Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Il Terrazzo Carmine
I've been missing the cutting edge cuisine of Chicago but not missing the prices. Here in Seattle most of the food is more directly rooted in the traditions of the countries the cuisine originates from, which can be fantastic when done well. Il Terrazzo Carmine is an example, probably the best example, of this traditional approach done extremely well, at least for Italian dining.
The room is formal but not overly stuffy, they managed to not sneer at my bohemian attire and were politely welcoming, though certainly not effusive. My server, Brian, was a friendly young man (the servers were all male on this night) from Jersey, he was capable and attentive to everyone equally. Over all the service is just as polished as the attractive silverware but had a relaxed feel, I felt comfortable despite being so obviously out of place in my Sketchers and T-shirt.
Il Terrazzo Carmine has exceptional food. The soup I ordered, the Zuppa di Pesce, was a revelation of properly cooked seafood. Tender calamari rings, moist salmon, and fresh mussels swim in the light tomato, garlic, and basil infused broth, powerful but balanced, a difficult dish to follow. Indeed the Ravioli Di Capriolo, a very good pasta stuffed with veal, spinach, and mushrooms with a heady veal based sauce, was a very good dish, it simply didn't seem as spectacular in light of the amazing soup that it followed. I was also pleased with the bread and butter served, I finished off my little basket worth happily, eagerly tearing away at the bread and dipping it into my soup to sop up the goodness.
Sticking to a small serving of pasta and devouring all my bread, I was able to have one of the more satisfying meals of my life without breaking the bank and left happy and full into the night to walk along nearby Puget Sound, a romantic evening sadly for one, though not so sad as I was able to fully concentrate on the transcendent Italian cuisine.