We found a gem which has been in business for the past six years. How have we missed this? Luigi’s Italian Restaurant, a family owned and operated restaurant, on 101 W. Mission Avenue in Bellevue was an easy drive for each couple. It is located in the Old Town Bellevue area and super easy to find and park. We met at 6 PM and wondered about the quality as only a few other diners were there. We were just ahead of the crowd as the place filled up right behind us. The restaurant is one large open area with tables and chairs. No booths, no bar. They offer Coke products, wine and beer. No mixed drinks. Rick ordered a 3rd Stone Brown Ale which he said was good and rest of us ordered one of the night’s wine offerings, a bottle of CK Mondavi Merlot for $12. It was very acceptable for a $12 bottle of wine. Not great but definitely good.
They are open at 11-2 PM with lunch specials on pasta, Stromboli, Calzones and sandwiches. Their dinner menu includes only a few appetizers but we made a fantastic choice with the Mozzarella Fritta. This is not cheese balls. This is a block of homemade Mozzarella cheese which is breaded with Italian seasoning then deep fried, served over a generous scoop of Marina sauce. For only $6, this was a great way to start our feast. Additional appetizers are fried ravioli, garlic bread and calamari fritta. A basket of fresh baked rolls was brought to enjoy with refills offered.
Rest of the menu includes a variety of salads which you can add chicken or shrimp, baked pasta (lasagna, cheese ravioli, manicotti, pasta sampler of the above three and melanzane alla parmigiana). They have a great choice of house pasta with offerings of fettuccine alfredo, chicken parmigiana, lasagna, spaghetti sausage parmigiana, spaghetti pizzaiola, tortellini alla penna, fettuccine carbonara or choice of spaghetti. They offer several seafood pasta dishes and traditional Italian entrees, Stromboli, calzones and sandwiches. They do offer steaks and New York Style pizza. There is a kid’s menu and a few dessert options.
Rick and Sarah had the chicken Marsala ($13) which was delicious. The chicken was tender, the sauce plentiful and full of flavor and the linguine pasta was perfectly cooked ala’ dente. The portion was generous with plenty to enjoy the next day for lunch.
Patty had the Tour of Italy and was satisfied with her choice. The chicken parmesan was ‘OK’ but her rave review was the chicken Alfredo which had a nice balance of rich cream sauce and tender chicken served over fettuccine pasta. Her third entrée sample was lasagna. ($14) Jim had the salmon Palermo ($16) with a large portion of salmon, sautéed garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, capers, white wine lemon sauce served over spaghetti pasta. Jim thought his entrée was a little cool when served but otherwise was quite pleased with the blend of flavors and cooking technique.
The service was great and the server was quite attentative throughout the dinner.
This would be a great place to go back and try the New York style pizza if it is anywhere as good as the pasta dishes. This place may require a return trip to have pizza and salads.
We found the evening to be a good experience. The service was attentive, the food delicious, the portions generous and a good value. “Try it; we think you’ll like