Category Archives: Did You Know

What is Antipasti?

Are you looking for something to snack on while you wait for your meal at our Seattle Italian restaurant? Don’t look for the “appetizers” on our menu! In Italy, the appetite is whetted with antipasti.

The word “antipasti” literally translates to “before the meal”. This represents the hors d’oeuvre course. In Italy, antipasti come in the form of four different categories: the meats, the vegetables, the olives, and the cheese.

  • Meats: Antipasti meats are usually served cold, like sausages, cold cuts, and cured meats.
  • Vegetables: Antipasti vegetables are generally raw or marinated. The most common selections in Italy include mushrooms, artichokes, and sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Olives: Olives are important enough for Italian cuisine to get their own category, distinct from the vegetables. You will almost always find olives in an authentic antipasti course. They will often be served either by themselves or stuffed with cheese, garlic, nuts, or peppers.
  • Cheese: Cheeses are another big part of the antipasti course, usually coming in the form of traditional Italian selections. Some cheeses will be served by themselves, some will be wrapped in meat, some will be stuffed into mushrooms, and occasionally you will find a spreadable cheese to accompany bread.

What is Italian Sausage?

If you’re familiar with Italian food, you’re probably aware that the country is known for a variety of different sausages. With that in mind, do you know what to expect when presented with “Italian sausage”, like the sausage that comes with many of the dishes at our Seattle Italian restaurant?

In the United States, the term “Italian sausage” is generally used to describe a single specific kind of sausage. This is a sausage made from pork, red pepper flakes, and fennel. The end result can be anything from mild to hot, and is characteristic of a sweet flavor. It derives its name from the fact that it gets much of its flavor from popular Italian seasonings. However, if you ask for Italian sausage in Italy, your host is not likely to know what you are talking about.

Copper River King Salmon

Wonder why we serve Copper River King Salmon at IL Bistro?

Copper River King SalmonThe Copper River is a special place. The 10th largest river in the United States, this grand waterway consists of thirteen major tributaries and serves to drain 24,000 square miles. The water in this river runs at seven miles per hour, with an average twelve foot drop per mile. It is for this reason that the salmon that live in this river are some of the most highly prized salmon in the world.

A Copper River salmon needs to be a cut above, as it needs to travel three hundred miles through this mighty river just to spawn. To accomplish this, they have developed extra stores of the omega-3 fatty acids that make fish such an important part of your diet. Omega-3 serves to safeguard your circulatory system, protecting you from heart disease. Fish-based omega-3 improves the way the heart works and makes conditions that contribute to heart disease less dangerous. For these reasons, the American Heart and Diabetes Associations and the U.S. Government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that everyone should eat at least two servings of fish every week, especially “fatty” species such as salmon.

For people who already have heart disease or diabetes, the oils in fish are especially important, as they have the power to mitigate your disease and prolong life. Long-chain omega-3s from fish also help to:


  • Maintain normal heart rhythms
  • Reduce the chance of stroke
  • Lower chance of having a first heart attack
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Improve the pattern of lipids in the blood
  • Improve levels of “good” cholesterol, or HDL
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower chance of blood clots
  • Improve heart rate adaptability
  • Stabilize arterial plaques

Enjoy the deliciously crafted Copper River King Salmon dish at our Seattle Italian restaurant.

Italy’s Little Toasts

Crostini at IL Bistro – Seattle Italian Restaurant

“Crostini” is an Italian word for “little toasts”. The dish comes in the form of thinly-sliced bread, most often white, which has been toasted or grilled to achieve a crispy texture. They are often served with drinks, generally with olive oil and salt for flavor. Alternatively, they can serve as the base for many different appetizers or as a topping for soups and salads.

At our Seattle Italian restaurant, you can enjoy our goat cheese crostini with basil, cracked pepper, and roasted garlic, or our bruschetta crostini, with marinated beefsteak, tomatoes, and basil. Try some with a few late night drinks tonight at IL Bistro!

The First Artichoke

The artichoke is a big part of culinary traditions throughout the Mediterranean area. In fact, the ancient Greeks had a myth about the origins of this curious vegetable. And, as is the case with many Greek myths, it starts with one of the gods falling for a mortal.

As the story goes, Zeus became enamored with a beauty by the name of Cynara. He therefore elevated her to godhood and brought her up to Mount Olympus. Unfortunately, the woman was unsatisfied with her deific life, and would frequently sneak back down to visit with her family. Zeus became so infuriated with her that he turned her into the first artichoke.

At our Seattle Italian restaurant, you can enjoy baby artichokes in the form of our carciofi alla romana. This dish is served with garlic, lemon, parmesan, and herbs. Try it tonight at IL Bistro!