La Fontana Siciliana

If I had to pick three descriptors of this lovely Italian restaurant in Belltown it would be as follows; romantic, old-world and straight-out-of-italy. Upon doing a little research for a new restaurant to celebrate a family birthday, this Italian gem kept popping up when I was searching. Always down to try a new restaurant, I made reservations thinking at the very least you can’t go wrong with Italian food.

Down on Blanchard Street in downtown Seattle, La Fontana Siciliana greets you through an iron archway with a beautiful patio full of tables with white tablecloths and a bubbling fountain in the center. As we entered, the dimly lit room immediately made my senses go into overdrive. The smells of fresh tomato sauce, pasta and the warmth of what could be a home cooked meal are refreshing. The owner, Mario, greeted us and took us to our table by the window, handing us our menus and wine list. As a birthday surprise we ordered a bottle of the FABULOUS Antinori Tignanello 2011.

Let me tell you, I have had this wine several times in several vintages and even splurged a few times just to have a bottle on hand and it has never ever let me down. If you want a full bodied, bold, rich wine that will literally complement anything you are eating, this is your bottle. I cannot compliment or give enough praise to this bottle of wine, so just do yourself a favor and the next time you need a special wine, try this one.

Over the next couple of hours we all sampled and taste tested several dishes, including some of Mario’s favorite dishes. Starting off we shared a traditional Sicilian Calamari in pesto sauce, wonderful garlic Bruschetta and a fresh mozzarella, peach and prosciutto salad. The main courses were left up to our waiter. First up was a Veal Parmesan which had a tomato sauce that was so fresh it was unlike anything I had tasted before. The next dish was their Rissoto di Mare, packed full of prawns, calamari and scallops in their spicy tomato sauce. Two of us had the same entree, which came highly recommended as a pairing with our wine. The perfectly done Lamb Tenderloin which was cooked in a fig and Marsala wine sauce, garnished with a dollop of goat cheese melted in your mouth as soon as the bite hit your tongue.

The trend of melting in your mouth continued into dessert. My family has never been known to turn dessert down, so it was only normal for us to try 4 of the 6 on the menu and pass them around; four little plates of their well known Tiramisu, Cheesecake, Chocolate Torte and Limoncello Panna Cotta came to the table. Maximizing our flavor options we passed the plates around devouring all four. The Limoncello Panna Cotta was by far my favorite, with a light lemony finish that made you want to keep eating. Their Tiramisu came in at a close second boasting a perfect balance of flavors without being overwhelmed in each bite.

We could have stayed and chatted for hours and it was the perfect mix of authentic Italian old world charm with an intimate romantic feel that made us so comfortable and welcomed. I will absolutely recommend this restaurant to friends and family, and anyone else looking for anything ranging from a fabulous date night location to a place to bring out of town guests who want to discover special Seattle dining gems.

La Fontana Siciliana