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Il Fornaio: Excellent Italian food - great for family
This restaurant was recommended by other VT correspondents. I went to this restaurant for dinner last summer in August 2005. The food was excellent. I had the seafood pasta-amazing, and the kids had the lobster ravioli. We liked the food so much that we went back the next day for lunch before we left Seattle. We will definitely come back to this restaurant again the next time we're in Seattle.
Il Fornaio Italian Restaurant: Itching for Italian in the Emerald City
If you love Italian food as much as I do, head for the Pacific Place Shopping Center on 6th and Olive. Il Fornaio Ristorante combines a traditional Italian restaurant with a fun Italian bakery and cafe, connected by a large spiral staircase.
The food is delicious enough to make an Italian return, and the atmosphere balances formality with relaxation, typical of Seattle.
This is not a stop for a budget traveller, but you could certainly do worse!
Favorite Dish: Pollo Toscano: Rostisserie wood-smoked chicken with rosemary. Yum!
Tulio: An Italian Classic
Tulio is one of the older Italian restaurants in Seattle, and has a great reputation.
I was impressed with the service. Not overly attentive, which can be annoying, but just right. When our appetizers were served, the waiter divided them into our individual appetizer plates, which was quite handy!
The atmosphere was nice and classic too.
The 5th Avenue theater is just down the street from Tulio, so it is a popular pre-theater restaurant.
Favorite Dish: Funny - In Italian restaurant none of us ordered pasta. But they had a smoked salmon ravioli that sounded delicious.
The 2 appetizers we had were delicious: Asparagus w/ prosciutto, and the most delicious gnocchi I've ever eaten.
Two of us had the rib eye, which was good, but it was the ricotta whipped potatoes served with the steak which made the meal.
The Old Spaghetti Factory: Great pasta at family prices!
This restaurant is right by the waterfront at pier 70. Great veiws of the Sound and Elliot Bay.
The decor inside is really homey and whacky! There is a train car inside the restaurant that has tables for two. Other 'tables' are made from old brass bed frames. Really fun and funky for the whole family.
Favorite Dish: My absolute fave is the Manager's Favorite. It's spaghetti with half mizithra cheese sauce and half marinara sauce. Bellisima!
Olympic Pizza (Plus other pasta): Ordinary Food for Ordinary People
I'm a meat and potatoes and pasta kind of guy. I don't care what the food looks like or how fancy is the restaurant. Just put a big pile of good, cheap food in front of me, and I'm happy. The Olympic Pizza Restaurant has been serving those kinds of meals to its neighbors on Capital Hill since before I arrived in Seattle-25 years ago. There is nothing special about this place--really. Absolutely nothing except good food, cheap prices, and a friendly, long time staff who know all the regulars.
The restaurant is located in a little tourist-free commercial area on 15th Avenue East, near Volunteer Park, not far from the cemetary where Jimi Hendrix is buried.
Favorite Dish: Spaghetti and meatballs. My wife usually has a chopped salad, and white wine when she agrees to go to such a dive. They also serve good pizza and lasagna. You get what you pay for.
Il Forniao: Nice Food for very reasonable prices
This is a slightly up market restaurant, but the prices are really reasonable. The service is good and the staff really tried hard to make me a "lemon lime and bitters" :)) The decor is nice and warm and if you get a seat by the window you can see the space needle from it. I would recommend this place.
Il Fornaio: A nice Italian
Il Fornaio is a chain of Italian restaurants in California, and their branch is Seattle is probably the best one in the chain.
Located at the Pacific Palace mall, you can choose either to eat at the atrium (bakery), casual risotteria or the fancy looking main dining room.
The beef carpaccio is sublime and the pasta's are made fresh. It does get busy during lunch hour (I went there on a Friday) so expect a bit of a slower service. Overall though a good restaurant that offers good value for money.
Percheno: Did you say Italian food?
This restaurant I never knew about until I moved to Queen Anne a year ago. A small treat tucked away at the bottom of queen anne hill downtown. Absolutely one of the top italian restaurants in Seattle. In a city this size there is so much to choose from but if you are in town and want to have a nice romantic dinner with some of the best food, wine and service then try this place on for size. They may even have specials going on, friends of mine paid for a package where a 5 course meal and a limo ride was included.
LaVita E'Bella: Good, Inexpensive Italian Food - Rare in Seattle!
I used to live near LaVita E'Bella, had passed it many times, but the outside had never given me any reason to go in. Then someone was talking about how good and inexpensive it was, so 2 friends and I decided to give it a try. We were plesantly surprised. The inside is nice an cozy - dim liting, dark colored walls, black & white photos of 60's actors. The waiter was accomodating and funny, and suggested a great, cheap bottle of wine.
Favorite Dish: We started with Funghi Bruschetta, and it was great! I had Lasagne, which was also delicious. One of my friends had a mushroom ravioli, that was also quite tasty, and my other friend had one of the specials - pasta (similar to fettuccini noodles, but called something else) with herbs and prawns - also very good! And the total per person, including 2 bottles of wine was only $40!
Bottega Italiana: Gelato!
Small gelato ($3) was a scoop of berry melange and a scoop of coconut so fantastically rich and flavorful that I couldn't eat it alone and had to share. There were several outdoor tables pleasant for people watching and enjoying the sunny day.
The glass case is lovely...about 14 different gelatos that day - very difficult to choose!
Volterra: A Bit of Tuscany in a Scandanavian Neighborhood
The couple that opened Volterra named it after the Tuscan town where they spent their honeymoon. You enter via the bar, which is usually crowded and loud. Get a pear cosmo while you wait for your table. Delicious and refreshing!
While the dining room is not as loud as the bar, its not what I'd call quiet. But you can still converse at a comfortable volume. The service is excellent, both in the bar and the dining room. The menu is varried, but not overwhelming, and I've relied on the waiter to select the wine on both my visits due to my lack of knowledge of Tuscan wines.
I've eaten both meat and pasta, and enjoyed both. Deserts are good, too. But maybe the most memorable part of the meal is the adorable coffee service - a large cappuccino cup with your own mini creamer, hunks of raw white and brown sugar, and a little biscuit.
Stella's: Stella's: local favorite
Lots of college kids, movie-goers (The Metro is next door), and groups of locals talking the night way. One of the best option for eating in Seattle at 2am. The late night menu's Gypsy Toast rivals any daytime selection in popularity.
Favorite Dish: Order the Chicken Parmiagian. And there's no question, you want the soup, not the salad. Ask for the minestrone. Dunk your bread in it and it's practically a meal in itself! Then the chicken arrives, and you wonder at the size of the bird that could have produced such a giant entree for you!!
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Serafina: For the romantic experience...
i just realized how many italian restaurants I've included in my restaurants tips, I love italian food and Serafina is one of those restaurants I keep in the back of my mind for that very special dinner. Not overly priced and they always have wonderful live music that just makes the experience!
Favorite Dish: The bruschetta is fabulous otherwise just about anything on the menu.
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Assaggio Ristorante: Italian done right...
Located in the heart of downtown this restaurant is full of bustling young seattlelites and is your perfect stop for a romantic dinner or lively get together. The staff and food is immaculate you won't leave feeling unsatisfied. Dinner $16-$27 and lunch $10-$17.
Favorite Dish: Osso de buco is to die for as well as any of their pastas. Try the caprese to start.
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Vivanda Ristorante: Vivanda Ristorante Seattle- Near Pike Market
Vivanda is an upscale restaurant located very close to Pike Place Market. It offers what the owners call "Mediterranean food with an Italian soul". The decor is appealing, the restaurant is small enough to be comfortable and not overwhelming. They have some very good seafood offerings including lobster ravioli, spice rubbed seared ahi, roasted seabass, and cappelini with sauteed scallops. For those of you not into seafood, there's pork tenderloin or grilled new york steak with basil pesto mashed potatoes. Good wine list! We had excellent service. Only gripe was portions could be a bit larger.
Favorite Dish: Lobster ravioli
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