Carb-seeking people of Seattle, Pioneer Square has one more new restaurant—Italian spot Tinello opens its doors at 314 Second Ave S tomorrow…softly. Owner Rudy LaValle is bringing over some customer favorites from his previous restaurant, Rialto Pasta Bar and Grill—the eggplant parmesan will be back, along with the Bolognese, smoked salmon ravioli, and his signature red sauce.
LaValle’s original partner is no longer with Tinello. Fortunately Pioneer Square neighbor and fellow pastaphile Mike Easton of Il Corvo connected LaValle with Rob Milliron, who worked with Easton back at Bizarro Cafe and was one of the founders of sandwich chainlet Homegrown. The two men clicked and LaValle says he appreciates the seafood focus his new chef brings to the menu: “I think the area could use it.”
Milliron says he’s particularly excited about his stuffed calamari, filled with shrimp and Mama Lil’s peppers, and the Italian sausage and rapini sandwich. Hours will be 11 to 7, and Tinello will serve a lunch menu heavy on pastas, sandwiches, and salads, and add some small plates in the early evening hours.
As always, the process of opening a restaurant is a delicate one, so here’s the schedule for Tinello: LaValle is opening the doors on June 6 for the neighborhood’s First Thursday art walk, and again on Friday. It seemed like a hospitable way to meet the neighborhood, he says, but Tinello will be serving beer, wine, and a very, very limited food menu (perhaps three or four pastas, some salads, and a few small bites) while front and back of house get their bearings.
Tinello will be in the soft opening stage for the next two weeks, with a grand opening later this month. The name means "dinette" in Italian, and the small, 40-seat space has a bright, cheery feel courtesy of LaValle’s daughter, Cassandra, she of the Coco + Kelley blog.