Tucked away in Madison Park, around the corner from the madness of Cactus, lies a charming Italian restaurant names Sostanza. I’ve had a number of memorable experiences here over the years, including a celebration of my condo purchase. Last night I discovered that the restaurant is not quite as small as I thought. While I had always dined downstairs in range of the fireplace and dimly-lit atmosphere reminiscent of Quattro of Whistler, this time we were seated upstairs. Upstairs lay a bar,about 10 tables, and a few tables on the balcony that are in hot demand during the summer months (the entire level overlooks Lake Washington and the Cascades).
We began the evening with a bottle of Valpolicella and an Eggplant Napolean. I’ve now had both Valpolicellas on Sotanza’s current wine list and have heartily enjoyed them both. This one had strong fruits, but did not overwhelm any of the pastas. As for the Napolean, I can tell you that Buffalo mozzarella + fresh tomatoes + grilled eggplant + olive oil + pesto == tasty appetizer. A solid execution and an enjoyable beginning to our meal.
Sostanza is deservedly well-known for their house-made pastas. Lauren’s seafood capellini was a delightful mix of grilled scallops, prawns, and al dente capallini in a light garlic-cream sauce. The cream sauce wasn’t too thick, and the prawns were good and meaty. The scallops were a little wimpy, though certainly passable.
I couldn’t resist the option of papardelle and truffle oil that was listed on the specials menu. I can still vividly remember a similar dish I had there years ago and my mouth watered at the memory. But while the papardelle was as delicious as I remembered and the wild mushrooms paired well with the truffle oil, there was an unnecessary addition of cannelloni beans which were little more than filler. Overall it was an enjoyable pasta, but I couldn’t help but think that it was missing a little something (perhaps some goat cheese would have helped or I should have opted for even more parmesan).
Our friend Ming heartily enjoyed his Saltimbocca. I stole a bite, and the veal was tender and the fresh sage was a nice touch.
For dessert we indulged in the warm mixed berry cobbler — blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries fresh out of the oven and topped with house-made vanilla gelato. The cobbler was tasty and enormous (easily filled all four of us). I also appreciated the fact that the kitchen did not skimp on the gelato, a common failing at restaurants these days.
Overall Sostanza provided another fond evening for my memories. A fine location for both 1-1 romantic dates as well as larger celebrations.
1927 43rd Avenue East
Seattle, WA 98112
Mon-Sat: 5:30PM-9:30PM (Dinner only)
Closed Mondays from October to March