So its funny how many times I have walked by this place but never dined there. Supposedly this place is on the top 10 list of Italian restaurants in the city, Assaggio Ristorante.
I was downtown for a late meeting on Monday and met L. after it ended. I really wanted to try a place I have never been and felt like getting down on some pasta. We walked in about 7:15pm and it was packed! We were quickly greeted with "do you have a reservation"...fortunately for us we were able to make an impromptu reservation for 7:45 so we skipped next store for a quick drink at Lola. The woman running the front of the house was cool, she was very friendly and gave me a call on my cell phone when the table was ready.
When you walk into this place it feels small but the huge Michaelangelo replica murals covering walls really open it up. We were seated at a corner table and greeted by a very serious waiter who spouted off specials. The service started slow, but my guess is the delay was because of how busy it was, so they get a pass. The food was very good, BOMB if you will.
We started with Eggplant Parmigiana which even in its very classical form was very tasty. The tomato sauce was perfectly seasoned and the eggplant was sliced very thin and covered with several layers of melted cheese. I could eat eggplant parmigiana everyday of my life, and this was so on point I was excited to eat the rest of my meal.
Next, I had the Caprese salad which was a very large portion even though my sweet pics below don't show that very well. The salad had 6 big pieces of fresh mozzarella layered with tasty tomatoes, basil and olive oil. The salad came seasoned with salt and pepper and a small amount of balsamic vinegar dotted the sides of the plate. Great, fresh and classic salad.
L. had the Insalata di Francesca. Which was a mix of field greens, apples, pears, pistachios and gorgonzola with a light vinaigrette. I tasted this salad and it was beautiful. The cheese was amazing, I could have eaten a bowl of that cheese on its own. The salad was also big enough for two people to share if you want to save more room for dinner.
For dinner I had the Fusilli Zafferano which was exactly what I was craving. This pasta was not as rich as it might seem being that it was mixed with sausage, pine nuts, arugula, currants and a saffron cream. The sauce was not thick but lightly covering the pasta. I loved the combination of the toasted pine nuts and the arugula. The sausage could have been omitted because it lacked definitive flavor, but I am no chef so maybe it was there for a reason. I am a huge fan of spiral pasta and this fusilli had the perfect consistency. What a great flavor with the saffron and all of the other ingredients. Amazing. The serving was also enough to share, so I took it home and got down on it for lunch today.
L. went for one of the specials... from what I can remember it seemed like linguine, tomato sauce and fresh seafood including, crab, shrimp and octopus. I tasted his pasta and it was hearty and thick. The fish was not too overpowering and simple red sauce was filled with a nice amount of garlic.
By the time the dessert menu showed up, we had to pass. I would love to go back and try some of the other items that caught my eye including the Penne Vodka and the Gnocchi Gorgonzola. Lot of other entree options included chicken, veal, lamb and pork chops also grace the menu. We made it out of there for about $100, but I think you could cut that down if you wanted to share plates.
Without a doubt I am going back. This place rocks some serious authentic Italian dishes.
2010 4th Avenue
Seattle Washington 98121
Lunch: Monday – Friday from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Dinner: Monday – Saturday from 5:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Closed Sundays. Reservations recommended.