19 August 2011

Sexy Italian in Seattle

And I do mean sexy...mood lighting, low music, Victorian building with lots of window seats, and most importantly, amazing food.  If I lived in Seattle, I would be as big as a house from eating at Al Boccalino...

I can't say enough about how fantastic my experience was here. Beautiful, artfully done food made with fresh ingredients and minimal fuss; knowledgeable, friendly, yet unobtrusive service; and a cozy hideaway feel right in the heart of Pioneer Square, which is no easy feat. 

The menu is "al fresco", which means you roll the dice on what's fresh and available that day.  I love the adventure of an ever-changing menu, anyway--the best test of a kitchen is to let them do their thing unimpeded, I think.  But even the more cautious diners in my party were pleasantly surprised that just about everything offered that night (and it wasn't a skimpy menu) sounded amazing.  Our patient server had to come back twice before we were ready to commit to our entrees.  The gnocchi was delicate (?!) and perfectly dressed in a tomato sauce that tasted and looked like freshly pureed tomatoes with herbs and olive oil.  The lemon-dill salmon was mid-rare and beautiful.  The mussels in tomato-saffron broth had us all swooning. And the wild mushroom ravioli tossed with homemade pesto hit the spot.  Oh, and did I mention all pastas and desserts are homemade on-sight? 

I know I keep raving about the restaurants in Seattle, but it's because there are so many great places.  And Al Boccalino might be the best I've tried yet.