Seattle >Food & Dining > Brad's Swingside Cafe
4212 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA | Directions 9810347.658231 -122.349895
Neighborhoods: Lake Union, Fremont
Brad's Swingside in Fremont – This place came to my GF (girlfriend) & I highly recommended. We finally made time to check it out even though that meant giving up a nite at the always amazing 'Bizzarro'. First & for most, the food definitely lived up to the hype. We had the calamari to start & I always prefer it when it is NOT deep fried. Delicious. As we were enjoying the end of our app, the entrees came out. A major pet peeve of mine, I like to finish my app, maybe have a minute or two to re-charge my beverage? Especially important process at a place so highly touted as an intimate Italian joint. That brings me to the decor/ambiance. Not as enjoyed by my GF & I as much as a lot of the people who review. The place could definitely use some 'freshening up'. The chairs were like something at a PTA meeting & the inside decor certainly was nothing like an Italian living room. More like one of those log cabins/shacks you can rest in when you go snowshoeing or XC skiing. Back to the food. I had the Lobster, I couldn't resist, the market price was $26. Where the hell can you get a better deal? It friggin' delivered, it came with better part of a half lb of crab as well, the pink sauce was perfect & the few pom seeds on top provided an interested twist for the few bites they contributed (which was just the right amount). My GF had the rav's, the were also brilliant, of course she was wishing she had gotten the Lobster as well, I made sure to share. To wrap up we had the blood orange something or other, it was flan like & perfect. Nice n light, perfect dessert. We will go again, but not as often as some of our other proven favorites. Finally the service, it was interesting. Our main waitress was spot on, however there seemed to be a sort of front of house guy who was borderline annoying. He announced to our area indirectly "...we should be busier tonite..." shortly after our arrival. Over all glad we went. Give it a shot!
Awesome Italian food!! – This place rocks!! The food is tremendous, the ambiance is like the warm embrace of a loved one, and Brad, the owner is one hell of a chef and a super n ice guy to boot! They recently made Zagat's list of
the Top 100 Italian Restaurants in the country. Everything on the menu is delicious, but if the seafood gumbo is one of the specials-do not pass it up. I can't wait to go back. In fact I just made a reservation for Saturday, but I think I'll pop in tonight as well. We are lucky to have such a wonderful establishment in Fremont.
And, to "girl x" who has never stepped foot in the place, but works for another Italian place --you should give it a try before you write a disparaging review. Of course they order food from other places on occasion. Would you want to cook the employee meals after cooking all night long? No. Do you want some variety? Yes. It's not like he is ordering from the pizza place or wherever it is that you work (which is undoubtedly nowhere the quality of food that The Swingside pumps out) and serving it to his guests for god's sake!
Not traditional italian – Waited a hour for food-hotel called and said we were looking for a place that served traditional italian-lasagna-etc.they said they did-paid taxi to get there and the food was the farthest thing from traditional italian-kinda funky-mom and pop owned-would not go back-asked for marinara got meat sauce-waiter never came back to ask how food was-had also wild boar sauage?
great experiance and food – I have to say this is a down to earth Seattle place to enjoy. We only found it by stopping for coffee just to use the bathroom after a parade. Not only did we not have change for the coffee, they weren't yet open and their cutest little daughters not only served me up a drink on the house. we came back four hours later to eat. I do have to say the menu was small, but that being said it doesn't need another item! the food was amazing. very authentic and I can't wait to go back. The atmosphere was downright comfortable. If you want a commercialized restraunt with a huge menu and service you can complain about don't go. If you want to sit and relax and enjoy a good meal... go for it. I live 30 miles away and will make the drive alot to go again and again.
Best Restaurant in Seattle – Just taste the food and you'll see how great it is. The people who work there are nice and remember their customers (even if they've only been there once before). The restaurant itself is in a cute little house and has a beautiful back deck. The food is amazing and authentic tasting (I spent four months living in Rome!) Order the Aglio Olio.. It's my favorite!
Blah............... – This place is over rated for sure! I use to live in the neighborhood and eat here often, but I personally got sick of listening to the owner (and cooks) argue and bash on the wait staff and customers. I don't think that they realize that they are so loud is such a small place. The food is nothing special and agree with the last reviewer, NOT a clean restaurant. I will never go back to this arrogant, dirty joint.
Just a note – First let me make one thing very clear - I have never once set foot in this place.
That said, I?ll just relate the following: I work for another Italian restaurant in town (I won?t say which one, for obvious reasons, and I want to avoid all appearances of ulterior or impure motives, so no plugs!), and Brad calls us ALL THE TIME for delivery ? To the cafe! We deliver all the time to people at various restaurants who want something different, and I totally understand that: Thai joints, sandwich shops, espresso bars, etc. ? Fine. But an Italian restaurant ordering takeout from another Italian place? I had wondered what was up with that, but in light of the other reviewer?s remark that the place is ?not always clean,? all these calls for delivery suddenly make a lot more sense. Ew.
Great Italian in a harder to find Italian city – We finally have a good solid choice for great personal Italian food in Seattle. We decided to check it out after it got the audience winner for best Italian restaurant. This place could probably survive in the Italian-packed East coast restaurant scene. The owners are originally from Pittsburgh, so maybe that explains things a bit (I have to admit we are too). The menu was on the smaller side, and most of the dishes seemed to be specialized with lots of ingredients. We read about the place being crowded, so we showed up shortly after it opened and had the place to ourselves. The food and service was excellent, we'll definitely be going there again.
one of a kind!! – I have been to brads many times
and i have always had a memorable
Its not always clean or stupendous but its always unique!
There is no other place like it on the planet!
Take a chance and check it out!
I luv it bcause it defies all that is wrong with this world!
My Favorite Spot for Italian in Seattle! – There's a reason Brad's Swingside Cafe is consistently rated the top Italian in Seattle. Great for me, they're right in the neighborhood! We enjoy dinner at Brad's a couple of times a month, and while on occasion I will try one of their specials, I am completely in love with two of their standard pasta entrees: the Bolognese and the Aglio Olio.
The Bolognese is served over farfalle and features a gorgeous, seductive classic Bolognese sauce highlighted with wild boar and venison. The addition of these rather exotic meats adds a wonderful depth to the sauce that just makes you want to dive in and wallow in it.
The Aglio Olio is a Brad's specialty and takes a hodge-podge of ingredients such as garlic, olive oil, crushed red pepper, and hazelnuts and masterfully incorporates them all into a one-of-a-kind sauce that will make your taste-buds sing! Served over linguine, you can't go wrong with this dish.
Most entrees are good not only for dinner but for lunch the next day - make sure you don't fill up on bread before dinner hits the table! The wine list is a little small but very good and reasonably priced.
The restaurant is housed in an old house, and thus has all the requisite charm. The main dining area is charmingly cramped, and can get a little loud on weekend evenings...but the food makes it entirely worth a little noise. There is also a smaller back room which has been transformed into an underwater grotto - the space is smaller and quieter, but they need to change the current very-uncomfortable wood folding chairs.
We love coming to Brad's, and will continue to do so because the food is truly amazing.
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