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Italian Restaurant Recommendation for Birthday Dinner

IsabelF Aug 10, 2012 04:17 PM

My son will be turning 17 in a few weeks and has asked to celebrate with dinner at a "real" Italian restaurant (not a chain) with excellent food. Sadly, in the 4 years we've lived in Washington, our family dinners have mostly been on the Eastside (Issaquah/Bellevue area). It's a special occasion so budget and location not really an issue. While I want it to feel special - with two teens in tow I think a casual/lively atmosphere versus a formal/date night type setting would be best, and somewhere that takes reservations would be even better. Any recommendations on places to look into would be greatly appreciated!

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  1. b
    bourbongal RE: IsabelF Aug 10, 2012 05:00 PM

    How about Bizzarro Italian Cafe in Wallingford (http://www.bizzarroitaliancafe.com/)? It is lively and casual. I had the elk bolognese there last week and it was spectacular. It's esp great this time of year becase it is relatively open-air dining. One drawback, it is a little bit loud.
    For something a little mor traditional, I always recommend Salvatore's n Roosevelt. I don't think they take reservations for parties of less than 6 but they are very family friendly so I bet if you called and told them it was your son's birthday they would work it out. Order anything off their specials board and you will be happy.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bourbongal
      firecracker RE: bourbongal Aug 10, 2012 07:51 PM

      +1 on Bizzarro. Funky, (bizzarro) decor feeds the eye and mind and delicious food feeds the soul. Parking is on the street, so depending upon the day, you may want to get there early rather than later.

      1. re: firecracker
        Gizmo56 RE: firecracker Aug 11, 2012 01:29 PM

        +2. Perfect pick for a 17 year old.

    2. jlbwendt RE: IsabelF Aug 10, 2012 06:29 PM

      Cascina Spinasse. Not "red sauce" Italian, but Piedmontese inspired. You won't regret it.

      1. c
        christy319 RE: IsabelF Aug 10, 2012 09:37 PM

        I think La Spiga should be in the running, too. Good food, great space, and a cool Capitol Hill vibe that I think would be right for the occasion.

        1. m
          mrnelso RE: IsabelF Aug 11, 2012 08:04 PM

          These are all good answers. Can't beat Spinasse for high-end pastas, Bizzarro for fundkadelic and tasty creative. Salvatore is a hidden Gem and I agree that whatever Salvatore has on Special will be somewhere between very good and transcendent (and it feels like the set of a mob movie).

          1. b
            Booklegger451 RE: IsabelF Aug 13, 2012 10:29 AM

            My favorite Italian in the Seattle area has to be La Medusa. They offer Sicilian inspired pastas and mains, with deep, uncomplicated flavors that lend themselves to comfort eating.

            1. a
              akq RE: IsabelF Aug 13, 2012 04:03 PM

              It doesn't get much love on the board, but you might consider Tulio downtown. I've only been for lunch, but they've been great lunches! They have a "private" room upstairs, if that's something that would make your kid feel special. I also love Travolata in Belltown.

              1. l
                Lauren RE: IsabelF Aug 14, 2012 09:39 AM

                I think Barolo would fit that bill nicely. The food is good (solid) and has a vibe-y atmosphere.

                Another suggestion is Cafe Lago but that might be too neighborhood-y.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Lauren
                  akq RE: Lauren Aug 14, 2012 12:31 PM

                  Good call on Barolo. Excellent food and nice atmosphere.

                2. w
                  wwahl RE: IsabelF Aug 14, 2012 09:14 PM

                  Our most favorite place in Kirkland is http://www.ristoranteparadiso.com/
                  Ask for the corner table.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: wwahl
                    firecracker RE: wwahl Aug 14, 2012 09:38 PM

                    Way too sedate for a kid turning 17. I like Paradiso too, but not a happening place for a kid turning 17.

                  2. gingershelley RE: IsabelF Aug 15, 2012 08:06 PM

                    I think for what your looking for, Bizzaro would be a great hit with the teens, the food, the atmo, and the staff interaction.

                    Call them and talk about it, and book a table as Al Fresco as you can get... Eat the specials. You will not regret it!

                    1. g
                      Gizmo56 RE: IsabelF Aug 16, 2012 06:05 PM


                      Let us know what you eventually pick, and I hope the teens have a really fun evening.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Gizmo56
                        firecracker RE: Gizmo56 Aug 16, 2012 06:18 PM

                        I second Gizmo's sentiment, IsabelF. Hope his birthday is wonderful!

                        1. re: firecracker
                          mrnelso RE: firecracker Aug 16, 2012 11:26 PM


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