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.
Peppers are a big part of Italian cooking, and a healthy addition to any diet. All pepper varieties are low in calories and high in important nutrients, among which are vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, and fiber. A dish that is rich in peppers serves to strengthen your immune system, keep your blood pressure at a healthy level, and ward off the effects of aging.
At our Seattle Italian restaurant, we make use of peppers in many delicious ways. Try a sausage and pepper pizza, a grilled Italian sausage crostini, or a cioppino with a sweet pepper-tomato broth! It’s a healthy and satisfying way to add a bit of spice to your life.
Open Christmas Day
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!
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.
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.
Wonder why we serve Copper River King Salmon at IL Bistro?
The 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.
Join us for Seattle Restaurant Week during October 9-13 and 16-20!
Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten free options available.
3 COURSES FOR $32
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!