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May 2, 2005 08:05 PM

Italian in and around Seattle

  • p

Over the years qualified recommendations for various Italian places pop up on this board, but I haven't seen any head-to-head comparisons. What is the best bet? Any region/price/classic-vs-crazy orientation is OK. (Just not Salumi, since I'm thinking of dinner, and not in 2008.)

Thanks in advance!

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  1. b

    The best Italian for dinner: Volterra, Osteria La Spiga, or La Medusa.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ballardfoodcritic
      thee trouthole

      having just dined at lago for the first time last week, i cannot imagine it being the best italian restaurnat in boise, let alone seattle (no offense to boise).

      overlooked: la rustica

      thee trouthole

    2. s
      Seattle Todd

      Cafe Juanita in Kirkland. Northern Italian without the cream and red sauces but exceptional food. Had another great dinner there last night as a matter of fact.

      Unless you're looking for veal parmigian or fettucini alfredo (and I love those too!) it's the best italian in Seattle by a lot of folks' accounts. Best foie gras and rabbit preparations I've had in Seattle.

      The chef is up for the James Beard award this evening amongst some great Northwest chefs.


      1. I will second the La Spiga recommendation, and add Cafe Lago. I'm too sleepy to do a blow by blow comparison but both places have been reviewed extensively if you do a google search.

        1. I think the only 2 restaurants that do authentic Italian food in the area are Cafe Juanita and Volterra.

          Since I live in Ballard, I was doing backflips when Volterra opened a few weeks ago on Ballard Ave. I love Holly's food but can't make the trek over to the Eastside very often.

          I've been to Volterra 3 times now and highly recommend that you check it out. Chef Don Curtiss is extremely talented & has a great following in the city- they have been busy since they opened the doors. I was just in on Sunday and Scott from Lampreia and wife were there. It seems like everytime I'm dining there, there is a local chef in the house.

          Be sure to try the Wild Boar tenderloin.

          1. Some of my personal faves (and keep in mind I'm not always looking for wow, just good food and service) are Sostanza Trattoria in Madison Park and Il Terrazzo Carmine in Pioneer Square.

            I live within walking distance of Cafe Lago and have to say I go there once a year if that. It's really overpriced for what it is.