Last month I shouted “Mambo, Italiano!” and with help from my Eatership came up with a list of Italian joints longer than Frank Sinatra’s musical canon, curated here to a handy dozen.
Did we miss our chance to raise a glass of chianti and sing “That’s Amore!” to your homiest of hangouts? Come-on-a-my-comments-box and sing it, Paisan!
After 50-plus years as kitchen crew and Welcome Wagon, the Ricci family is the Burien equivalent of Italian-American royalty. “They are old, old school Italian,” notes one enthusiastic follower, and their reach extends to a second Angelo’s, in Bellevue.
Angelo’s Ristorante: dishing it up in Burien for more than 50 years. [Seattle Times/John Lok]
Bizzarro Italian Cafe
This Wallingford wonder captures the appetite for the eclectic with its offbeat décor. “The lasagna is to die for,” some insist while others pledge their allegiance to a made-in-house menu that skews local and seasonal.
1307 N. 46th St. Seattle, 206-632-7277, www.bizzarroitaliancafe.com
He’s your chef, and your waiter, and those who seek out the Tuscan talent of Sandro Corsi consider his Rainier Beach hang “the perfect neighborhood Italian joint,” claiming it’s “delicious, unpretentious, reasonably priced, and run by lovely people” (his wife Nancy among them). What more can you ask for? The daily specials, I’m told.
9252 57th Ave. S., Seattle, 206-721-2267: more info here
Ravenna’s not New York, but don’t tell that to Anthony Donatone. Late of Brooklyn, the man of the casa can be found at the stove while his baker (and wife) Angeli keeps things running in their charmingly cluttered dining room. Don’t miss the antipasto misto, and expect a bonanza of bow ties, or whatever pasta-shape-of-the-day Ant’ny is heaping on your plate.
2615 N.E. 65th St., Seattle, 206-525-7747, www.casaditaliaseattle.com
Once a stalwart storefront in Maple Leaf, now at home in a Phinney Ridge Craftsman, this place gets its gig on thanks to chef Gaspare Trani and his wife, Dianne (who’s happy to pour you a drink at their cozy bar, or belt out a tune). Though I’m partial to the boss’s pizza and eggplant parmigiana, regulars opt for his pastas, noting the Ischia native does seafood proud.
6705 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle; 206-297-3600; www.gasparesrestaurant.com
A longtimer in Maple Leaf, Gaspare later moved to Phinney Ridge: fans followed.
[Seattle Times/John Lok (2007)]
Janie and Giulio Pelligrini’s Alki trattoria offers the lure of a Puget Sound view. Long on menu offerings and short on space, “it fills up fast, particularly since they don’t accept reservations,” but that doesn’t stop the faithful from filling up on calamari, manicotti and vitello scampi.
4100 Beach Drive S.W., Seattle, 206-932-3020, www.larusticarestaurant.com
This crowded Pike/Pine longtimer won’t leave you wanting, though it will leave you waiting — at the small crowded bar. “Worth it!” say folks crazy for the modestly priced spaghetti and meatballs, killer carbonara and chicken-liver lasagna.
1215 Pine St., Seattle, 206-621-7941, www.machiavellis.com
It’s all in the (Magaletti) family, whose warm welcome is as much a draw as their Roosevelt dining room’s golden glow. The menu offers pastas aplenty, though I’m addicted to the Madeira-sweetened prawns (share it) and give a vigorous nod to Gorgonzola-garnished vitello al porto.
7115 Roosevelt Way N.E., Seattle. 206-527-4778, www.marcelloseattle.com
Risotto di mare at Marcello. The Roosevelt district ristorante is a reader favorite, and one of mine, too. [Seattle Times/John Lok]
“Another fork aloft for Pasta Bella in Ballard!” cries one devotee, among those crazy for ravioli Verde con Gorgonzola (“with two sauces”) and the roasted garlic bread-spread. But (waaaah!) after 20-plus years twirling pasta atop Queen Anne Hill, regulars there will have to trek to Bella Ballard: the QA location closed in October.
5909 15th Ave. N.W., Seattle, 206-789-4933, www.pastabellaseattle.com
Calabrian Salvatore Anannia and his crew have been wooing regulars since 1988. “Cramped” or “cozy” (depending on how you look at it), this corner classic is beloved for its pizzas, pastas and pollo, though steadfast employees and strains of opera (wafting from the sound system — and the kitchen!) add to the romance.
6100 Roosevelt Way N.E., Seattle, 206-527-9301, www.salvatoreristoranteitaliano.com
Tropea Ristorante Italiano
Sixteen years after its debut, Lorenzo Scordamaglia’s Redmond ristorante remains “a best kept secret,” say the Tropea native’s booster-club, promoting everything from his pasta puttanesca to staff that “makes you feel like family.”
8042 161st Ave. N.E. Redmond, 425-867-1082, www.ristorantetropea.com
After 50 years in business, the closure of the Mottola family’s Rainier Beach restaurant, “a NW institution,” brought grief early this year, but others raise the (red, white and green) flag for the late papa Vince’s progeny south of Seattle proper, where Vince Jr.’s making sure “You got the red gravy, great pizza, cheap wine by the carafe, plastic red-checked tablecloths, and the obligatory soundtrack from the ‘Holy Trinity of Italian Americans’: Frank, Dean and Perry.”
15223 Fourth Ave. S.W., Burien, 206-246-1497; 32411 Pacific Hwy. S., Federal Way, 253-839-1496; 2815 N.E. Sunset Blvd., Renton Highlands, 425-226-8180, www.vincesitalian.com