Tag Archives: Seattle Italian Restaurant

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!

Legendary Wine Dinner

Join us for a Wine Dinner hosted by Sergio Zingarelli, Owner of Rocca delle Macie and President of the Consorzio del Chianti

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at 6:00 pm


legendary-wine-dinnerChef Nathan Luoma will prepare a Five-Course Tuscan Dinner paired with a lineup of Sergio’s family wines crafted at their famed estate

Antipasto Misto – Assorted Salumi, Tuscan
White Bean Salad, Marinated Seasonal Vegetables

Pomodoro Annegato – Hierloom Tomato,
Oregano, Red Onion, Gorgonzola, Red Wine
Vinegar and Sicilian Olive Oil

Pappardelle Cinghiale –Housemade Pappardelle
Pasta, Tuscan Wild Boar Ragu, Pecorino Romano

Caretto d’Agnello – Roasted Rack of Lamb,
Sangiovese Reduction, Heirloom Potatoes,
Seasonal Vegetables

Torta Cioccolato – Flourless Dark Chocolate and
Espresso Torte, Sweet Mascarpone, Pine Nut Brittle

$85 per person plus tax and gratuity.
Reservations available.

Gran Selezione “Sergio Zingarelli” in the top 10 Italian red wines

Rocca delle Macìe’s Chianti Classico Gran Selezione “Sergio Zingarelli” 2011 was ranked eighth by Gentleman magazine – contained within the March newsstand edition of Milano Finanza – which compiles the rankings of the leading Italian wine guides for 2016, along with the scores attributed by the renowned Wine Spectator magazine and by the world’s most famous wine critic, Robert Parker, founder of The Wine Advocate.

In this ranking, “Sergio Zingarelli” takes its place next to wines that have enjoyed excellent reputations on the Italian and global markets for decades, such as Sassicaia, Tignanello and Grattamacco; this is a very significant result, given that the Gran Selezione 2011 is just the second vintage on sale, so it is a completely new wine but one that has been able to impress from the get-go with its strong personality, which is the result of a quality-focused project that was launched almost 20 years ago. It is, then, a young wine, but already something of a classic – the fruit of the experience and expertise of Rocca delle Macìe, a winery that has made its name on the worldwide market over the course of the past 40 years.

That “Sergio Zingarelli” 2011 features in the global Top Ten of Italian wines is a recognition not only of the quality of Rocca delle Macìe’s output, but also of the new, Tuscan wine-icon, Gran Selezione; indeed, it is a confirmation of the validity of this new level defined by the Chianti Classico Consortium, positioned at the very top of the qualitative pyramid of Chianti Classico DOCG.

Have Some Halibut!

When it comes to fish, halibut is a great choice. At our Seattle Italian restaurant, we make use of quality Alaskan halibut for our halibut picatta, our cioppino, and more. This delicious white fish has a gentle, mild taste that pairs well with Italian-style dishes.

In addition to the benefits that you find in most seafood, including valuable omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein, halibut has a lot of impressive nutrients to offer. In particular, it is one of the best sources of magnesium, which facilitates the flow of blood through your body. It is also a strong source of vitamin B6, vitamin B12, potassium, selenium, niacin, and folic acid. A diet rich in this fish decreases your chances of heart disease, strokes, and certain types of cancer.

The Italian Meal, Course by Course

Do you ever feel overwhelmed trying to decide what to order at our Seattle Italian restaurant? With so many good options to choose from, it may be hard to be satisfied with only one course. This is why a traditional Italian meal generally consists of about six different parts, defined thusly:

  • Antipasti: The appetizers, usually consisting of cold cuts, cheeses, olives, and some cold vegetables.
  • Primo: The first course. This is typically a pasta, soup, or rice dish like risotto.
  • Secondo: The main course. It is at this time that you will usually have your meat, poultry, or fish.
  • Contorni: The side dishes. These often come in the form of vegetables, potatoes, or a salad.
  • Dolce: Dessert.
  • Caffe/Digestivo: The after dinner drink, which may be some sort of coffee or liqueur to enjoy while you digest your meal.

What Turns Gorgonzola Blue?

One of the problems with cheese is that it has a tendency to go off rather quickly if not taken care of. Most of us know the frustration that comes with discovering a big, fuzzy patch of mold on a block of cheese in our refrigerator. Nobody wants to eat moldy cheese, after all. Or do they? It may surprise you to learn just how many people eat moldy cheese every day at our Seattle Italian restaurant, and are happy to do so!

No, this isn’t a result of bad sanitation in the kitchen. This is the magic of gorgonzola, the famous Italian blue cheese. Like all blue cheeses, this blue-veined food is infused with mold spores as it develops, specifically the Penicillium glaucum variety. The end result is a distinctive, salty cheese that many people find irresistible.

It’s important to remember that, though many molds are toxic to humans, the molds used in blue cheeses like gorgonzola are perfectly safe to eat. This is because, unlike harmful molds, the Penicillium glaucum does not allow for the production of mycotoxins and aflatoxins. With that in mind, feel free to partake of one of our many delicious gorgonzola-based dishes at IL Bistro!

The Properties of Goat Cheese

Most of our customers are only accustomed to cheeses made from cow milk. This is why, when they come to our Seattle Italian restaurant, it can be quite a treat to try goat cheese in the form of our goat cheese ravioli or goat cheese crostini. Many people find that this cheese offers a distinctly different experience over its more conventional cousins, with a rich, satisfying taste that many find irresistible.

What makes goat cheese stand out from cow cheese is the composition of the fats in goat milk. Goats are much smaller than cows, and they do not produce the agglutinin protein which causes the fat in a cow’s milk to clump together. Therefore, the fat globules in goat milk stay more dispersed. The milk is also naturally homogenized, giving it and the cheeses made from it a creamier texture.

Goat cheese is also characteristic of a wonderfully tangy taste, which is brought on by the strong presence of caproic, caprylic, and capric acids. Each of these are three times stronger in goat milk than in cow’s milk. Come and taste the difference it makes at IL Bistro today!

The Many Benefits of Salmon

Who doesn’t love salmon? If you’re a fan of this delicious pink fish, then you’ve got a friend in IL Bistro. Indeed, our Seattle Italian restaurant enjoys a special relationship with this classic fish that comes from operating in the Pacific Northwest. It is for this reason that we are happy to offer you salmon fresh from the nearby Pike Place Market in our delicious Linguini di Maré so that you might enjoy its great flavor and impressive health benefits.

Nutritionally, salmon is head and gills above the average fish. In fact, it is one of the healthier food substances you can add to your diet. Representing both a “fatty” fish and a low rung of the food chain, it provides you with a high dose of the crucial omega-3 fatty acids we all need without exposing you to a high level of mercury.

On top of this, salmon is a source of lean, low cholesterol protein and a great supply of many valuable nutrients; a single four-ounce cut of salmon can provide you with more than your entire daily recommended value of vitamin D, as well as half of your requirement of vitamins B2 and B12. Make salmon a bigger part of your life today, with IL Bistro!

The Benefits of Spinach

If you know absolutely anything about health food, you probably know enough to recognize spinach as one of the better vegetables you can eat. But could you explain why this classic green leaf is such a favorite for many health nuts? There are many benefits to a diet rich in spinach, including but not limited to the following:

  • Flavonoids: The phytonutrients found in spinach have been shown to help prevent skin cancer, stomach cancer, and prostate cancer.
  • Antioxidants: Spinach is rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium, manganese, and zinc. These serve to protect your body’s cells from the damage associated with aging.
  • Dietary Fiber: A single cup of spinach provides you with 20% of your daily dietary fiber recommendation. You need this fiber to maintain a healthy digestive system, keep your blood sugar steady, and curb your appetite.
  • Vitamin K: One cup of spinach gives you fully 1,000% of your recommended intake of vitamin K. This nutrient helps keep your bones, brain, and nervous system healthy.

IL Bistro makes use of spinach in our pollo cannelloni, our vitello marsala, and more. Come make this valuable veggie a bigger part of your diet at our Seattle Italian restaurant tonight!

The Benefits of Free-Range Chicken

A free-range chicken is a chicken that has not been confined to a cage for its whole life. They have been given access to an outdoor environment, where they are able to stretch their legs and graze. There are numerous benefits to eating free-range chicken, including the following:

  • It’s often forgotten that chickens are not strictly herbivorous, so chickens in cages aren’t being fed the protein they need. Free-range chickens have access to the insects they need to eat to stay healthy, which means their meat has more omega-3 and other important nutrients.
  • Chickens raised in cages are highly prone to stress, which puts them at risk of disease. They can therefore be raised without the antibiotics that other chickens need, which provides for a healthier meat.
  • Many people find that free-range chicken has a richer, more pleasing flavor compared to more common chicken meat.

When you come to IL Bistro, you can enjoy free-range chicken in the form of our pollo arrosto. Come and taste the difference at our Seattle Italian restaurant today!

Marinara: The Sauce of the Sailors

Marinara is a popular type of Italian red sauce made from tomatoes, onions, herbs, and a variety of other ingredients. It is characteristic of a somewhat spicy taste that comes from the garlic, basil, oregano, and occasionally chili peppers. It is commonly used throughout the world, well loved for its simplicity and great taste.

The familiar marinara sauce can be traced back to the 16th century, when the Spanish explorers introduced the tomato to the Mediterranean region. Seafarers in Naples first used the tomato to create marinara. A simple and meat-free sauce that could be easily prepared and stored in a time before modern refrigeration techniques, it was a very appealing sauce for sailors to consume during long sea voyages. it was therefore named for a derivation of marinaro, an Italian word for “seafaring”.

Many Italian-style dishes make use of marinara, as it pairs well with the mild taste of chicken and many pastas. In Italy, it will often also be used as a dipping sauce for fried mozzarella sticks, calzones, and other finger foods. At our Seattle Italian restaurant, you can experience this classic favorite on our lasagne, our grilled Italian sausage crostini, and more.