Authentic Italian Fare in Seattle

At the end of a long day of appraising antiques during my live stage show in Seattle at the Seattle Home Show, I sat down for a lovely dinner at a restaurant that is both relaxed and remarkable. Il Terrazzo Carmine is located on 1st Avenue in close proximity to the heart of all that downtown Seattle has to offer. The informal restaurant, established in 1984, offers traditional Italian fare. For my taste, the restaurant has a simply superb chef, kitchen and wait staff, and a fine wine list.

The setting reminds me of the small restaurants that punctuate the lovely Amalfi coast. It is appropriately decorated with fine linens, regional paintings depicting the Tuscan landscape and beyond, colorful majolica ceramics of the type that the esteemed tenor Luciano Pavorotti once collected, and oversized wine glasses (my favorite!).

On the several occasions when I have dined there, General Manager George Dyksterhuis has not only seated our party personally but he also stopped by the table to make sure everything was satisfactory. Satisfactory is an understatement at Il Terrazzo Carmine. My Italian mother is a marvel in the kitchen and she would have swooned over the Ossobuco Milanese (Center cut veal shank, braised in wine and vegetables, over saffron risotto).

On my most recent visit, I enjoyed the cabrese salad made of bright red heirloom tomatoes, finely chopped basil, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh mozzarella cheese. For my entree, I selected the small portion (at only $13.50, the price was small but the portion was not) of the house dish called the Capelline di Mare which was a potpourri of prawns, mussels, and clams in a light tomato sauce over thin capellini pasta. It was a difficult choice for me–a fish lover–between the Capelline di Mare and the famous and fabulous Cioppino Northwest which is a delicious melody of shrimp, squid, mussels, clams and fish, simmered in a rich tomato broth ($29.00). I wanted to take advantage of my locale and eat some good fish. I had a glass of red as my 90 year old mother says that one glass a day is a must for good health. She should know. For my waistline, I chose to skip dessert which I am sure was a big mistake.

I am sure I will return to enjoy the best Italian food in Seattle soon as prices were moderate and the food was memorable. I would send my friends from Italy there without reservation. It is a great place for a special occasion with the entire family or for a nice quiet dinner for two on a weeknight. If you go, here is the 411:

Il Terrazzo Carmine

411 1st Ave South

Seattle WA

Award-winning TV personality, celebrity Ph.D. appraiser, author, and seasoned traveler, Dr. Lori headlines over 150 world-class events every year around the globe. Learn about her locales and travel tips at, or call (888) 431-1010.


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