Every new restaurant has hurdles to jump, and Tinello in Pioneer Square was no exception. The Southern Italian eatery was slapped with a cease-and-desist letter from a similarly named restaurant in Manhattan just months after Tinello opened.
But, the restaurant sallied forth with a Kickstarter campaign to offset the cost of rebranding, raising more than $18,000 to change its name to Radici (“roots” in Italian), to the fanfare of hungry funders.
The menu: Pasta is a staple of the menu. Sauces include the traditional Bolognese ($16); puttanesca ($14), studded with olives, capers and artichoke hearts; and owner Rudy La Valle’s signature family sauce, served with handmade spaghetti ($12, $16 with meatballs or sausage). Gluten-free pasta is available.
For lunch, you can swap the pasta out for salads or sandwiches — grilled portobello and eggplant ($10) or saucy meatballs ($10) on Macrina rolls. Dinner entrees include heftier fare — baked eggplant Parmesan ($17) or spice-rubbed hanger steak ($24) — and seasonal dishes, like the late-summer sweet corn ravioli with red rock crab in a red pepper-flecked cream sauce ($16).
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What to write home about: If your diet allows gluten, go for the appetizers with grilled ciabatta to sop up the larger flavors: The bruschetta ($10 happy hour, $12 regular) comes with tapenade, marinated peppers and goat cheese, while the shrimp scampi ($9 happy hour, $10 regular) arrives in a fragrant pool of white wine, lemon and garlic.
The setting: A spacious restaurant with a handsome bar of reclaimed fir and dusky-blue walls, and a proximity to Safeco and CenturyLink that can’t be beat.
Summing up: A happy-hour order of bruschetta ($10), shrimp scampi ($9), grilled polenta ($7 happy hour, $10 regular) and the corn ravioli ($16) came to $42 before tax and tip, and fed two.
Katrina Barlow: email@example.com