First Look: Bar Cantinetta
One of my favorite restaurants, Cantinetta, has opened another location and I’m very excited about it. Currently, there is a Cantinetta in Wallingford and Bellevue, and a pizzeria, Mercato Stellino, also in Bellevue. This newest place is a mini-version of the original Cantinettas and they are calling it Bar Cantinetta.
Located in Madison Valley, Bar Cantinetta is very cozy, as in petite. (The website does not yet show this new location.) There are several seats along the kitchen bar, a few along the beverage bar and then (maybe) ten tables round out the seating.
The menu is similar to a “big” Cantinetta but is limited. There are a handful of appetizers, three or four pasta options, and one main dish. However, like the other locations, I’m sure they’ll be changing the menu often so I doubt you’ll get tired of the menu. In fact, I would be happy enjoying the current menu if it never changed. One difference with this location is they will be open for lunch during the week and brunch on the weekends. Lunch and dinner will share a menu; the brunch menu will be rolling out in a week or two.
They’ve barely been open a week but we stopped in Sunday afternoon to check out the place.
We started with a grilled octopus and chickpea dish which was okay but not my favorite. It was actually tasty but the server ruined it for me when she tried to explain the preparation. I’m going to let it go at that so that you have an opportunity for a different experience than we had. Our next dish, cheese-stuffed, fresh figs, wrapped in speck and served with lightly dressed arugula was delicious! Super rich though. Plan to share a plate.
We finished with handmade tagliolini, that had a creme fraische “sauce” and was finished with black pepper and a fresh, fresh, egg. Soul satisfying. Especially since we were dining while the thunder and lightning were rolling through Seattle.
I’m looking forward to going back. And back again.
2811 E Madison St