First Look: Perche’ No Pasta and Vino
Many of you may know Perche’ No from it’s location on lower Queen Anne. And if you’ve had the opportunity to try it out, you’ll know how good the food is there. Well, the good news is that they now have a second location just south of Greenlake on Stone Way! Last night I attended their Grand Opening with a couple of friends and we managed to eat our way through several menu items!
This new location is large with seating both downstairs at kitchen level and upstairs looking down into the kitchen and wine bar. Upon entering you look directly into the kitchen and the activity going on there. As you look around the comfortable and colorful tables with their blue bottle of herbed olive oil invite you to sit, relax and enjoy.
The wine bar is in a cozy little corner – I can see myself stopping in there for a glass of wine and an appetizer or two. They are still in process of getting their entire wine stock in place but once they do they will offer several wines by the glass and an amazing 285 wines by the bottle! As I’m writing that I’m looking at my notes to make sure that is correct and I’m pretty certain I have that number right.
In addition to wine, they serve beer. The selection is much smaller but very interesting. And there is a nice selection of after dinner drinks – but more on that later.
I arrived a bit ahead of the others and so I sat at the wine bar and ordered a glass of 2004 Monti Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. This is a great wine – good for sipping on it’s own or perfect with earthy Italian food. It even went with the things I ordered for dinner which you wouldn’t necessarily choose to pair with a red but it is versatile enough to handle quite a wide range of foods.
Once my friends arrived we were seated upstairs where we could have a good view of the kitchen and wine bar. It was fun to spy on the comings and goings down below.
We started with a couple of appetizers. I noticed that they made their own prosciutto so my appetizer decision was easy – the house made prosciutto wrapped fresh mozzarella drizzled with balsamic reduction. We also ordered a marinated and grilled Portobello Mushroom starter.
The prosciutto was silky and rich, it actually reminded me a lot of a Serrano ham – which is a good thing, if you were wondering. It was cut a bit thicker than some prosciutto and was not quite as salty as you sometimes find. Paired with the freshness of the cheese and the syrupy sweetness of the Balsamic vinegar it provided a perfect harmony of tastes. The grilled Portobello was amazing! Earthy and meaty the flavors pulled you in and demanded that you eat more!
Next we were on to the main courses. My dining companions each chose ravioli, although two completely different types. I went a different route ordering the house special fettuccine.
Every entrée was a generous, hearty portion. One ravioli was stuffed with those same portobello mushrooms we’d had as an appetizer then finished with sage butter and drizzled with white truffle oil. Now, there was a time when truffle oil was being overdone at restaurants around town. But this was the perfect use for it. The truffle oil added an additional rich element to the earthy tastes of sage and mushroom. It was really quite decadently perfect!
I actually didn’t try the second ravioli which was Ravioli con Sugo Di Carne e Crema or, to translate, a hearty beef ravioli in a veal meat sauce with cream. It smelled wonderful and I can’t imagine it being anything but tasty.
I opted for a bit of a lighter bite – at least sort of. Homemade fettuccine wrapped it’s silken tendrils around perfectly grilled shrimp and basil and then all was lightly dressed with a cream sauce. The portion was actually generous enough for two – although I did manage to eat all the shrimp! :-)
I don’t think any of us actually needed any more at this point but what the heck, let’s just take a little look at the dessert menu… And of course once we looked there was no going back. We first decided that we needed a little beverage to go with whatever we might order. The dessert wines were sort of hit and miss, as not everything had yet arrived, so our server brought up a sampling of bottles for us. Several of the items were house made infusions and we had a lovely time trying them all out. Now, I do need to mention that the people I was dining with are friends of the owners. But I will also say that everyone here is so friendly and wants to ensure you enjoy your experience that even if you don’t get an armload of bottles brought to your table I have no doubt that your server will work with you in whatever way they can to make sure you enjoy everything. We settled on our choice and then went to work on the dessert itself.
I tried to be semi-good and ordered Vin Santo with biscotti, however they did not yet have Vin Santo but said they could round up a biscotti for me. My dining companions both ordered a house specialty, Dolce Cioccolata Lasagna e Mascarpone or Chocolate Lasagna. Yes you read that correctly. The noodles are made with cocoa powder, (I believe) deep-fried, and then layered with berries and marscapone. Chocolate is drizzled and artistically designed for a really beautiful and tasty dessert. Unfortunately, my photo does not do it justice so you’ll just have to take my word for it.
My biscotti was delivered to the table along with a surprise – a gorgeous plate of Panna Cotta! Not only was it gorgeous but it was light and dressed with a fresh, raspberry sauce that tasted of sweet raspberries straight from the vine. Actually, that’s not true is was better. We had several jokes at the Panna Cotta’s expense but I will leave that to your imagination when you try this lovely dessert for yourself.
Just as we were finishing up one of the owners, Lily Kong, came to the table with a split of Asti Spumante and four glasses. That sweet sparkler was a lovely ending to a wonderful meal and evening. Although it may have been a bit responsible for my dragging feet when I got out of bed this morning!
If you choose to visit over the next few weeks, remember that they are still coming up to speed on full stock – although really there were not that many gaps. Also, remember that it takes a little time for a new place to get their rhythm, as they mold servers and kitchen staff into a well-oiled unit. Although we did not experience any issues you should just be prepared to be a bit flexible.
I love the location of this new Perche’ No and, as mentioned earlier, can see myself stopping in for a quick bite and glass of wine at the wine bar or having a leisurely meal with a few friends around one of the upstairs tables. This little neighborhood area is enhanced by the opening of this business. If you are in the neighborhood you should definitely check it out. And even if you are out of the neighborhood you should plan a walk around Greenlake with a post-walk stop at Perche’ No to reward yourself for that 45 minutes of exercise!
Perche’No Pasta and Vino
1319 N. 49th St.