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"Bold and Untempered" Flavors at The London Plane; 3.5 Stars for the Old School Il Terrazzo Carmine

[Photos: S. Pratt/Il Terrazzo Carmine via Facebook]

Seattle Met critic Kathryn Robinson heads to Matt Dillon's The London Plane in the "lunch capitol of Seattle," AKA Pioneer Square. The "elegant beauty" of the space, with its "country-house aesthetic" is easy to love.

Robinson notes that the market-restaurant model embraced by the eatery/florist/mercantile is a smart business move. The food is memorable, too: "I still dream of a salad of chicken, trofie pasta, and lentils brightened with nettles, walnuts, and feta; each bite completed the one before," she writes. The "bold and untempered" flavors of pickled sea beans and rhubarb lassis are as good as the not-too-sweet, "perfect of crumb" pastries. Long story short? Robinson says The London Plane's food "swaggers."

Seattle Times critic Providence Cicero checks in at another Pioneer Square restaurant, but unlike newcomer The London Plane, the 30-year-old Il Terrazzo Carmine is "unapologetically old school" Italian. Wait staff wear ties and white jackets, serving classic dishes like ossobuco and eggplant parmigiana that are "definitively rendered with care and high-quality ingredients."

Highlights of the critic's meal include Spaghettini ortolano, "greengrocer's pasta" with goat cheese, pine nuts, arugula, and tomatoes. Risotto with lobster mushrooms and scallops has a "proper creamy firmness." More throwbacks: Vegetables are presented tableside and served to diners with a fork and spoon, and dinner ends with an appearance by a dessert tray holding "exemplary" tiramisu and cannoli. 3.5 stars.
· The London Plane: Pretty and Potent [Seattle Met]
· Il Terrazzo Carmine: Old-school Italian is definitively delivered [Seattle Times]

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