What better way to spend a warm summer evening than enjoying a fresh Italian dinner with a stellar group of people?
I was given the opportunity to do just that, a couple of weeks ago at Seattle's newest Italian outlet, Cinque Terre. You might know brothers Leo, Salvio and Roberto Varchetta, who have already graced the city with Barolo Ristorante, Mamma Melina & List. Their newest restaurant, Cinque Terre Ristorante, is just across the street from Barolo in the new Amazon Doppler building in downtown Seattle, and highlights the cuisine of the Liguria region and the centuries old villages clinging to the coastline of the Italian Riviera coastline.
“Our flagship project, Barolo Ristorante, is focused on the land-based cuisine and earthy ingredients of Northern Italy,” says President Leo Varchetta. “Cuisine from Cinque Terre has not been showcased in Seattle and that provided our inspiration for this restaurant,” he continues. “We recently spent several weeks there and we are excited to make the marine connection using the beautiful local products from the Pacific Northwest and some only found in the Mediterranean.”
Seafood is predominant in Italy’s 'mariner' towns like the ones that comprise the Cinque Terre region, and is the star at Cinque Terre Ristorante as well. Guests can indulge in an array of shellfish options from a local oyster bar, Dungeness and Alaskan king crab, whole East Coast lobster (available grilled or steamed), American sturgeon and Osetra caviar.
I've been impressed by the Varchetta family's happy hours at List and Barolo, and Cinque Terre's did not disappoint. The bar menu is extensive and during happy hour, it's half-off! The house pizza is $9, and a bottle of rose is $17. I tried a vegetable-heavy array of dishes with my girlfriends and we loved all of it!
Pastas, made on-site, are crafted with the best ingredients available, such as non-GMO American flour. Pizza has a substantial place on the menu and visually in the dining room, as well, courtesy of the sizable Marra Forni-brand Neapolitan gas-fired pizza oven built specifically for the Cinque Terre space.
Options from the grill include whole Mediterranean branzino and grilled octopus, which compliments a 16-ounce, bone-in, grass fed beef filet from Washington state.
Cinque Terre is located at 2001 Westlake Avenue.
The restaurant and bar are open 7 days a week for dinner from 3 p.m. to midnight, lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday-Friday, and brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Happy Hour is seven days a week from 3 to 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight.
206.456.6300 / cinqueterreseattle.com