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Category archives: Italian

Recent Adventure at Altura

Another wonderful meal at Altura, and another marvel on creativity.  Enjoy!

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Small plates (clockwise): duck liver and whipped Campari, fermented potato with caviar and nasturdium; rosemary grissini with mortadella, bresaola, coppa and lomo


More small plates (from back to front): quail egg with mochama, melon soup, smoked mussel, sockeye salmon and gnocchi fritto

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Bone marrow roasted beets, and a cold tomato soup with goat ricotta


Risotto with fennel sausage, vegetables and saffron


House-baked farro bread, with black truffle butter, duck liver stuffed inside mushrooms and chanterelle

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Palate cleanser of tarragon granite with blueberries and lime, followed by entrée of rack of lamb with charred cabbage


Robiola la Tur, Italian soft ripen cheese stuffed in squash blossom and baked, with 2 kinds of honey and parmesan crisps

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Three desserts: bourbon caramel semifreddo with coffee, mashmallow and banana; Affogato with vanilla semifreddo and Canoli

Chocolate assortment Grappa soaked cherries, marsala preserved figs, and white chocolate raspberry truffle.

~A wonderful 3-hour of gastronomy!

Pellegrini Italian Market

We don’t go to West Seattle often, and every time we went there, we were awed by the amount of on-going constructions: the addition of new big Trader Joe’s, and more mix-use buildings.

On-going development is truly happening everywhere in Greater Seattle.

On the main street of California Ave., one will find this relatively new establishment Pellegrini Italian Market, opened by the family who owns La Rustica in West Seattle.

Casual-dining, order at the counter, with small grocery area and part bakery, Pellegrini Italian Market has a nice and open airy feeling.


They serve a full sandwich menu, consists of paninis, subs and pizza sandwiches, plus pizzas by the inch, salads and other appetizers.

The day we were there, they also offered breakfast sandwiches.

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WP_20150824_19_05_00_Pro What a good deal!

Volterra in Kirkland offers a four-course dinner for $45.

They were generous for us to share the four-course dinner if the second person ordered an entrée (inclusive of pasta).

It was very quiet when we first arrived on a Monday night, diners did show up later and the place was nearly full.

With many of us in the party, it was a perfect opportunity to sample many dishes.

My favorite was the special sausage, pork jowl and bacon risotto.


I was intrigued by the dish, but at the same time skeptical about it because it had the potential to be completely heavy and greasy.

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WP_20150731_19_33_27_Pro Brought to us by Lardo folks, Grassa is a casual pasta place in bustling downtown Portland.

Once entered, the eyes were drawn to this ginormous chalk board with Grassa’s delicious offering: pork belly mac n cheese, squid ink campanelle etc.


One single cashier by the door to take orders and payments, and we were off to look for a table to sit: seats were “grab as you see them”, there was no line to open table.

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Altura, means height or elevation in Portuguese and Spanish.

Seattle’s Altura most certainly lives up to the elevation of culinary adventure.

I had not left the restaurant, and I already wanted to go back — just the thought of the food I had that night while I am writing makes me salivate.

Altura is on the quieter side of Capitol Hill, near Harvard Exit.

WP_20150502_17_21_20_ProGreeted by the beautiful bronze garlic blossom at the door, the world I stepped into was completely different from the street — busy, lively, energetic; the open kitchen allowed us to watch the greatest show performed by the chefs.

We had requested to sit at the counter to absorb the whirlwind of actions.

Serving dinner only, there are two ways to dine at Altura: three course menu for $75 or tasting menu for $137.

As much as I wanted the tasting menu, I knew we were going to waste food that night because DH was not too hungry, so we went for the three course, and they certainly did not disappoint.

It was an understatement to say I was wowed by every dish.

WP_20150502_17_30_18_ProStarted off with a light pink interesting drink: lightly sweetened and tart, with tarragon, olive oil and rhubarb.

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