Cafe Revo - Italian (4 Stars)
When one of my close friends raves about a product, service, or experience, you can practically guarantee you'll end up enjoying it as much as they did. Thankfully, Ryan, Kyle, and I were in West Seattle when Kyle suggested one of his favorite dinner and cocktails restaurants: Cafe Revo.
Cafe Revo is a charming restaurant in the odd block of shops amidst the sea of condos, apartments, and homes on Avalon Way. As both Kyle and Chris had lived only blocks from there for years, I was surprised I had missed this gem (you probably did, too). Fortunately, it was a warm, sunny Seattle day and there was plenty of room on the patio for us to relax and soak up the afternoon.
After our drinks arrived, we took a few minutes to peruse the somewhat limited lunch menu. One thing you won't find here is a multi-page novel that includes a laundry list of eats. What you will find are a handful of well-crafted appetizers, soups and salads, and pasta, meat, and fish entrees. If you're a relatively picky eater and it takes you a while to find exactly what you'll be ordering, this could be a blessing or a curse. I would recommend asking the waitstaff what they'd prefer as our waiter was very knowledgeable about the lunch offerings and made excellent suggestions for each of us.
When Kyle said we absolutely had to order the Pane con Aglio, Cafe Revo's version of "garlic bread and marinara", we rolled our eyes and said, "Really? The garlic bread is that good?" He proceeded to remind us that he loved the restaurant, that they had incredible cocktails, and that the garlic bread was not to be missed. And he was right! The order arrived with several thick, crusty pieces of olive-studded, freshly baked bread topped with Parmesan, garlic, olive oil, parsley, and a light and savory marinara sauce for dipping. If you love carbs, or garlic, or olives, this really is an appetizer you shouldn't pass up. The crunch and slow tearing of your bite through the savory bread very nearly had us ordering seconds!
For our entrees, Kyle and I both ordered a salad: Luna di Mare. The seafood salad was loaded with Dungeness crab, shrimp (albeit what appeared to be canned, cocktail shrimp), tomatoes, avocados, chunks of Gorgonzola, and dressed with a Gorgonzola vinaigrette. There were also two pieces of regular garlic bread on the side which certainly helped the overall texture of the salad. Despite the salad's generous portion, Kyle managed to finish almost all of it. Unfortunately, I think I was distracted by the Pane con Aglio because I completely forgot to ask them to hold the Gorgonzola (though I remembered to have them exchange the dressing for ranch). As a result, I had to send back my salad and find something else to order. Given Ryan's lasagna had been taunting me, I decided it would be best to just give into the temptation and order it myself.
To be honest, the Saluti Tutti Lasagna is a pretty serious entree. It features a seven-layer mountain of fresh, thick pasta noodles, Parmesan cheese, Uli's famous sausage, marinara sauce, and it's topped with a creamy bechamel sauce and a heavy dusting of fresh herbage. The flavors were outstanding! The lasagna noodles are hearty but tender and provide a perfect platform for layering a ton of sausage. Ryan said the only drawback was the number of noodles and that he wished there was a bit more filling. I thought the noodles were the most unique thing about the dish and felt it helped the dish stand out as something unique to Cafe Revo.
When the bill came, I was pleasantly surprised they had only charged us for one salad. Excellent service that goes above and beyond like that, especially when it was clearly my own mistake, is what makes Cafe Revo a distinctive and delicious dining destination (and earned our server a serious tip). The next time you're in West Seattle, see for yourself why the 4 Stars are deserved.