Joy is twirling a bite of fresh pasta onto your fork and practically licking the sauce clean off the plate. Or scooping up a creamy spoonful of hearty risotto. Yet somehow, when our favorite seafood is added to the mix, a simple dinner becomes so much more. Perhaps few urban areas know this better than Seattle. These Italian-inspired neighborhood restaurants have the equation down to a science.
Cucina Americana | 9400 Roosevelt Way NE | 206-957-1333
At Cucina Americana, the Maple Leaf sister concept to Capitol Hill’s flagship Americana location, rustic Italian is the name of the game. Though the menu is decidedly Euro-influenced, you’ll find each dish teeming with seasonal and local ingredients. The Dungeness Crab Risotto is a gleaming example of a homemade Italian entree gone Pacific Northwest fresh. It also features roasted butternut squash, creamy mascarpone and rosemary, and it should probably be your next dinner order.
Elemental Pizza | 2634 NE University Village St | 206-524-4930
A U-Village wood-fired pizza joint may not be the first seafood pasta suspect, but if Elemental Pizza’s perfect pies are any indication, a heaping plate of Lemon Shrimp Linguine is worth a visit on its own. The kitchen tosses fresh linguine with shrimp and the dish reaches nirvana courtesy of a lemon-parmesan cream sauce.
Il Bistro | 93A Pike St | 206-682-3049
Dinner at Pike Place Market’s Il Bistro is sure to be a romantic and tastebud-tickling experience regardless of your order, especially when paired with a bottle from its extensive wine list. But what pairs even better with a glass of wine than pasta? Pasta loaded with virtually all of the region’s seafood MVPs. The Linguine di Mare features clams, mussels, calamari, white prawns, and Market-fresh fish -- all over fresh linguini doused in a decadent white wine-herb broth. If you’re more of a risotto person, be sure to ask your server about the rotating Risotto del Giorno (risotto of the day).
La Vita E Bella | 2411 2nd Ave | 206-441-5322
Belltown’s La Vita E Bella serves up three seafood-centric variations at dinnertime: Spaghetti di Mare (tiger prawns, clams, mussels, Roma tomatoes, garlic, and white wine); Farfalle Salmon (bowtie pasta with smoked salmon, leeks, fresh herbs, and cream sauce); and Rigatoni di Pesce (prawns, calamari, salmon, swordfish, garlic, and extra-virgin olive oil sauce). Each features homemade pasta and would be a safe bet to ease your cravings.