Seattle >Food & Dining > Al Boccalino
1 Yesler Way, Seattle, WA | Directions 9810447.601642 -122.335775
Tue-Fri 11:30am- 2pm & 4:30pm-10pm
Sat -Sun 4:30pm-9:30pm
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Pioneer Square
We arrived at the restaurant 10 minutes early for a Groupon extravaganza we were not acknowledged or greeted and one of the members in our group was told to wait until they're ready we went outside and waited for 10 minutes when we went back in through the narrow doorway to the restaurant We were ignored again until all 15 people were standing in the restaurant tripping over each other there was used restaurant equipment everywhere and no room to move around we were finally asked if he wanted something to drink so we ordered a half carafe of wine, The cheapest wine was $14 for half a carafe and $28 for a full carafe beer is $14 a bottle (that is not a typo!) One of the members in our group was pregnant and Luigi the owner was trying to have her drink wine when one of the other members in the group heard and intervened, she stated she is pregnant and he continued on about how Americans are uptight and the only reason it's frowned upon is because we would drink in excess while pregnant if it wasn't (funny coming from a guy that smokes) We were then told to go downstairs and wash our hands, so all 15 of us made our way past the broken ICE machine downstairs to the bathroom and individually watch her hands to in the two sinks next to the broken ESPRESSO machine, there are piles of paper, bills, and books throughout the restaurant, when we went back upstairs we were told to chop and prep all of the food, Luigi was not Good at making everybody comfortable and keeping it light if anything he seemed to add stress to the environment and make people more uneasy, I've spent my entire life in the restaurant business and my family owned a wine vineyard in my 20s I work for Italian restaurant that was almost identical to Luigi's when I arrived I wanted to run but I didn't want to ruin it for the rest of the group, so I stayed, the look on everyone's face after we were done was complete devastation I've seen happier people on the flight home from Las Vegas our bill was $189 and when we asked the waiter with the scribbled charges were he couldn't answer he asked us what We had to drink and added it to our bill while crossing out all of the other charges our bill was now $124 Luigi adds 18% gratuity and 9.5% tax to your check, Throughout the night we had to move a dozen times because the waiter chose to walk where the classes being held rather than his section of the restaurant I still don't know if this was a passive aggressive move or if he is a complete dumbass I would suggest that you buy a nice bottle of wine, make some pasta, salad, bread and dessert and go to Kerry Park for a nice picnic dinner with the incredible view instead.
Luigi has been in the US since 1977 and he still slings "Zingers" about American culture and people throughout the night.
You have been warned.
Wonderful Little Italy atmosphere. – We took a cooking class at Al Boccalino and had an absolutely wonderful experience. Luigi the chef makes it not just a cooking experience, but creates a real Little Italy atmosphere. His passion for people and cooking elevates the evening to unexpected level, informal and homelike, yet sophisticated and elegant. We have celebrated our son's birthday that night and Luigi made it an evening that will remain in our memory for years to come. We will definitely come back!
Amazing, Authentico, Delicious Wines – The wines are perfectly paired, and the tastes of Southern Italy very well represented at Al Boccalino. The place has great vibe overall and I was impressed with the service.
taste that will transport you, romantic setting, wonderful staff – The first time I went to Al Boccalino, it was right after the legal ceremony of my wife and my marriage. Even though he was not open, he graciously allowed us to stay, but we couldn't because one of my friends was a vegetarian, and since he WAS allowing us to stay, he had only one thing to cook: a veal dish.
History aside, my wife and I were very curious about this place, and others are too by simply walking by the place, going to the waterfront. The mood inside is romantic and cozy, and there's at least three small dining areas. Frank Sinatra was playing and that just brought back my memories of growing up in Chicago. We ordered the Risotto Riserve wine and I had the Raviolo, which was crab encased in home-made ravioli topped with a wonderful Pistachio creme sauce that was heavenly. My wife had the penne and we asked if Luigi (the owner and chef) could subsitute the tomato sauce for a creme sauce (my wife's favorite).
The result was heaven. Normally when I cook a alfredo sauce, the flavors are powerful, but his was subtle, and the pistachio was simply amazing! The natural crab taste blended perfectly with the sauce, and my wife's dish was awesome too. The lemon flavored noodles mixed perfectly with the creme sauce she had. Combined with the atmosphere and the cozy staff who know regulars, we were hooked. No other Italian place in the Seattle area will do anymore, and dare I say my own cooking now has to rise to the occasion!
This was a perfect occasion!
Wonderful food, romantic atmosphere, great service – If you're looking for great Italian food and a fun experience, this is the place to go. First of all, the service was different from anything I have encountered, and I loved it! The owner and servers were very outgoing and conversational. This made for a comfortable and enjoyable setting. We were asked if there were any limitations on what we would like to eat (this was good because there were vegetarians with us). Soon after, we were served two amazing appetizers. One was a polenta with creamy Gorgonzola, the other was a dish of chantrelle mushrooms in a balsamic vinaigrette sauce. For the main course we had a wonderful pasta dish with an aurora sauce, as far as meat goes we had chicken, prosciutto, and Italian sausage, and the vegetarian dish was amazing but I honestly do not know what it was. Dinner was phenomenal, the servers were not too "in your face" yet very accommodating (ex. getting drinks, clearing plates, etc). We also ordered dessert, where we got a sampler of spumoni, tiramisu, chocolate terrine, and strawberries in a special sauce. Overall, the food was outstanding and I would definitely go back just for that. I also enjoyed the fact that we didn't have to waste time with menus, we were simply served some of the best Italian food I have ever had. I thought the atmosphere was great and I will be visiting them again.
"entertaining" customer service, delicious food, great wine – For a fun night out with great atmosphere and terrific Italian Food we highly recommend Al Boccalino. Luigi is great fun and his wait staff is terrific. We love to turn the ordering and wine selection over to Luigi and many meals later we have yet to be disappointed. This is not an inexpensive place to dine but it is always memorable and delicious!!!
Not a good value. – We visited this spot for dinner this weekend as walk ins. Upon entry, we were both charmed and confused by the owner's and server's over the top accents and bold personality, then unsettled as we were asked where we were from (I guess pioneer square is a touristy part of town). About 5 minutes after arriving we placed our wine order, 3 separate glasses of wines, and the server changed the order to a house chianti. As the bottle was being opened, the server told us it was $35. While the wine was good, I consider it incredibly presumptious to order patrons to change thier order to a totally different type of wine, and an expensive chianti at that. After pouring the wine, our menus were removed and we were told to trust the server for our food choices. We had a fair idea that perhaps this would result in a high bill at the end of the night, but for whatever reason decided to go along. We were served appetizer plates of fiori di zucchi, and then one plate of pasta with meat to share. While all of the food was fine (but doused in oil), we were charged about $50 a person at the end of the evening. From what we saw of the menu, a pasta dish and an appetizer with a glass of wine and americano after would have normally cost about $30. In seattle, $50 can go much further towards purchasing delicious italian that it did here. I don't think its ever appropriate to take the reins from a customer unless you are going to give them a deal or the customer offers the reins up. We were placed in an uncomfortable position and told to trust the server and owner, and regretted it.
Editorial Review by CItysearch Editors – Upscale and intimate Italian dining in historic Pioneer Square.
Don't miss this Seattle "Classic"! – I planned a private winemaker dinner at al Boccalino recently and could not have been more impressed. Owner Carlos Tager and his staff were all fantastic, both in the planning stages and in their service the evening of the dinner. My Grilled Salmon with Seedless Red Grapes in a Red Wine Sauce was excellent and I was told by more than one person that the Breast of Chicken with a Crimini Mushroom, Proscuitto and Cognac Cream Sauce was THE best chicken dish they had ever had (not on the regular menu, but ask for it!). Everyone in the group was planning on returning!
Great hidden secret – Entertaining corporate clients who wanted a "unique" italian experience.
We are all wonderfully surprised at our experience - great service - fabulous food - good selection of foods with great prices.
Will recommend you - and be certain to see you again.
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