Seattle >Food & Dining > Deenunzio Trattoria
700 1st Ave, Seattle, WA | Directions 9810447.602725 -122.334204
Neighborhoods: Central Business District, Downtown
Best Italian food I have ever had! – Last week I visited Seattle for a week. I was going to all the usual tourist stops when I passed by Cafe Bengodi. I had no intention of eating there, but the amazing smell coming out the front door drew me in. First off, the restaurant is very small and quaint, with great decor.
I ordered the special of the day, which was a chicken cannoli with fresh mozzarella and ricotta and a homemade marinara sauce. I loved that the server pronounced mozzarella and ricotta correctly. What I loved even more was the meal and the freshly made garlic bread brought out.
I returned once more and ordered the carbonara. They chose the pasta that is best for the dish and it is made there and cooked al dente! They are very generous with all of the ingredients and the taste is amazing. I tried my friend's dishes as well. She ordered the italian sausage and pepper sandwich the first day and the gorgonzola the second time. Both were incredible. This place is consistant and honestly the best Italian restaurant I have ever had. I know it is cliche to say that I am Italian and know Italian food, but it is true.
What is even better about this place is their happy hour. They have one from 3-5pm and 8pm-close daily. If you purchase alcohol (beer for $3 or wine for $4 glass), everything on the menu is half off. I would pay twice the menu prices, but you can't deny the discount.
I apologize for the long review, but I don't understand the negative reviews below as this truly is a great Italian restaurant. I didn't have an opportunity to try their nicer restaurant, Al Boccalino, but all I can think about is this restaurant as it was the highlight of my trip.
My Favorite Resturant in Seattle! – First off... The other reviews are absurid! This place is amazing! In the summer time you can sit outside in the sun and people watch while drinking delicious wine. Their Brushetta is the best thing i've ever eating. It's worth going there just for that. All their pasta dishes are amazing! The pasta is homemade and so good.
And on the service... I've been there 20 times and have always had amazing service. The don't kiss your bum or come over 100 times to ask how everything is but in my opinion thats a good thing! You can enjoy your conversation. Everyone is really nice and knowlegeable about the food.
In a word - terrible! – This is one of the worst dining experiences I?ve had in some time, and we had a lot of bad ones on this trip. My husband and I were attracted to the place from its quaint ambiance and enticing menu posted in the window. We each ordered a salad from the menu and ended opted for one of the specials of the day. The calamari with kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, and roasted garlic sounded good. My husband had his with penne pasta as described, but I asked for mine with polenta. The salads were nothing more than spring mix greens with a sprinkle of blue cheese crumbles and cheap balsamic vinegar. The entrees were in a word, terrible. The one with the penne pasta was the better of the two even though one would think they would have been the same except with different starches. That one had the olives and tomatoes, but except for the olives and a little garlic, was extremely bland. Mine had one olive and a little tomato. The calamari in both was breaded but was not cooked enough. Mine was absolutely mushy. Salt and more salt did little to help either. The polenta was watery and had partially melted blue cheese on top. The whole dish was awful. Once the order was taken, that was the end of the service. I?m sure there is a good restaurant in Seattle somewhere but this is not one of them.
Editorial Review – With the ambiance of a family Italian restaurant, this cafe serves up simple pastas with a short list of complementary wines.
One to skip. – I entered Cafe Bengodi hoping...hoping, mind you...that it would prove to be one of those little hole-in-the-wall places that offers fantastically good food to those "in the know." Yeah, not so much. Perhaps its Pioneer Square location is its downfall...maybe Bengodi has settled into the role of underachieving tourist-feeder. Who knows?! At any rate, our meal there was far short of spectacular or even tasty. We began with the garlic bread, standard in every way except for being slightly overcooked. I ordered the Pasta Cozze, featuring the pasta of the day--penne--with a unique blend of mussels, tomatoes, and shredded carrots. This proved to be a watery, under-seasoned concoction that was entirely forgettable and improved only slightly with the additon of salt. My dining companion went with a risotto filled with veggies, but the consistency was oddly watery...and again, added salt was a requirement. In the middle of our meal, the server swung by and swiped the plate with our remaining piece of garlic bread without so much as asking if we were finished with it! This was our only service aside from placing our order, receiving food, and paying the bill. In the meantime, there was a hairy, portly fellow leering at us from various positions in the restaurant (including the service area...so one would assume he has a connection to the staff?!) but never speaking a word. Leering is not generally a welcome addition to my dining experiences. The one positive thing I'll say about Cafe Bengodi is that although it did have a highly abbreviated wine list (particularly as it is an Italian restaurant!), the Chianti we ordered was really quite enjoyable. I recommend skipping Cafe Bengodi...the food and service are entirely lackluster.
I love this place – I love this restaurant. Good food, reasonable price, very authentic. Very casual and intimate environment that is a nice break from some of the Seattle restaurants that simply try too hard.
Regular customer say: "It's great don't let the other reviews turn you off." – I have to stand up and defend Cafe' Bengodi. This little Italian restaurant is on the corner of 1st and Cherry. It is small, and the service is fine. Don't expect them to roll out the red carpet for you, its just not that type of place, but the food is good, and the wine is very nice. You should go there for the atmosphere and the people you are with, the garlic bread and brochette. I love the place. Hats off to Cafe Bengodi.
HORRIBLE - STAY AWAY! – I've wanted to try Cafe Bengodi for years and finally went for a celebratory lunch yesterday. To make a long story short we ended up having to cancel our order and leave without any food because after 50 minutes of waiting and being lied to (our server kept insisting that our food was being plated and would be out any minute) my entire lunch break was over! We did have an order of very oily, very garlic-y garlic bread that was sub-par for any italian restaurant. STAY AWAY!
tremendousItalian – I visited this resteraunt with my girlfriend this past summer on our 3-day getaway. We visited about 4 others and found this resteraunt to be absolutely exquisit. The food, service and atmosphere were perfect, not to mention a very romantic place to take your wife or girlfriend or wife. The cook and waitor were very kind.
Outstanding risotto, great value. – The service in this small room leaves a fair amount to be desired, as it is understaffed. However, the risotto menu is one of the longest in town, and both the recipes and the preparation are truly excellent. The quality of the fresh pasta dishes is very good too, really impressive for a Seattle place. The wine was mediocre, but since it was cheap I didn't mind. Portions are enormous; it's like getting two orders of risotto or pasta for the price of one. The kitchen is very accommodating of special requests. The room is small, somewhere between nicely intimate and too small; and cold drafts from the doorway can be a problem. Our server was exceptionally nice though overworked.
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