Tuesday, January 3, 2012

tulio ristorante.

Tulio Ristorante has been a Seattle family staple for Italian for years.

Many a birthday, celebration and toast has been held here. Something about the prim white tablecloths, candlelit glow and old-school 'fancy' atmosphere never fails to feel like a special occasion to me. Not to mention, James - who always seems to be our server - has been working there since we've been going and is a consistent personality in the room.

The food is quite special too. Local seafood and ingredients sourced from the nearby market is always prepared and presented with supreme care - and it shows, in both the works of art below and the awesome flavour of each dish. We went a few weeks ago on a pre-Christmas shopping expedition and not only were our favourites still on the menu - but they were as good as ever.

After a couple rounds of warm, fresh baked bread, our appetizers arrived. Grilled calamari with greens, bagna cauda (a sauce made with olive oil, butter, garlic and anchovies) and hot peppers was fresh, textured and flavourful.

Semolina-encrusted scallops came with crispy capers, toasted Marcona almonds and a drizzle of Vin Santo syrup.

They were crispy on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth soft in the middle, with the perfect touch of crunch from the capers and sweet from the syrup. How pretty are they?

Orecchiette with spicy italian sausage, rapini, reggiano cheese and a light tomato sauce is a favourite of us all - it's classic, uncomplicated,  and hearty Italian pasta at it's best, with a kick of spice.

Linguine with local clams, preserved lemon, garlic breadcrumbs and chili flakes were a gorgeous, towering sight to behold. The broth, while tasty enough, initially seemed a little watery - but my mom and boyfriend grabbed some more bread to soak it up and were converted to raving about it in no time.

And last but not least was my dainty dish of ravioli.

Filled with smoked salmon and topped with crunchy asparagus and silky lemon cream, the size was just right for the richness of these soft little pillows of deliciousness.

By the time I finished all five, I was ready to be rolled outta there. 
Maybe it was the bread.

Oh, and speaking of the bread... it is AMAZING. Tulio's olive oil they serve it with is some of the best I've tasted and we always splurge on a bottle on our way out. Every visit I make sure at least four baskets make their rounds to our table, every visit I'm warned that I won't be able to finish my meal, and every visit I somehow, miraculously do. So there you go. Eat your heart out with the bread. I'm living testimony that it can be done.

Tulio Ristorante

1100 Fifth Avenue
Seattle , WA 


  1. I would have ordered the exact same pasta as you. YUMMMMM. -V.C.
    p.s. you are missing sushi dins tonight with your fav gal pals!

  2. Those scallops look diiiiivineeee. -lo

  3. OMG this made me drool even more. That looks so amazing. i'm so jealous you tried that, next time get it to go and drop some off in Van!!! x