At Christmastime, Joel participated a couple of online gift exchanges (probably hoping his name would be picked by Bill Gates in the Reddit Secret Santa!) A couple of weeks after Christmas, just when we thought the season was over, a mysterious card addressed to Joel turned up in the mail.
It was the last of Joel’s Secret Santa gifts – a gift card to Agrodolce. Based on the name, I figured it was some kind of gelato shop. Actually, it’s a highly rated Italian restaurant owned by Maria Hines. Hines owns three Seattle restaurants, all of which focus on local, sustainable food, and is an Iron Chef America victor.
We decided to make use it for our Valentine’s date (we went on the 13th instead of Valentine’s Day, mostly because Agrodolce had a fixed, multi-course menu for the holiday that was a bit out of our price range, even with the gift card.)
The best part of our meal was the appetizer. We couldn’t decide between two, so we made the obvious choice to just get one of each! (It was a special occasion, after all.)
My choice was the antipasto platter, which included salami, provolone, pickled vegetables, and baba ghanoush. The pickled vegetables were a medley of onions, zucchini, carrots, and peppers – they were VERY tangy, and the baba ghanoush was a surprisingly good accompaniment, to mellow out the vinegar.
Joel insisted on getting the caramelized broccoli. I’ll admit I was skeptical – we make roasted broccoli at home pretty often, so I saw no need to order broccoli in a restaurant. Once again (no, I mean, for the first time ever) I was proven wrong; we both agreed the broccoli was the highlight of our meal.
I didn’t remember to take a picture of either appetizer, but you can see the empty antipasto platter in this picture I took of Joel, as proof of how thoroughly we enjoyed it.
I had a hard time choosing what to eat as my entree, but eventually landed on pasta because we’ve been eating low(er) carb lately, and it’s been ages since I had pasta 🙂 I ordered the chestnut cavatelli, but with gluten-free rigatoni. Agrodolce makes their regular pasta in house with locally grown grains; their gluten-free rigatoni is imported from Italy.
Joel ordered a lamb burger with polenta fries, which you can see in the background.
The entree was also excellent – the pasta had a nice texture, and the herby sage, creamy butternut squash, and spicy labneh were a nice combination. (Labneh is the pinkish blobs in the picture – it was kind of like a flavored cream cheese.)
That broccoli, tho – I don’t know if I can describe what was so great about it. You’ll just have to take my word. It was amazing.