Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Off the Eaten Path: Tropea Ristorante in Redmond

David Siegel covers the burgeoning Eastside food scene on his blog Eastside Eats.

In Off the Eaten Path, Seattlest visits some of the overlooked and under-rated restaurants in the Seattle area. Whether they are found in strip malls on the Eastside, next to a casino on Aurora or hidden away in South Park these are the places that don't get the exposure they deserve--until now. Today, Off the Eaten Path looks at Tropea Ristorante in Redmond.

Tucked behind a wall of hedges in the most mundane of strip malls in downtown Redmond is Tropea Ristorante, a true hole-in-the-wall. Situated next to an insurance office and a Mexican grocery sits one of the most authentic and personable Italian restaurants you will find in the Northwest. Named after the hometown of owner Lorenzo Scordamaglia, Tropea is the quintessential independently owned restaurant. From the family portraits and mural of the Italian countryside on the walls to the handwritten Specials Board to the ever present futbol on their tiny TV, this is certainly no Olive Garden!

After placing your order with their uber-knowledgeable servers, a bread basket accompanied by the most delicious olive oil dipping sauce is brought to your table. Brimming with fresh chopped garlic, red pepper flake and fresh herbs it is a challenge in itself to not spoil your appetite on this pre-Antipasti treat. Your self-restraint will be rewarded when your appetizer arrives; whether it is Tropea's sumptuous bruschetta, wonderful Caprese salad or their wholesome Pasta Fagioli soup.

We have been delighted with nearly everything we have ordered for dinner here, aside from their pizza which unfortunately has missed the mark on numerous occasions. Instead, order off the special board or stick to their menu standards. The Spaghetti Bolognese is superb as is their Lasagna Tropeana with its rich Italian sausage and hearty meat sauce. They prepare veal expertly, too especially the Vitello Pizzaiola showcasing the flavors of the Mediterranean with a decadent sauce of tomatoes, capers and plenty of fresh basil and oregano. If you have the room, don't pass up their homemade Tiramisu or handmade Cannoli. On a recent visit, they had a special Limoncello Gelato that was the perfect palate-cleansing finale to our rich meal.

With its rustic interior, top-notch cuisine and a deep wine list, Tropea is the place to come for Italian on the Eastside. With most dishes under $20, you get alot for your dollar especially considering the attentive service you will receive. Just don't tell too many people or you will have trouble getting a table as they do not take reservations.

** This post also runs on the Seattlest blog site as part of the new Off the Eaten Path feature that will cover affordable, independent food businesses that most people don't know about.


  1. Good to know! Having lived on the Eastside for a few years now I find myself constantly in search of good places to eat and your blog has been very helpful.

  2. Great King, I am glad that you are finding my posts useful. Thanks for reading!