Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs

Il Corvo – Pike Place Market, Seattle

Posted on: Monday 06 June 2011

I got lost driving from Redmond to Downtown Seattle last week. I realised I was going the opposite way when I passed Marymoor Park. My second mistake was taking the north exit for Vancouver. I was really flustered when I finally arrived home, frustrated that there were no signs when I needed one and when there was one, I took the wrong exit. Instructions such as ‘turn left at this landmark’ or ‘head south for three blocks’ only confuses me as I lack spatial awareness of my surroundings and distances. Thankfully my map reading skills compensate for my sense of direction. And it is with this that I found Il Corvo!

Il Corvo is within Procopia Gelateria on the Pike Place Hill Climb. Winding down the stairs, it’s on the right, next to a souvenir store. There is a small courtyard for al fresco dining and inside is a custom made granite table where the pasta is made in the mornings and evenings. I love that there is discreet lettering underneath the long communal bench, an obscure place to sign a restaurant name.

The pasta is freshly made and the dishes cooked to order. The menu changes daily and the owner happily details what each item is. Behind the gelato counter, there are simmering pots of sauces and pans being stirred. I was fascinated by how the pasta is cooked – it’s like a deep fryer filled with boiling water and the pasta is placed in a wire basket, dunked in for a couple of minutes and strained.

There were four types of pasta on the menu – bigoli, fideos, cavatelli and maccheroni. Bigoli is tube shaped long pasta, served with cured tuna heart, chilli and parsley. Fideos y morcilla is broken spaghetti with blood sausage. Cavatelli is gnocchi shaped pasta, paired with Romanesco broccoli, anchovy, chilli and bread crumbs. My choice was the maccheroni all’arrabbiata, short hollow pasta cooked in a tomato sauce with chilli, garlic and olive oil. I sat by the window, warmed by the sun and eavesdropped in the convivial group seated at the granite table.

The maccheroni all’arrabbiata was a vibrant dish. The chef was kind enough to adjust the amount of chilli in the sauce as I don’t take much heat or spice in my food. The pasta was cooked al dente, if a little firm. The sauce was a lovely balance of tomato, chilli, garlic and olive oil. It was a good portion for lunch and if I wasn’t so full, I would have mopped up the leftover sauce with their house made bread. Literally and figuratively, the maccheroni all’arrabbiata was sunshine on a plate.

I will definitely be returning for the friendly and quick service and the seasonal specials!

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2 Responses to "Il Corvo – Pike Place Market, Seattle"

[…] Mike Easton was resplendent in a customised apron and demonstrated artisan pasta making. […]

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