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You are currently viewing all posts written by Providence Cicero. Seattle Times restaurant critic and co-host of "Let's Eat" airing at 4 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM.

August 29, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Second Helpings: Il Terrazzo Carmine

Pioneer Square is a neighborhood in transition but 30-year-old Il Terrazzo Carmine remains a beacon of gracious, old-school Italian dining, from start–a lavish antipasti array with a basket of Grand Central Bakery ciabatta– to finish: leftovers tucked into take-home bags with red tissue paper, like a parting gift. Today’s review of Il Terrazzo

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Comments | More in Restaurants | Topics: Il Terrazzo Carmine, Intermezzo Carmine, Providence Cicero

August 25, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Chef changes Aragona to ‘give people what they really crave’

Letting go is hard when you are relinquishing something you love. But once Jason Stratton gave voice to the idea of changing the Spanish-themed Aragona, the less-than-a-year-old downtown restaurant, to the Italian-focused Vespolina, coming to terms with the decision was surprisingly easier than he thought it would be. “The reception to Aragona was very mixed,”…

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Comments | More in Food and Restaurant News, New Restaurants, Restaurants | Topics: Aragona, Artusi, Jason Stratton

August 22, 2014 at 8:06 AM

Second Helpings: Camp Korey and The Dining Room at Salish Lodge

Wanna dish about restaurants then and now? Join Seattle Times restaurant critic Providence Cicero and food editor Kathleen Triesch Saul for an online chat about the “Second Helpings” series and more, Thursday, August 28 at noon. British-born Steven Snook is the newest executive chef at The Dining Room at Salish Lodge, reviewed today in The…

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Comments | More in Restaurants, Upcoming Events | Topics: Camp Korey, Providence Cicero, Salish Lodge

August 21, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Adios to Aragona: Downtown restaurant’s concept changes to Italian

Aragona, Jason Stratton’s nine-month-old nod to Spanish cuisine, won’t be around much longer. Stratton confirmed rumors that he is changing the downtown restaurant’s concept to Italian, matching his Capitol Hill ventures, Spinasse and Artusi. The new restaurant will be called Vespolina. Though not quite ready to reveal all the details, Stratton says…

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Comments | More in Food and Restaurant News, Restaurant Closures, Restaurants | Topics: Aragona, Artusi, Jason Stratton

August 13, 2014 at 4:02 PM

New Pellegrini Foundation honors Tom Douglas & Jackie Cross at Harvest Dinner

He spoke no English when he arrived here from Italy with his family at age 10, yet he grew up to become a professor of English literature at the University of Washington. The author of “The Unprejudiced Palate” and nine other books on food, wine and “the good life,” he was happiest in the…

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Comments | More in Food and Restaurant News, Upcoming Events | Topics: Angelo Pellegrini, Jackie Cross, Pellegrini Foundation

August 8, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Second Helpings: Cafe Juanita

The big news that Café Juanita will be spiffed up and expanded to include a bar, hopefully by spring, came on the eve of the 3.5-star review that appears today in The Seattle Times. Chef/owner Holly Smith told me she has signed a letter of intent to purchase the Kirkland property, which will allow her to make some long-overdue renovations to the 62-year-old building that once housed a winery.

Holly Smith / Photo courtesy of Cafe Juanita

Holly Smith / Photo courtesy of Cafe Juanita

“I’m super excited. It’s been a long road to get this done,” Smith said. “The look and feel of Cafe Juanita is very much loved so I am not interested in changing that really. Adding a bar means guests can come enjoy us in a more spontaneous relaxed manner, or enjoy a drink before or after dinner. Ideally there will be spring and summer seating on the patio with food coming primarily from the bar for that space….There is a lot to do and not a ton of budget…but I’m optimistic that we will do things on the list that guests can appreciate as well as those things necessary that no one ever sees. It’s a house remodel after all and we all know the realities of old houses!”

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Comments | More in Food and Restaurant News, Restaurants | Topics: Cafe Juanita, Holly Smith

August 7, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Pasta with Jam Sauce

Rachelle, Sarah and Tony of Team Falkor with me, tasting pasta with jam sauce.

Rachelle, Sarah and Tony of Team Falkor with me, tasting pasta with jam sauce.

According to E!Online, the internet has been inundated this week with “thousands of people around the world forming teams of 15 and performing weird, random and fun tasks in the name of breaking some Guinness World Records…and donating tens of thousands of dollars to the charity Random Acts.” You don’t have to tell me.

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Comments | More in Cooking | Topics: GISHWHES, Pasta with jam sauce, Providence Cicero

July 25, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Girl Meets Dirt on Orcas Island

Gerry and Audra Lawlor at the Orcas Island Farmer's Market /  Photo: monicabennett.com

Gerry and Audra Lawlor at the Orcas Island Farmer’s Market / Photo: monicabennett.com

The network of chefs, growers and food artisans on Orcas Island is so intertwined that the night before I met Audra and Gerry Lawlor selling their line of Girl Meets Dirt Archipelago Preserves at the Orcas Island Farmer’s Market, I had already tasted one of their wares in an elegant Prosecco cocktail tinged with rhubarb and lavender at The Inn at Ship Bay.

Turns out, the inn’s commercial kitchen is where girl meets stove to craft her chunky, jam-like “spoon preserves” and the firmer, concentrated fruit purees Audra calls “cutting preserves,” modeled after Spanish membrillo, or quince paste.

Quince, in fact, is their bestselling flavor. It comes from Willowrose Bay on Guemes, another of the islands in the San Juan archipelago. Audra says she is adamant about sourcing fruit only from the San Juans; often they pick it themselves. With the exception of rhubarb, she exclusively uses orchard fruit, almost all heirlooms, “a nod to the San Juan’s, and in particular Orcas’s orchard keeping history.”

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Comments | Topics: Girl Meets Dirt, Orcas Island, Providence Cicero

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