We went to Seattle to see and opera in October. Peeling myself away from work in October was no easy feat. I definitely did not have the time for this post when it should have gone up. Shame on me. I have my photos and my vivid taste/textural memory.
Its a 'gift' so to speak. It is why I could not eat Lobster for 10 years after having a bad one when I was 9 and why I will never have the Lebanese Tiramisu at Nuba in Gastown again. Their Cauliflour is awesome though.
I take notes sometimes if we have had many courses like at a Dim Sum but for this meal, I have a very clear recollection. I remember the couple to the right of us at the window, on a first date. She left her purse hanging on the chair when they left. Eager to get home, perhaps? I remember the two girls on a night out who tried to ask to take away their half full bottle of wine. They ordered 2 appetisers on top of the complimentary bread and salad. They had to take away their entire entrees. I cannot remember where I put my keys if I move them but if it has to do with food or wine, it is indelible.
We try to go to Seattle a few times a year to stretch our legs. Seattle Opera Company has a great line up and the venue is fabulous. We are, or rather were, members at the Vancouver Opera but the sound can vary depending on where you sit in the Queen Elizabeth. As well, I was disappointed last year when they offered two for one tickets on nights we had paid full price for. Anyhoo, that is neither here nor there. D wanted to be a regular patron otherwise there is NO opera in Vancouver. We are probably going to go show to show this year.
You know how we found this place? On the couch! Watching FoodTV's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The host ploughed through mountains of mouth watering handmade pasta. Dude does not take bites anymore. He shoves and wedges half a burrito or burger for 1 bite. Normally, I do not like going out for Italian since as a Vegetarian, I do not see the value in high priced pasta. That said, this gem is neither expensive nor boil and go.
We struggled to make our choices as it all looked amazing. I was tempted to go with the Forest Floor with the Chanterelles or the Capellini (Angel Hair) but in the end, went with the Puttanesca that I saw on the show. I am a sucker for Capellini but it is the one pasta that is not made in house even though everything else is freshly made, I had a hankering for handmade pasta. D, despite drooling over the Elk, went with the Gnocchi. I think he thought I would get it and he would get some but when I ordered the Linguine, he had no choice.
We are served some fresh bread with Oil and Balsamic and Green Salad when we sit. The bread was light and airy and the salad was simple but fresh. D stopped me from ordering a starter because of the portions of pasta we saw come out and I am glad he did. I had room for dessert as a result.
The Puttanesca was a mixed success for me. The handmade pasta was insanely good. It had great texture and character. The sauce was loaded with an abundance of olives and capers hugged but chunky tomatoes. That said, the sauce was a tad salty as a result of the as result of the capers and olives. I would have offset it with some butter or sugar.
The Gnocchi Cavalfiore (Gnocchi with Cauliflour in Garlic Cream sauce) was UNBELIEVEABLE. The Gnocchi was fluffy like down filled pillows. The best I have ever had. The Cauliflour added a nutty glory without screaming of its presence. The cream sauce though being a real CREAM sauce did not feel heavy at all. It was an ample portion and D had to share. Yeah, that is what I am going with. The recipe is on their website if you are already drooling.
The dessert, it goes without saying was a Tiramisu. I was stuffed silly but I have a policy. If there is real Tiramisu on the menu (not frozen or brought in) I order it. It was wonderful. Luxury, creamy and the cake was moist without being drowned in the coffee. MMMMM
It is out of the way. It is not downtown. Rather it is a 15 minute drive north of town but it was on the way back to Vancouver. There were a few wrong turns and one way roads before finding its suburban locale. Totally worth the trip!
Ambiance: Bizarre :^D
Staff: Friendly and efficient
Location: Suburban Seattle but worth the trip
Bizarro Italian Cafe
1307 North 46th Street