Tuesday, February 7, 2012


A group of friends decided to descend upon Branzino one night when the wait at Serious Pie was too long.  Between us, we ordered the grilled octopus, risotto, duck breast, gnocchi, pizza, steak, tagliatelle, cauliflower, and chocolate budino and apple pear crisp deserts.  There were some real winners and losers, and unfortunately, we found Branzino had two faces.  One was beautiful, and the other had a sweet spirit.
The grilled octopus was delicious, soft, tasty (note the awesomely fried herbs on the top of the dish), and memorable.  Unfortunately, for the price, the portion was a little meager.

Then there was the lobster risotto.  In a word, it was bland.  Both myself, and another friend who ordered it felt the same way.  It was the day's special, and incredibly disappointing (although it looked good).
My wife's duck breast (excuse the poor picture), was excellent.  The very center was a little under for her, but the remainder of it was a perfect mid-rare.  It turned her on to duck, and that streek lasted for a few months.
I did not get a shot of all the group's food.  I was told the gnocchi were pillowy and delicious.  The pizza was a little disappointing.  The tagliatelle was also good, but the bistecca (steak) was likewise a miss.  The cauliflower side was actually a perfect example of the yin and yang of this restaurant.  A fair amount of it was the most delicious thing that most of us ate that entire evening, while some pieces were over salted, a little charcoaly (from too aggressive a chargrill) and oily.

Then desert hit, and the chocolate budino and mint straccetelli was another solid single before being thrown out standing a little too far off the bag.  The budino was excellent, but the ice cream had a little too much ice - it seemed to have separated or something else unappealing.  The apple pear crisp was delicious, but did not differentiate itself too much from a similar offering you can get at most Greasy Spoons.  The service was likewise good, but not great.  
So what can I say about Branzino's overall?  Middling, in particular given the prices and I doubt we will be back.  I think that it was our fault though for not ordering the branzino, which you have to assume would be delicious...  

2429 2nd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121-1424
(206) 728-5181
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