Beato Food and Wine
Went to friends and family at a new contemporary Italian spot on California in West Seattle. Very cool, intimate spot. Great food – not the usual SEA Italian staples. Almost like Lark with Italian spin and larger dishes. Awesome wine list, especially if you are into esoteric Italian wines and some back vintages. Owner used to run Italian Wine Merchants in NYC.
Sounds interesting. More details please. Do they specialize in a specific region? How are the prices (their website is still under construction) or was the friends/family gratis? I thought this was supposed to be a winebar but when I peeked in the window, the "bar" area consisted of 3-4 stools? Are the former O2/Ovio owners still partners in this venture or is this a "new" joint? Sorry for the 3rd degree, just intrigued!
This was in the PI, which got me inititally interested -
Beato Food and Wine, "a cozy neighborhood osteria," is the baby of Brandon Gillespie, former general manager of Italian Wine Merchants in Manhattan, the upscale wine shop co-owned by Mario Batali. Other creds include a culinary arts diploma from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City and further study in Italy. The remodeled 50-seat space will feature Italian-inspired food and "worldly wines," including Gillespie's private collection from Italy. The chef is Nick Devine, most recently sous chef at the Sorrento Hotel's tony Hunt Club. A full menu will be served from 5 to 9 p.m., with a small-plates menu until 11 p.m.
One detail we especially appreciated, in these days of wine bars and noises: Beato promises acoustic tiles to help encourage a conversation-friendly atmosphere. Opening is scheduled for mid-December, Web site coming soon at beatoseattle.com.
The friends and family was gratis (except wine) but the prices on the menu were posted. I thought the prices were very fair.
I think avg check will be about $35 per without wine for 3 courses. The cuisine is definitely contemporary Italian. I'm new to SEA so don't know a comparison, but if you know Fiamma or L'Impero in NYC, that would be comparable, but Beato is much lower price point. Wine list prices are VERY reasonable. I drank Dal Forno Romano Valpolicella (which is impossible to find) for about $80......I think it satisfies both restaurant and wine bar. You could easily order a full dinner or wine and a few apps. Don’t know about the Ovio people.
Quick note... their web site is NOW up (several months after opening). They should have made a point to at least post their menu as soon as they opened so we would know what to expect. We had been anticipating a replacement for O2, which we always really liked. It is an extremely SLOW DINING, SMALL PLATE dining experience, with the emphasis on drinking lots of wine in between each "course." My husband has a number of serious health issues, and dining out is one of the few pleasures we can still enjoy together. We just wanted a good, satisfying, but relatively quick meal. He can't drink because of all the medications he is on. The dishes consisted of just a few bites each, and the entire slow dining experience was very anxiety-producing for us. I repeatedly inquired about the food, telling the waiter that "my husband is hungry" (without going into the details about how he could get sick if he didn't get some food down him). But we still had to wait insufferably to intially order, and then between each "course." It wound up costing quite a lot for a small neighborhood restaurant, and a less than satisfying meal that didn't include alcohol. We went away hungry and stressed out. Upon leaving the hostess asked how we liked it, and since she asked I told her that we were disappointed with the portion sizes and slow service. Her comment, was something like, "well, yes it's not the Olive Garden." Pretty condescending. We won't go back.
Wow. How very damning. That's certainly a response that makes me not EVER want to go there. It sounds as if you were clear with your requests and that instead of asking what they could do to help, they brushed you off. I am not one of those Hounds who will go somewhere with good -- or even very good -- food if I think that the people who own and run the place don't want to feed people well and help them enjoy the experience. If all I want is a good meal, I can certainly make that myself. If I want a good meal and the feeling of being somewhere warm with my companions, I go out. And no matter how grand a wine list, the menu should more than stand up to it unless the place advertises as a wine bar.
That's my subjective two cents, partly out of sympathy for Ms and Mr Fishpaw.
The servings i had there were of decent size although my server had an annoying tendency to upsell and to evade questions about portion size. Enjoyed the oxtail tagliatelle, the veal short ribs were not as tender as one could have hoped and I only finished them because i was hungry. Service was otherwise quite good.
My wife and I went to Beato on their opening day. Just as MsFishpaw we also thought that their portions were 'very' small.
It probably needs more explanation to make this statement a little bit less subjective. I had the fettucine with Oxtail ragout. After 5 bites I was done. My wife had a porcini risotto. The risotto itself had the shape and size of a hockey puck. On top of the risotto there were about 3-4 small porcini mushrooms.
That said, we thought the fettucine were excellent. The risotto was a bit on the bland site, but generally not bad. We also had a small plate with a selection of cured meats and cheeses as an appetizer, which we both liked.
Now all that would be fine considering that it was their opening day. However, after reading the reaction MsFishpaw received on her way out ("Well, it's not the Olive Garden") and some of the comments over at WestSeattleBlog.com ("Can you taste that? I didn't think so.") I don't think we will go back. To each his own. All we care for is a fair serving of good food without attitude.
Here's a link to the thread on WestSeattleBlog.com:
Just read the review in the Times, got a rare all-rave review from Ms. Leson. Hopefully this will help them increase their business. May have to give 'em a try despite some of the reviews here. btw what's happening food-wise on West Seattle these days? Any other new places to try?
It is really good idea that Times reviews always list "who should go". In this case it said: "Italian wine aficionados, small-plates lovers seeking the sublime." That was my complaint, that is wasn't suited to someone not drinking, and someone on medication that needed a full meal served fairly quickly. In any case, there was no excuse for the subtle dig we received from the hostess upon leaving, but maybe she felt a bit defensive when we didn't gush over the place when we left.
As to other dining choices in West Seattle, there are lots of new places, although not many similarly upscale restaurants (aside from Ovio Bistro).