Osteria la Spiga
1401 Broadway Avenue (corner of Union Street)
Seattle, WA 98122
Tel: (206) 323-8881
I’ve been participating in the Pacific NW food thread at eGullet.com and read with interest that on his last visit to Seattle for his Food Network show Ciao America, Mario Batali had featured Salumi, Pike Place Market and Osteria La Spiga. I drive by La Spiga every time I travel downtown, but I’ve never eaten there. Because I believe that Seattle has (with a few exceptions) a great paucity of fine Italian trattorias, I decided to give it a try. Also people at eGullet were saying quite nice things about it.
After eating there recently, I’d say that it fits squarely in the category of the decent, but not spectacular Seattle Italian restaurant tradition. I ordered venison stew with creamed polenta. I’m always excited when I see game on a restarant menu and I’m also a sucker for polenta, one of my favorite grains. But I was disappointed this night. The stew was bland and relatively tasteless. It seemed to be unseasoned or so lightly seasoned as to not make a difference. The polenta had a nice creamy texture but also seemed less than stellar.
The waiter recommended an espresso tiramisu like dessert. I’m always leery of tiramisu on a menu because it’s probably the most commonplace (and therefore boring) dessert served in restaurants today. But he spoke highly of it and I thought I’d trust him. And it was good, quite good. But it was still tiramisu and didn’t rise above it’s tiramisuness.
The night we sampled La Spiga, they featured a jazz duo with a trumpter playing Miles Davis tunes. They were quite good and added a nice touch to the dining experience.
Other Italian restaurants here I’ve liked are Il Terrzao Carmine (for a posh experience) near Pioneer Sqaure and Sostanza (for a warm, informal neighborhood place) in Madison Park.