Tulio Ristorante – Trying to be classic Italian.
Tulio Ristorante is a cool Italian restaurant in the heart of downtown Seattle. The restaurant is connected to Hotel Vintage Park and therefore offers valet parking which is a big plus. The restaurant is very roomy and has a somewhat dark, Italian feeling which can also be very romantic.
So let’s talk about the the food… The food has some ups and some downs. The Sweet Potato Gnocchi, one of their longstanding and most popular dishes was overly creamy and somewhat heavy. It was made with a sage butter and topped with a mascarpone butter, but otherwise slightly bland. An interesting technique Chef Walter uses is deep frying the gnocchi after it has been boiled. While it sounded like an exciting twist and created a crunchy exterior, it still needed a sauce.
Housemade Linguine with a tomato sauce and burned, dry pork belly was clunky. The noodles were stuck together and the sauce and the pork belly seemed like separate elements, they were not cooked together, but seemed just to be thrown in the same dish. Next, the Halibut over greens with oranges and pickled onions was a flop. The fish was really overcooked. We only ate a few bites, which Chef Walter seemed to notice. He tasted a few bites and remarked that it was overcooked as well. Quality control and consistency are important parts of running a kitchen. Hmm…
The Colorado Lamb Sirloin was cooked well, to a nice juicy medium rare. The smokiness from the crusty char was a nice contrast to the moist and tender lamb. The couscous was also a delicious side with nice buttery seasoning. This was one of our favorite dishes of the evening.
Lastly, we tried the Tiramisu. It was a TINY slice, overly sweet, and not enough coffee flavor. It was poorly executed considering it is quite a highly rated Italian restaurant.
Summary: Decent Italian cuisine with a approachable Chef who needs to do a better job of quality control.
Recommendation: Try the lamb, skip the halibut.
Tulio Ristorante | 1100 Fifth Ave., Seattle | (206) 624 – 5500