No intervention needed here. Rione XIII functions just fine, thank you, offering uncluttered Roman-inspired Italian cuisine in rain-strewn Seattle.
Rione XIII takes its name from the ancient Jewish section of Rome. The art of this eatery lies in its masterful pairing of old standards with new riffs and exotic sidenotes. It’s got the local hangout vibe handled, plus the ‘people are talking about’ it hum thrumming through the chill decor. Wait and kitchen staff share a stealth-like ‘on-it’ demeanor.
Our party of four skipped the appetizers (such as pork & duck terrine), mozzarella (house made), and Roman Street Pizzas (worth a return trip to try), opting instead to savor small plates: their signature savory Carciofi alla Giudia (fried artichoke with breadcrumbs and aioli), spicy Puntarelle alla Romana (winter greens with anchovy, chili, garlic and parmesan), and super-succulent Ruby Beets with satsuma, fennel and hazelnuts. Also on the menu: freshly prepared pasta, including indulgent Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe (long pasta noodles en brodo with Pecorino and pepper) and sanguine Bucatini Amatriciano (pasta in red sauce), plus meat-eaters’ delight Oxtails alla Vaccinara (Oxtail with polenta.)
A dessert list appeared at some point after plate clearing, which we waved away…espressos and sweets taunting us to crash against the rocks of self-indulgence…or at least to revisit their tasty shores another time.
Rione XIII graciously allows a $20 corkage fee for guests bringing personal cellar picks, but also offers an impressive wine list, including both dry and perfumed prosecco by the glass. Aahh...La Dolce Vita, live from Capitol Hill. Ciao!
Note: binNotes is on holiday through the New Year.
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