Dishin’: Something Sweetly Spicy at Dulces

What is it about a dumpling that’s so delightful? We love dough that’s filled and then folded or otherwise formed. Dumplings come in different shapes and sizes (recall our reviews of pelmeni, xiao long bao, and har gow, to name a few) and cut across all cultures. Proper preparation requires attention—and the finished product demands the diner’s attention. Each one is a gift—the wrapper cleverly hiding the surprise within.

Growing up, we never heard of har gow, but we did know ravioli. Unfortunately, it sometimes came in a can. So, when we went to Dulces Latin Bistro and our waiter recommended the roasted red pepper ravioli as the must-try starter (along with prawns a la diabla), we crossed our fingers in hopes that Chef Julie Guerrero’s version would be better than that of our old buddy: Chef Boyardee.

No contest.

These ravioli regaled us. She did the dough right. Perfect texture, with just the right bite, followed by a different sort of bite: that of Mexican chorizo. We loved the spiciness, tempered by the rest of the filling of ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, and served with a well-matched cilantro-tomatillo cream sauce. A welcome wake-up call to kick off the meal! We reached for our wine (they have quite a collection) and relaxed, enjoying the comfort of the candlelit room.

The ravioli would turn out to be the highlight of the meal, and we’re glad to see them as a mainstay of the menu. We hope Dulces will do its Latin dance by daring to add dynamite to some of its other dishes as well. The spring menu is out, and the duck and lavender sausage looks enticing. Take note, sweet Dulces: spicy, or anything bold, is sweet to us.

Originally posted at Seattlest (where “we” = me) on March 24, 2008.

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