Another slice of northern Italy is destined for South Lake Union. Andrea Florissi, a Turin transplant who's lived in Seattle since 1999, hopes to open Caffe Torino at 422 Yale Avenue next month--not so far from the also new, also Italian La Toscanella.
Florissi imagines the cafe, his first, will primarily cater to the morning and lunch crowd with its selection of coffee, pastries, and sandwiches, but he has applied for a beer and wine license with the intention of honoring aperitivo culture, aka Italian happy hour. Weeknights he'll serve refreshments alongside petite snack plates.
A majority of the pastries will be prepared in-house. Florissi wants to keep the experience "as authentic as possible," so more standard Italian edibles like panna cotta and tiramisu are accompanied by unique sweets typical of the northern reaches. There's bonet, a flan with amaretti and caramel ("very good--and very rich"), and polenta cookies, kind of like cornmeal shortbread.
Coffee beverages, made with Lavazza beans, take similar cues. As an example Florissi points to bicerin, a centuries-old swallow meaning "small glass." The drink is a blend of dense hot chocolate and espresso and topped with foamed cream. Sign me up.
Florissi, who worked at The Pink Door prior to spending a decade in IT, says construction should wrap by the end of the month, putting him on target for a September open. Watch for further announcements on the Caffe Torino Facebook page.