Seattle >Gaspare Ristorante
Gaspare, we really, really want to like
Your warm welcome and impeccable, yet personable, service are spot-on and wonderful. Your atmosphere is lovely: all soft lighting and comfortable yet elegant old home feeling. The reason for the three (and not five) stars is your food. This is also the reason we come back periodically to try something new and see if perhaps we just chose badly off the menu the last time. Apparently, it is either the food is simply okay, or we simply cannot chose a menu item that satisfies...and I don't think that is the case.
Our most recent venture there was with a good friend who, to be fair, absolutely raved about the lamb shank and risotto special. In fact, when he was finished with his meal you'd be hard-pressed to find an edible morsel on his plate. Yes, even the marrow was gone. In the past I've tried the Vitello Piccata (Tender veal in a light white wine, lemon, and caper sauce) and found it fine, but nothing to write home about. Most recently I tried the Fettucine Bolognese (Fettucine served in a slow-simmered tomato, ground beef, onion, celery, and carrot sauce) and found it sadly wanting, overpoweringly tomato-ey without a hint of ground beef or subtle flavor that the onion, carrot and celery generally brings. One friend tried the Penne con Salsiccia (Locally made Italian sausage, sliced and sautéed in a fresh tomato, garlic, and basil sauce, served over penne) and said it tasted okay but he was a little disgruntled about the portion (there were about five small slices of sausage and you could see the plate between the penne - definitely not like my bolognese, which took over the entire plate and threatened to spill over). Another friend went for the Lasagna Napoletana (A hearty version of a traditional Italian dish. Layers of pasta, ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, and Italian sausage, covered in a Bolognese sauce) and while she got a huge portion, she found it lacking in flavor, just average.
Some of the portions are quite generous - so if you are flat-out HUNGRY and want Italian, perhaps this is the place to go. It's in the neighborhood for us and oh-so convenient, but I'm not sure if we'll be back.
A reliable favorite. We've been to Gaspare probably a dozen times and have always enjoyed it. The food is relable, tasty and feels like a decent value. It's in a sweet bungalow and is a great place to go when you actually want to converse with your dining companions. Diane is a personable hostess and the wait staff are considerate and professional. Service is good and prompt, almost too prompt occasionally. I'd like a longer space between my appetizer and my main course. My partner is a vegan and there are several options for her to enjoy. the pasta is cooked perfectly and the chicken meatball special is delightful. Well spiced meatballs in a tasty red sauce. The bruschetta is delicious as well. I'm not as big a fan of their seafood options but you should find a lovely meal by staying toward the land or vegetarian side. This place has become a regular stop for us. Try Tuesday evenings when you can get half priced bottles of wine.
I don't recommend Gaspare's. I went to Gaspare's on Greenwood a couple of nights ago and I forgot that I told myself the previous time that I wouldn't go back, and now I'm telling you. Their wine selection is paltry. They offer no sweet wine of any kind unless I want to buy a bottle. I said "Well, how about you open one of those bottles and sell me a glass of Reisling...?" No deal. Other restaurants manage to do it and serve a tasty meal. Not Gaspare's. I had the Linguine de Gaspare and not only was it flavorless and the shrimp over cooked, but, it gave me terrible gas in just a few mins. My friend had the eggplant parm, and he also had terrible gas. The food came very quickly which isn't always a good thing. All in all a very unpleasant experience. It was 8:00 on Sun and there was only one other couple in the place, four of us total. And it's overpriced.
On a Budget? Best Italian for a Great Price!. My Wife and I have been here a hand full of times. The food is always good as well as the service and ambiance. Gaspare and his wife are very welcoming. The thing that I noticed last time (because we are a little cash conscious these days) is that we each had a yummy plate of pasta a glass of wine and shared dessert for under $45. That is hard to do these days! It is close to out house which is great. If you live North of Lake union I highly recommend this restaurant. Oh they have a half price wine night too... Not sure which night though.
Not that great. My husband and I walked in on a Friday night and got a table right away. I thought the food was okay but not worth the price. I probably wouldn't set out to have dinner hear again.
Cozy Italian spot is a winner.
Nestled on the Phinney/Greenwood drag and neighbors with the boisterous Chupacabra is this cozy and charming restaurant. Fashioned out of a craftsman house, the front porch still in its original form and open for summer dining, Gaspare is a quiet and touch more upscaley option than the local pizzerias and spaghetti houses. The restaurant offers cocktails and even a miniature, twinkle lit, two-stool bar that looks like a perfect spot to sneak a smooch on a rainy night.
The menu offers the usual Italian fare, rich, tasty and with generous portions. Their wild green salad with gorgonzola and beans is fantastic, and the bruscetta is a mountain of tomatoes on rich, crusty bread. I'm a fan of linguini vongole and love their version, although last night's creamy pesto with linguini was almost as good. My partner, the meat-eater, has always left happy and with leftovers. Prices are a little higher than at another favorite over on Roosevelt, but the atmosphere is definitely way more conversation-inducing. The service has been pleasant on all our visits. They have a little gaggle of regulars and we're defnitely one of them.
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