurant look du jour.
Tallulah’s, the new Linda Derschang brunch- and dinnerhouse at the corner of the 19th and Mercer development on North Capitol Hill, stands as prototype. All glass-skinned and clean-lined, with globe pendants and smooth built-in shelving and a mod oversized clock centered over the bar, the place exudes an effortlessly impeccable cool. Especially with a ginger-spiced Tallulah’s Tonic in your hand. (It comes out of a tap!)
For more midcentury drinking, head for the highballs at the Gerald in Ballard. In the thick of Pike/Pine, you can dive into Lost Lake Café and Lounge any time of the day or night, since it never closes. (FYI, this one reminds me with particular nostalgia of my fourth grade friend Linda Hutchins’ basement, with its “wood” paneling and faux river-rock chimney, sniff. And love the light pendants!)
Higher up the food chain, there’s classy Shanik in South Lake Union, whose quietly upholstered surfaces and woods both smooth and slatted define understatement.
And if you’re looking for the one that started it all…well that would be Canlis, the 1950 Roland Terry-designed masterpiece whose windowed edges jut out over the east slope of Queen Anne Hill. Inside, every creamy surface and timber joist and smoothed river rock pays classic tribute to the cool aesthetic of post-war America.
And yeah, since I’ve made it all the way to the end of this post without once invoking Don Draper…he would love it there.