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Please rate these Italian Restaurants (SEA)

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I live in Seattle my sig other and I are starting Italian classes this week. We plan to try a new Italian restaurant each week, after class -- a fun food project for the fall/winter. Here is the list I've come up with so far:

Osteria La Spiga
La Medusa
Il Bistro
That's Amore
La Fontana Siciliana
Bizzarro
Il Terrazzo Carmine

We are regulars at Machiavelli, and have tried La Rustica several times. Also done the Pink Door. We'd rather stay close to Seattle (even Bizzarro might be too out-of-the-way...we get out of class at 8:30pm so want to be sitting down to eat before 9pm if we can swing it). I'm not a big fan of Tulio, but I haven't been for a few years. Any others I'm forgetting? Are there spots on my list that aren't up to snuff? Thanks in advance.

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  1. Il Terrazzo Carmine is in a league of it's own.

    1. you have hit upon several faves - i do not know that's amore and must turn a thumbs down on la fontana siciliana (pricey without reason) but rate all the others at the top of seattle's italian places - il terrazzo carmine will give you a perfectly executed older menu in posh surroundings; il bistro is very atmospheric with an interesting menu; bizzarro is wonderfully just as it's name implies - buon appetito!

      1. Volterra comes to mind and they serve until 10:00 pm on weeknights so you shouldn't have a problem making it in time for dinner there.

        1. Osteria la Spiga and Medusa are both great - leaning toward la Spiga for convenience to downtown. Around the zoo, Perche'no just opened (second location to lower Queen Anne)- good value, decent food; awful pink building but hey, its the owner's dream... If you're stuck in Kirkland (perhaps to delay the always horrid 520 commute back to downtown...) give Ristorante Paradiso a try; the food is good, wine list solid and Fabrizio (owner/chef)will gladly suggest Sardinian wines that may be overlooked on the list - he's a exceptionally nice guy to boot.

          For pizza - Tutta Bella, or Via Tribunali; Tutta Bella if you got kids or just want fast killer pizza - Via Tribunali if you want the 'ultra mr cool guy' Capital Hill scene, but amazing Neapolitan pizza and great bartenders.

          Sounds like a great plan - hopefully many of your experiences will be chronicled here.

          1 Reply
          1. re: shedwell

            La Spiga is closed for about a month as they move to their new Location on 12th and Pike.

          2. i am also a fan of volterra. but, then again, i like tulio's, as well.

            i've been to la rustica once and liked it, but it was a little salty for me.

            1. Also don't forget Cafe Lago, the Asteroid Cafe, or the Pink Door, although my personal faves are Volterra and La Medusa. By the way, love this project/theme.

              1. I second Volterra and need to add my personal favorite as well. Sostanza Trattoria in Madison Park, not sure what your geographical limit is, but it's just minutes from downtown.

                1. I also like Asteroid (which is its new name; it's moved to Fremont). The owner's great, I've always had good food and special experiences there.

                  1. We love Volterra--every single thing we've had there has been great (the salumi appetizer platter is a delightful way to start the meal) and they are also good with wine pairings.

                    Noticed no mention of Asaggio (4th & Virginia, next to Lola)--a bit more old school, but I've never had a bad meal (a little loud, though).

                    Bizzarro is in my neighborhood, but I understand if you're trying to get there by 9--depending on where class is it could be dicey. But, the food is fine (not the best in Seattle, but . . .) the wine is good, I had a great salad there last time (simple greens + gorgonzola + vinegrette) and really good, creamy, rich pasta with mushroom sauce.

                    I love your idea of a class + related food--sounds fun! Let us know how it turns out!

                    1. Recommend Il Bistro; I had a great meal there back in April. Loved my cioppino and my companion had some tasty (and interesting!) gorganzola ravioli.

                      Do not recommend La Fontana. Good atmosphere but food was very average. I posted my thoughts on it in more detail in another thread about a month ago...

                      1. Bella Napoli in downtown Renton is worth the schlep.

                        1. La Spiga will be closed until sometime in November (they hope it will only be until then) before reopening at 12th and Union-they had a fantastic and chaotic all you can eat party (they basically cooked everything they had on hand) on their last night just last Saturday.

                          I've been to Bizarro a couple times (I have a friend that loves it) but I wouldn't really call it Italian food. Maybe Italian inspired, or just Italian-American? I had bananas foster for dessert, which gives you some idea. Anyway, the food was okay but forgettable. I'd be interested to hear up to date reports of Il Bistro-10 or 15 years ago it was good, but I have heard almost nothing about it since then.

                          I'd also add Via Tribunali, Volterra and Cafe Lago, though I still like La Spiga the best.

                          1. My hit list is: il terrazo (always good, though expensive & yep, a bit old school) everyday italian is tough here .. la spiga is great & their new location looks cool. il bistro was awful when i ate there last winter (sort of akin to a place in a small town that thinks it's serving italian food but it isn't)quite sad as i have many happy memories .. the lunches at salumi (gnocchi etc) are great .. haven't tried volterra but have heard mixed reviews.

                            1. Bengodi is the best!!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: rdabke

                                I had a bad "bait-and-switch" experience at Bengodi a couple of years ago and and haven't been back. They told us they were out of the wine we ordered with our meal, and the waiter suggested another wine that was twice as expensive -- without telling us the price. We didn't learn the difference until we got our bill. Our complaint got us a free dessert "on our next visit."

                              2. THe food at IL BIstro was competent but the room is dim, dingy and stuffy and the seats are quite uncomfortable.

                                1. Nobody has said anything about That's Amore (it's on caraely's original list). I love this place. It's right around the corner from my house, so I visit it often. They have really good Pizzas and Salads...I really like the Leschi Pizza and the Insalata Pera (pears, blue cheese walnuts and greens). The entree I get the most is the Grigliata di Melanzane. It's grilled eggplant, pesto, mozzarella, goat cheese, marinara sauce on top of a small pile of greens. It always hits the spot. The place also has sweeping views of the city. Try and get a table near the window.