My spirits soared the moment I walked in the room.

The place is Taberna Del Alabardero, the Madrid chain that’s made Belltown its second US outpost. (First was Washington DC.)

The food? Wow. More on that to come in the pages of Seattle Met.

But it’s the decor that seized my attention. Butter-yellow walls. Warm caramel-toned wood. Soaring ceilings. Floods of creamy light. (This is the space that used to house Cascadia. Remember those elegant clerestory windows?)

For a Spanish restaurant, all this warmth is fitting. For a Seattle restaurant…it’s stop-the-presses newsworthy. For ours is a town besotted with cool modernity. Cement floors (think Corson Building). Angular surfaces (Spring Hill). Minimalist decor (Anchovies & Olives). Color palettes probing the nuances of grey and black (Pearl).

Taberna, by contrast, trains balmy sunbeams on Sangria-swilling Seattleites. Who suddenly don’t look quite so much like Seattleites anymore.

Why don’t more restaurants go color-drenched and sunny?

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