One of our family’s New Year’s resolutions for the past few years has been to try a new restaurant every month. Living in a city with so many wonderful restaurants we get stuck in our rut of the same favorites around town. This resolution has opened our eyes and appetites to new cuisines and places – I would definitely recommend this very attainable resolution!
For the month of June we decided, on somewhat of a whim, to try Bar Cotto by owner Ethan Stowell. Stowell, prominent Seattle restaurant figure, also owns Tavolata, How to Cook a Wolf and Anchovies and Olives, just to name a few.
We were seated in their small dining room with white washed beamed ceilings, rock music playing and old butcher shop accessories. To begin, we sampled the burrata (because who can pass up burrata) with an eggplant caponata and crostini, and a bruschetta topped with roasted pork belly and onion mostarda. Our second round of appetizers included their fresh-made artichoke, shaved fennel and grapefruit salad, and their heavenly roasted corn with a salsa verde. These four appetizers were incredible and all complemented each other with their different textures and tastes. Bar Cotto is known for their Salumi selection. They give you the choice of ordering a single, 3-meat or a 5-meat selection – so naturally we tried 5 from their list! Each meat is cut to order on their beautiful red antique-looking meat slicer. We chose the first two – the prosciutto de parma (standard) and the culatello (which took us back to our trip to the Parma region of Italy 2 years ago) – letting our waiter surprise us with the last three meat selections. He chose the house-made porchetta, the spicy coppa, and their 90-day-aged salame felino. This tasty array of Italian meats came to our table on a beautiful, but rustic, cutting board and it did not disappoint! They were served with “Torta Fritta” – a pillow like bread puff topped with a lovely salt and olive oil glaze. Pairing a sweeter Nebbiolo with these fabulous bites brought out the wonderful saltiness in each of these dishes. Naturally we stuffed ourselves, not leaving room for one of their pizzas, which will have to be tried on our next visit! While we decided to forgo the pizza we obviously found room for some dessert. With a cup of hot water and mint leaves, we tried their affogata with mascarpone gelato and a shot of espresso poured over top as well as their daily selection of sorbet, which happened to be strawberry with a shortbread cookie on top. I would highly recommend Bar Cotto for anyone who doesn’t want a full heavy entree meal but rather embrace a family style meal, sharing a bunch of appetizers!
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