Craving an Italian reso to qualm comfort food cravings, I settled on a recommendation for Ethan Stowell’s Tàvolata. Located in Belltown (and a convenient 5 minute walk from my hotel), Tàvolata serves up Italian eats in a simply chic setting. On this particular evening I posted up at the bar, where I was able to gaze in the dozen or so mirrors behind the watering hole and peak at my fellow diners enjoying the large, wooden communal table.
Ethan Stowell is a Seattle fixture and a 2009 Rising Star Chef. Naturally, I read up on this place before I moseyed on over and learned that the pasta is made in-house and is a menu must. Unfortunately I was still a little full from that Beecher’s mac ‘n cheese, so I went with the Crispy Semolina Gnocchi from the Antipasti section of the menu. I figured this would cover the [pasta] bases and not leave me feeling overly carbo-loaded. I loved the subtle hints of anchovies, the dusting of parsley and the fresh marinara dipping sauce, but I felt that the dish was a little heavy on the salt and believe me, I have a tough time saying that as I usually enjoy more salt than most.
I was feeling like I needed a little meat on my bones, so I settled on the Smoked Pork Belly, also from the Antipasti section. I learned that the preparation of the pork belly began with grilling and pressing the belly into the meat, however I felt myself saying “where’s the belly?” The dish was a bit dry, but the apricot puree, fennel, red radish and white balsamic provided complexity to the dish. Lastly, for some greens I went with the Rapini with chile and garlic, however I felt this dish needed some lemon to offset the bitterness of the rapini.
Tàvolata | 2323 2nd Avenue, Seattle | 206.838.8008
I wandered over to this neighborhood French bistro based on the recommendation from the bartender at Bathtub Gin & xxx (more on that later). I was glad to sprinkle in some French cuisine with Le Pichet. I began with an Amuse of radish and white bean toast – very nice. Then I moved on to a combo of cheese plate and Merguez sausage. Normally I don’t like to order cheese from a resto because it’s difficult to judge based on that, but I was seriously full from my previous [food] endeavors – so give me a break! I was balancing it out.
Anyway, absolutely LOVED the spicy lamb-beef sausages, served on a salad of summer plums, cucumber, celery and a pomegranate molasses vinaigrette. Very delicious – and I think we are noticing a theme here with salty/savory paired with sweet.
Another thing I loved: the Demi Pichet. Eight dollars and fifty cents got me a mug of Sauvignon Blanc – what’s not to like?! And last word of advice: I heard the Fallafels aka crispy chickpea fritters are AMAZING so get in on that if you are ever in Seattle and stop by Le Pichet.
Le Pichet | 1933 1st Avenue, Seattle | 206.256.1499