451 Yale Avenue N
Lunch: Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Dinner: Sunday-Thursday, 5 p.m. to−10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 5 p.m.-midnight.
Happy Hour: Tuesday through Sunday, 3 p.m.–closing
Brunch: Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Closed on Monday
Chi mangia bene campa cent'anni means “May you live 100 years” – a sentiment highly appropriate to Rigoletto, a new spot in the midst of highly contemporary South Lake Union that embraces yesteryear in the most delicious way possible. Rigoletto opened three weeks ago in the century-old, splendidly restored Supply Laundry Building, part of Vulcan’s full block development that also includes the Stack House Apartments.
Named for the court jester of Verdi’s famed opera, Rigoletto’s interior bespeaks the Supply Laundry Building’s industrial past with 5,000 square feet of space, tall ceilings, brick walls and exposed beams − but restaurant owner Enrico Ambrosetti, who also brought the popular La Toscanella Bakery to the neighborhood, has warmed the space with antique Italian tile, twinkling chandeliers, wrought iron railings and ruddy-hued banquettes with drapery patrons may draw for privacy. A cozy mezzanine above the dining room sports a handful of tables for a more intimate dining experience, and a chef’s table in the open kitchen lets patrons watch the magic happen up close.
When asked why he decided to open a second eatery in South Lake Union, Ambrosetti said, “It was the right place: a great location, a beautiful building and the partnership of Vulcan. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Ambience and architecture aside, the star of the show at Rigoletto is undeniably the food, which emphasizes the primary element underlying authentic Italian cuisine: simplicity.
Featuring flavors from Ambrosetti’s home region of Piedmont in northern Italy, the seasonal menus offer a fine roster of antipasti, seafood, meats and pasta prepared with savory herbs. As Ambrossetti puts it, “With Italian food, you just need to stick to the basics and make it very, very fresh.” The abundant wine list boosts Italian wines but gives elbow room to Northwest vintages, too.
On Friday, October 31 from 9 p.m-2 a.m., don’t bob for apples and lose the candy corn − consider upping the ante on All Hallow’s Eve by taking part in the Venetian-style Carnevale al Rigoletto masquerade party. All are invited to get creative by donning Venetian or Roman-themed costumes, with masks highly encouraged (not everyone needs to be a zombie this year, mmkay?). You’ll be spoiled with a sumptuous five-course meal in the main dining room, followed by mingling and dancing to DJ’d beats in the lounges upstairs and downstairs, all for just $49. Call 206-494-9225 to learn more, or buy tickets here.
So come eat, drink, explore, socialize and revel in the delights of Rigoletto. You know what doctors say about the Mediterranean diet, right? Eat here, and you may just live to be the happiest centenarian in town.
Rigoletto is participating in Seattle Restaurant Week through October 30. Visit the restaurant’s Facebook page here.