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Cafe Lago


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Ok, we'll get to Lago as fast as ever we can. In fact, we're going to the opera on Saturday and will plan to have dinner at Lago beforehand. Since the opera is at 7:30, we're going to try to get to Lago at 5:30, so as not to have to hurry. If we happened to meet anyone we know there, why that would be cool!

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I just have to say that even though I claim to be a heathen, when I eat at Cafe Lago I have to seriously question the fact that I don't believe in a god of some sort. Maybe that's what Amy Tan meant when she referred to the Kitchen God?

Anita and I are Lago fans and frequent visitors, but after our last visit I know what you mean. The fettucine with meatballs made the jump from occasional special to regular menu item a few months ago. Usually I steal a couple of bites from my patient wife, but last week I had a bowl all to myself.

Oh, the meatballs. Oh, oh, oh. The meatballs. I had little cartoon birds flying around my head and goofy Carl Stalling music playing.

c

i play the rock. you shake the booty.
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We went last night with SeaGal and Mr. SG, and had a wonderful dinner. The antipasto is as delicious as advertised above. The lasagne manages to be both lush and ethereal, which is quite a trick. The half salciccia, half roasted vegetable and goat cheese pizza was one of the best I've ever had in Seattle. The crust is super-thin, too thin for me actually, but it was so well-balanced with the utterly delicious toppings that I forgave it. The bite I had of eggplant and mint ravioli was scrumptious. The tiramisu with homemade mascarpone was very good, although I think we all wanted a bit higher cake to cheese ratio.

We shared a bottle of Corino Barolo 2000, and we loved it. It was $46 at Lago, and I saw it on the web today from WineEx for $40, which, if I've got it all correct, makes this bottle a steal at Lago. It went perfectly with all of our food, and I highly recommend it.

The service was excellent, attentive and knowledgable. Carla herself came to visit us, and later sent out glasses of port to accompany our dessert, which was totally unexpected and much appreciated. All in all, we had an excellent evening, and I'm just sorry that it's taken me so long to find this place!

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Abra just about summed it all up. It was a great meal. I really loved the ravioli which were stuffed with eggplant (and something else which I can't remember), and lightly covered with Lago's amazing marinara and mint. Sounds odd, but it was excellent. SeaGuy and I shared those and the sausage pizza which was way better than I expected it to be--I also tend to like a bit thicker crust, but this was soooo good. I also really enjoyed the caponata and the eggplant on the appetizer plate.

The Barolo was indeed delicious and a great bargain. The service was attentive and friendly.

I'd like to go back and try a few other things on the menu, and since it's just down the road a ways, I imagine I will.

Jan

Jan

Seattle, WA

"But there's tacos, Randy. You know how I feel about tacos. It's the only food shaped like a smile....A beef smile."

--Earl (Jason Lee), from "My Name is Earl", Episode: South of the Border Part Uno, Season 2

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and lightly covered with Lago's amazing marinara and mint.  Sounds odd, but it was excellent.  Jan

Jan, Thank you so much, but I just want to clarify that the ravioli you had were filled with eggplant and a little mint, served with our regular marinara sauce. No mint in the marinara.

I loved meeting you and Abra and the guys. All eGulleteers MUST come talk to me at the pizza oven when you come in. Not only is it required, but it makes my night happier. :biggrin:

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and lightly covered with Lago's amazing marinara and mint.  Sounds odd, but it was excellent.  Jan

Jan, Thank you so much, but I just want to clarify that the ravioli you had were filled with eggplant and a little mint, served with our regular marinara sauce. No mint in the marinara.

Doh! :rolleyes: Thanks for clarifying that, Olivina. I knew the mint was in there somewhere. It was very subtle and very delicious.

Jan

Jan

Seattle, WA

"But there's tacos, Randy. You know how I feel about tacos. It's the only food shaped like a smile....A beef smile."

--Earl (Jason Lee), from "My Name is Earl", Episode: South of the Border Part Uno, Season 2

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More kudos for Lago in an almost-unlikely spot: Penelope Corcoran's review of the Montlake Alehouse next door:

The most difficult part of any dinner at Montlake Ale House is forgoing the opportunity to eat at Cafe Lago next door. The smell of wood smoke is intoxicating. As we walk by Lago's windows, we take in its checkered floor, its white tablecloths, the satisfied looks on the candle-lit faces of its customers. I can almost taste its ethereal lasagna.

And I'm not the only one. "What about here?" says my dining accomplice, slowing to a halt. "This looks good. Can't we eat here?"

"I wish we could," I tell him, gently taking his arm. "Another time. Come on. This way."

<snip>

Street parking is zoned, finite and requires patience and skill. Once a spot is secured, the natural impulse is to maximize one's visit -- hence, the allure of Cafe Lago, a true Seattle destination restaurant.

Anita Crotty travel writer & mexican-food addictwww.marriedwithdinner.com

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After putting my fingers in my ears and saying 'lalalala' about Cafe Lago for too long (I'm just too lazy to get out to the area it's in), I actually made reservations for a friend and I tomorrow evening. I'm quite looking forward to it.

I was surprised though, to hear that I was able to get exactly the reservation I was looking for only a day ahead of time. Is Lago just not that busy on Wednesdays? Or is it typically easy to get in?

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We don't usually make reservations unless we're going to be bringing folks along or coming at weekend primetime. But as Lago starts to get even more popular, I'm sure that's a luxury that won't last. In fact, the last couple of times we were in, I said as much to Cameron.

~Anita

Anita Crotty travel writer & mexican-food addictwww.marriedwithdinner.com

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After putting my fingers in my ears and saying 'lalalala' about Cafe Lago for too long (I'm just too

Although I think its kind of funny, :smile: , why have you been saying "lalalala" about Lalalago?

Just curious.

Carla

Oh, it certainly wasn't a comment on any perceived fault with the restaurant... rather, I tend to eat very near where I live: the downtown area, lower QA, and up on Cap Hill. I like to have a few glasses of wine and am super paranoid about driving afterward... so taxi bills add up.

The first time I was told about it by a good friend, she said, "this may become a new regular place for you," and then, after a pause, "of course, you'd probably want to get a new home near it." That was reason enough to pretend it doesn't exist. :wink:

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A friend and I finally made it into Cafe Lago last night. All of the praise has already been said here (btw, the grilled eggplant is unbelievably good and was perfectly executed) so I'll actually get to my dissenting opinion as fast as possible: I didn't really like the lasagne.

My dining companion and I both thought the same thing about the dish: very light, marvelous consistency, and just wonderful to look at, but surprisingly and disconcertingly sweet tasting. I could have sworn I was tasting a sauce with corn syrup in it from the taste, but knowing it did not I was completely puzzled and still am. As soon as I had a taste of it, I wished I had ordered one of those beautiful looking pizzas instead.

That said, I'd recommend the lasagne to others, I think, who probably haven't seen something like it before.

I'm looking forward to another night there.

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I'm looking forward to another night there.

I'm glad you are coming back!

That's weird about the corn syrup, I tried to taste that in our marinara last night and was baffled. Especially when I actually added corn syrup to the sauce and tasted what that would be like :

:sad:

Carla

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  • 1 month later...

Celebrating his recovery once again, this time from a 4 week bout with fever, beloved and I again chose to celebrate our first dinner out and aid his healing along with a small feast at Cafe Lago. Everything that has already been praised about Cafe Lago remained true that evening (okay, the spicy eggplant on the antipasto misto platter was ESPECIALLY delicious but then it is always ridiculously heavenly and I always find myself muttering amen praises when I eat the first mouthful). The only difficult part of the evening was deciding what to order, I wanted to eat one of everything on the menu. At first I wanted the arugala pizza with prosciutto and bianco sauce, then I toyed with ordering the papardelle with prosciutto and lemon and spring peas (and something else in that dish too, I forget), and then I looked longingly at the lasagne at a table nearby, but the waitress claimed that the ravioli with chard filling was her favorite, and I figured she had tasted it all so I took her advice and ordered it. Oh, my goodness gracious, it tasted even better than the lasagne and at Cafe Lago, that is saying something. Silky little pillows of the tastiest ravioli filling ever invented, topped with an incredibly light red tomato sauce and a swirl of pesto. The phrase "melt in your mouth" is overused, but nothing else will do to describe the texture of the ravioli pasta. It was amazing, the sauce outstanding, but the chard filling stole the show, it was supreme. My beloved orderd one of the specials, a lovely dish of braised short ribs served over ribbons of pasta, and it was delicious, but not quite as shockingly so as my chard raviolis.

Apparently the ravioli stuffed with chard isn't always on the menu, but if you see it, I recommend ordering it. I am looking forward to going back with my daughter just so I can watch her take her first bite.

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  • 3 months later...
She blogs!

http://cafeblago.typepad.com/

(did we already know this?)

Nooo! I can't believe you found that. Don't look!! It is all messed up and a work in progress that I haven't had time to deal with! Or if you look, don't judge harshly, just give me advice. Is that story in the cannoli thing bad? Boring? Stupid?

I know I have to add the recipes and that lasagna recipe is way too long...

Are the pics ok?

Email me if you'd like or eGullet me if that's ok.

So embarrassed,

Carla

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Last time I was there I decided to finally move past the pizza and go for the lasagna. Of course it had to be the one night they were sold out. I'll have to try it next time.

Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

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Last time I was there I decided to finally move past the pizza and go for the lasagna.  Of course it had to be the one night they were sold out.  I'll have to try it next time.

Anyone from eGullet is welcome to call Lago the day you plan to come in and have a piece or two reserved. Mention my name, say you talk to me on eG, Carla not olivina, I know the owners. :raz:

Edited by olivina (log)
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  • 5 weeks later...

We went there for the first time tonight and had a wonderful experience overall. The waitress was friendly and attentive without being intrusive. They were out of the lasagna I had been dreaming about all day long unfortunately. I ended up having the gnocchi (lil fluffy pillows they turned out to be too) and the vodka sauce made me go "mmmm" at every mouthful. DH had the ravioli stuffed with basil and parma and even though I was happier with my dish, I ended up stealing quite a bit off his plate as well. We ordered two glasses of red (can;t remember which) and they were both quite nice and very very reasonably priced. The chocolate truffle cake we shared for dessert was nice but after all that wonderful food, our expectations were rather high and we didn't feel the dessert matched up.

All in all, we couldnt stop raving about the food and are likely to be back several times. Hopefully, we'll get to taste the "much talked about" lasagna next time!

-w@w

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Finally made it in to Cafe Lago last night. What can I say - the lasagna was awesome. The ravioli divine. Service wonderful. The place was packed but not too noisy. I am going back as soon as possible!

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I had my first visit to Cafe Lago and I was mostly pleased. The pizza was delicious and the lightest I have ever had. the Caesar Salad was tasty though some of the lettuce was a bit limp. Once we were seated the wait staff was very attentive. My only complaint, which is minor since my friend and I came in without a reservation, is that I saw others waiting for a table offered beverages and my friend and I were not. Perhaps it's because we didn't have a reservation.

I will probably go back, but I'll make a reservation next time.

"Homer, he's out of control. He gave me a bad review. So my friend put a horse head on the bed. He ate the head and gave it a bad review! True Story." Luigi, The Simpsons

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  • 1 month later...

Our eleven year anniversary of True Love interwoven with Real Life was this week. We had originally decided to try out one of the the 25 for $25 places on Thursday night, but when the eve rolled around, after a long, difficult week at work, I just couldn't NOT go to Cafe Lago to have my spirits and soul comforted and restored. Even though he wanted to try a new place, one of the reasons we are still together after so many years of Real Life was illustrated by his willingness to go to Cafe Lago instead of trying out a new place. Sweet man.

Consistently, the dining experience at Cafe Lago is the best example of everything the dining out experience should be for me. The menu needs to offer items we could not either make or improve upon at home, the service needs to be offered by well informed, friendly, polite humans who are seemingly delighted to be attending to our needs, and the ambiance needs to provide a setting we want to spend a few hours enjoying.

Cafe Lago provides all three, beautifully and graciously.

Last night we started with our usual antipasto misto platter, and for some odd reason (since I usually rave over the grilled eggplant), the simple little garlicky crostini were may favorite item. Adding a tiny smear of the herbed goat cheese made me even happier, and then adding a bit of the caponata with the soft golden raisins amped it all up just a tad more. My beloved happily ate up all the roasted red peppers and the olives, and we both enjoyed the nutty wedge of parmesan and the roasted garlic. The slices of fresh mozzarella tasted especially fresh in contrast to the richer, spicier items on the platter.

The lasagna is legendary, and last night did not disappoint our memory of this amazingly light, fresh version of the dish. Just because I couldn't NOT, I also ordered a pizza, half with a very fennel-y sausage, half with goat cheese. As per usual, the pizza has a well deserved reputation as being all that and a bite more.

We split an apple crostada for dessert, and it was tasty, but my beloved's favorite part of the dessert was the honeyed whip cream dollop on top.

We went home very content with our evening out, and with each other, and then they all lived happily ever after...

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