Author Archives: IL Bistro

Experiencing Tuscany in Seattle Italian Restaurant

Typically Tuscan and Traditional

Tuscan cooking uses fresh and simple ingredients of the season including many legumes, cheeses, vegetables and fruits. Let not the simplicity fool you for the flavors of the region’s cooking are rich and the servings are hearty. The everyday market ingredients are so accessible and the preparations are easy. Tuscan homes have generations of cooks who pass on recipes down to the youngest members, hence, meals always have traditional roots.

Looking at typical Tuscan fare, what is served during a meal? Firstly, there’s the white, plain, unsalted loaf of bread that accompanies all meals. It’s bland and that separates it from other loaves of other regions for it is meant to absorb the flavors of sauces and mixes. Tuscan bread can also be flavored with crostini di fegatini or liver paté or grilled with garlic, olive oil and salt to have fettunta that soaks up pure olive oil flavor. Then appetizers are laid out in a wooden board – like cured meats which include prosciutto, salami, and different types of sausages.

A Tuscan dish is a ‘waste not’ meal, making use of leftovers in ingenious ways. The ribollita and the papa al pomodoro are soups that use stale bread as base making thick broths but incorporates fresh inexpensive ingredients, like onions, carrots, celery, kale and cabbage. Other first course dishes are simple pastas such as pappardelle alla lepre o al sugo di cinghiale, an egg noodle pasta with either hare or wild boar sauce.

For the main course, a prime example is the bistecca alla fiorentina, the famous steak of Florence from a special breed of cows is served very rare alongside roasted potatoes and beans. You also find wild game like wild boar, hares, pheasants and other birds prepared as stew or are roasted. Your side dishes are very simple, yet tasty, preparations of green vegetable sauteed in olive oil, chicory in olive oil and garlic, sauteed spinach, multiple ways artichoke, eggplant and fried zucchini flowers, grilled mixed vegetables, side salads, roasted potatoes, and plenty of beans. You can finish off your meal with a simple fruit or cantucci, a small hard, almond-flavored cookie.

Tuscan Fare in Seattle

Are you dining Italian tonight? Then look forward to something memorable, a truly gastronomic experience that captivates the palate and fills the tummy. A Tuscan dinner will take you there. Experience Tuscany in our Italian Seattle restaurant, the IL Bistro, truly traditional and typical.

Italian Restaurant in Seattle: More than Just Pizza

What is Italian food all about?

When the first wave of Italian immigrants came onto American shores, there just weren’t olive oil, balsamico, dried porcinis or prosciutto to replicate their dishes back home. And so they made do with what was available around. This resulted in far more meats and sausages in their dishes. You can say that, hence was how American-Italian food came into being.

Produce rather than protein is what Italian food is really all about. How does a typical Italian meal start anyway? First, there’s the antipasti, which is mostly vegetables, like mushrooms, pepperoni, and artichoke hearts, and cured meats, like prosciutto and capicola. Then you are served a small pasta dish, then a light protein, like a leg of lamb. You will find that as your meal progresses, the more simple it gets. Italian ingredients are so intense a small amount goes a long way.

Italian cuisine is made up of basic ingredients dictated by the season and locality. Traditional products are very important players in the flavors of Italian food. Olive oil, for example is an essential in Italian cooking, and so is balsamic vinegar. Cheeses like Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano are fixtures no decent Italian kitchen should do without.

Experience the Real Italy in the heart of Seattle

If it is authentic Italian cooking you are after, come over to our Italian restaurant in Seattle. We bring the flavors of Italy to your table using only local ingredients in season and cooked in only the proper Italian way. We know great Italian food; we’ve been cooking them in the last 30 years. It’s more than just pizza and spaghetti.

The Many Benefits of Mussels

When it comes to seafood, the mussel is always a good choice. Not only is it recognized as one of the more sustainable forms of seafood, but it’s also rich in a number of important vitamins and minerals. These include lean protein, vitamin C, iron, folate, phosphorus, and several B vitamins. Of particular note is their content of vitamin B12, selenium, and manganese, all three of which are particularly strong in the humble mussel. A single three-ounce serving of mussels gives you well over your daily recommended requirement for all three of these.

There are many good reasons to eat mussels, and our Seattle Italian restaurant gives you even more. Come and try mussels the Italian way in our cioppino, our linguini de mare, and more!