Author Archives: IL Bistro

Holiday Hours

IL Bistro will be closed on:

Thanksgiving – November 22nd
Christmas Eve – December 24th
New Year’s Day – January 1st

Seattle Restaurant Week Fall 2018

Seattle Restaurant Week Fall 2018

Join us for Seattle Restaurant Week at IL Bistro!

Please note when making reservations that Seattle Restaurant Week menus are not available Fridays, Saturdays or for Sunday brunch.

Make your online reservations today >




Prosciutto E Mozz
Aged San Daniele Prosciutto, Bresaola, Fresh Mozzarella

Insalata Verde
Organic Baby Greens, Heirloom Tomato Wedge, Pecorino, Red Wine Vinaigrette

Romaine Hearts, IL Bistro Classic Dressing, Garlic Croutons, Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano

Crostini Di Fichi E Caprini
Goat Cheese Crostini, Balsamic Roasted Mission Figs, Sage, Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Conchiglia Piccanti
House Made Sea Shell Pasta, Vodka Cream Sauce, Calabrian Chili

Rigatoni Bolognese
House Made Rigatoni Pasta, Ground Veal & Lamb Ragu, Red Wine, Rosemary, Pecorino-Romano

Risotto Con Funghi Selvatici
Wild Mushrooms Risotto, Mascarpone, Parmigiano

Merluzzo Nero Con Stufato Di Fagioli
Seared Ling Cod, Tuscan Bean Stew, Sofrito

Filetto Arrosto Con Ragu Di Zucca
Fall Spice Roasted Bistro Beef Filet, Red Wine Glaze, Fall Squash Ragu


Lady Fingers, Sweet Mascarpone, Madeira, Espresso & Cocoa

Panna Cotta
Vanilla Panna Cotta, Seasonal Fruit compote

Choice of Raspberry or Lemon

Prosciutto: The Uncooked Italian Ham

Discovering Prosciutto

When you say “prosciutto”, that translates to “ham” in Italian. It’s made only from the hind legs or thigh of pigs and is aged during a dry-curing process. In the US, prosciutto is used to describe an uncooked, dry cured ham, which is called prosciutto crudo in Italian. It is a fatty cut of meat sliced thinly and has a buttery texture and will melt in the mouth. The prosciutto crudo is more popular (a gourmet favorite) than the cooked variety, prosciutto cotto.

Is it safe to eat prosciutto crudo? When the leg is cleaned, it is heavily salted and left for two months in a cool, controlled environment. The salting process removes leftover blood and moisture and makes an unfit environment for bacteria. After salting, the salt is washed from the meat and then left to dry age for up to 18 months. The entire prosciutto making process can take anywhere from nine months to two years. The quality of prosciutto is based entirely on the curing process. Its history dates back thousands of years ago in Parma, Italy. Today, it’s made under strict quality controls only in Parma, using specially bred pigs, sea salt, and of course, air and time.

How is prosciutto served? Usually served as appetizer, alone or wrapped around another food, as fresh or lightly cooked vegetables, like asparagus. The saltiness pairs well with sweet foods like melon or dates. Thinly sliced prosciutto is often served as a part of a meat board or tapas spread, and it’s also a topping for pizzas.

You don’t want to eat prosciutto on a regular basis, because it’s high in fat and sodium, but it does supply certain nutrients, as well. An ounce of the average commercially purchased prosciutto contains between 3 and 3.5 grams of fat, of which about 1 gram is saturated. That same amount also supplies 8 or 9 grams of protein, and from 10 to 25 milligrams of cholesterol. Despite the saturated fat and sodium content of prosciutto, you still get certain key nutrients, though in small amounts. An ounce of the average store-bought prosciutto supplies 2 percent of the iron you need each day. Prosciutto also supplies trace amounts of zinc, niacin and vitamin B-12.

Appetizing Your Way to an Italian Night in Seattle

Have your reservations tonight at IL Bistro, and dine on some of the best antipasti we can offer this side of Seattle. Enjoy our meats, especially our prosciutto, paired with some the best vino from Italy or an exquisite local wine from our cellar.

A Celebration of Cheeses from Tuscany

Tuscan Cheese: High Quality and History-Rich

Did you know that Italy is the third largest cheese producer in the European Union, behind France and Germany? Italy is one of the most productive cheese regions, with over 450 varieties.

Tuscany alone, small as it is, produces a plethora of local cheeses artisanally. Artisanal meaning made from scratch, by hand, minimal machinery, with local raw materials. Their cheesemakers put in some passion while respecting the history and identity of the cheese. It’s an arduous task making cheese and, hence, its hefty price.

Pecorino, the most popular cheese in Tuscany, is a hard cheese made from whole sheep’s milk between September and June. It can be eaten fresh when still soft and creamy, or it can be aged until firm but crumbly, nutty and sharp in flavour. Aged for at least 18 months, mature Pecorino can be grated over pasta sauce. There’s Pecorino with black truffles or walnuts inside, and wrapped in leaves during aging.

There are parts in Tuscany where Pecorino is produced with unpasteurised milk or where the oval-shaped maturing cheese is rubbed with olive oil, tomato paste or salt according to a local style and flavour. Pecorino is also served with honey or fruit conserves, a tradition during pre-Roman Etruscan period.

Another Tuscan cheese is Caprino, soft, creamy and made from goat’s milk. It is often rolled in herbs or ground pepper for extra flavour. It is produced in Maremma and the Mugello. Tuscan Stracchino, also known as crescenza is a soft, creamy cheese with a mild, slightly sweet flavour. It is made in the south west of Tuscany in Maremma also and is used in delicate egg dishes or with vegetables.

Another cheese produced in Maremma and in some areas of Massa Carrara and Pistoia is the Ricotta. It is high-quality fresh sheep cheese, low in fat and slightly sweet. It is a soft, fresh whey cheese made from ewe’s milk, used for many pasta fillings and desserts. Usually eaten fresh, it can also be found smoked or salted.

These cheeses are not the only ones Tuscany has to offer. There are more than 30 types of cheeses recognized as traditional Tuscan products.

Great Cheese Flavors in Seattle

Il Bistro in Seattle brings Tuscan cheeses to your dinner table whenever you dine with us. Find it in your pasta, insalata, and our Late Night Happy Hour.

The Amazing Red Wines of Tuscany

Great Wines and A Small Place

Italy is so very diverse in climate, it is also diverse in wines. Different varieties of grapes are produced from region to region. Some of the most important red wines in the world are produced in Tuscany. It is unique in a sense that it is home to a number of different types of soil, yet the region is so small. For example, rocky soils produce excellent Sangiovese wine, similarly for Montalcino. Vernaccia grows well in the higher altitude areas, and below that is soil comprise of sand and clay that produce Super Tuscans.

Some of Tuscany’s well-known wine areas produced the prestigious wines we know today, in particular about 70% is red wine. For example, Brunello di Montalcino is produced in the hilltop town of Montalcino, in the hills surrounding a lovely town south of Siena. The quality is outstanding; a wine made with 100% Sangiovese grapes that becomes softer and more harmonic with age.

Between Florence and Siena lies the countryside of Chianti. Chianti is made from the robust Sangiovese, which has grown in the area for centuries and has a revered tradition. It’s the best wine to accompany Tuscan food, from meat to soups and cheeses. Top quality Chianti Classico is more expensive than the everyday Chianti varieties, but both are known for their quality and excellence.

In the Montepulciano area two great wines are produced: Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Rosso di Montepulciano. The first one is a fine wine with a long history, medium-bodied and elegant, and worthy of ageing. The second one is a dry red, easy drinking and fresh. Bolgheri, in the Livorno hills, is where the Super Tuscans come from, considered to be among the best wines in the world, with outstanding quality and inventiveness, born out of modern Tuscan wine making. Using different grapes and traditional Sangiovese, Super Tuscans are produced in small batches and fetch prodigious prices.

Morellino di Sansano is the famous wine from the Maremma area, near the sea. It’s 50% Sangiovese and the rest a mix of white and red grapes. It’s slightly tannic and dry, full-bodied, and goes well with meat and meaty sauces. Then there’s Carmignano, with a long history and differentiates itself from the other traditional wines in its use of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes with the local Sangiovese and Canaiolo. It has an intense wine, with a harmonic taste, and a whiff of floral bouquet.

Tuscan wine is special due to the passion of the winemakers’ art mixed with centuries of experience.

Tosting Tuscan Wine in Seattle

IL Bistro in Seattle impresses you with its red wine list, world-famous varietals of Tuscany. Come and enjoy an evening of great Italian fare paired with only the best of Tuscan red wine.