Our Anniversary Day | Salumi, Caffe Umbria, Montalcino
A few days ago, Alex and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary. Now that we have Lucia, it seems the years are truly flying by! Looking back on our special day is always a little bittersweet for me because our photographer never gave us our wedding photos. We have no idea what happened to her. She seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth. Anyway, we thankfully have the posed ones of us and our party that my father-in-law and his brother took (they are professional photographers) and a few cell phone photos, like the one above, that have helped us to remember the moments.
Onto our anniversary! This year, we decided to have a fun relaxing day, full of good food. Alex knows how much I love Italian food and this day was full of my favorites. When we were still dating, Alex always used to take me to Korean restaurants where I had to use chopsticks (I had to look cool and competent). I loved the food but was missing my usual pastas and pizzas! For my birthday, he took me to an Italian restaurant and I literally cried out of joy! I think he got the message :)
We started the day at Salumi in Pioneer Square of downtown Seattle. Salumi was started in 1999 by Angelo Merlino, who just happens to be the grandfather of Iron Chef Mario Batali. It is now run by Mario's father, sister, and brother-in-law.
Salumi is a tiny space that is always busy. They open at 11, we got there at 10:40 and there was a small line in front of us. As soon as they opened the doors, we walked right in. It was the perfect amount of waiting. Any later and we would have waited a lot longer.
Salumi is known for their porchetta and meatball sandwiches. We knew we had to get one of each of those. Lucia needed one as well so we got her a Muffuletta. Alex loves lamb so we had to get a hot lamb sandwich, too. Needless to say, we ordered 4 huge sandwiches and enjoyed leftovers the next day.
My favorite was the porchetta. Once you taste it, you will know why it is so popular!
Pure concentration from these two.
After lunch we walked a few blocks to my favorite coffee shop, Caffe Umbria. Last year, Alex and I took a tour of Seattle's Little Italy and this was one of our stops. I immediately fell in love with the place. The coffee is delectable, the pastries are the perfect accompaniments, and the pieces of Deruta pottery scattered about complete the whole Italian look and feel of the cafe.
Lucia telling me to put down my camera and hurry up!
A latte for me
Treats for the table
Lucia goes right for the macarons. Smart girl!
After a relaxing afternoon on the waterfront, we dropped Luica off with her grandparents and headed to Montalcino in Old Town Issaquah. My hairdresser recommended it to me after we discovered that our Italian ancestors settled in Renton, WA many years ago. We immediately became Italian soul-sisters and I trusted her enough to recommend an authentic Italian restaurant. This is another very small space and I highly recommend making reservations. If you want to get in on a weekend, you are probably looking at at least 4 weeks out. Weeknights are easier to get into but I would still make a reservation.
We started with the appetizer specials, burrata with heirloom cherry tomatoes, and Dungeness crab and calamari in a paprika cream sauce
Now we switched to using our phones to not be as intrusive so please excuse the quality. For the pasta course, I had truffle pasta with caviar
Alex had lobster ravioli with a lobster tail
For my main course, I had a braised lamb shank
Alex had the seafood misti plate
Dessert was cannoli and tiramisu. Everything was divine. If I had to use one word to describe the experience, it would be "authentic". You can tell it is all made by hand, with love, by true Italians and I recommend trying Montalcino if you are ever in the area.
Thanks for a wonderful anniversary, handsome! Here's to many more :)