Coming next month: A collaboration between two Italian restaurateurs. Image via Google.

 Another new project helping reshape Pioneer Square in 2013: Two veterans of Seattle's Italian food scene are joining forces to open Tinello at 314 Second Ave S, near King Street Station. 

Rudy LaValle of the former Rialto Pasta Bar and Grill and partner David Hahne of former Laurelhurst Italian restaurant Enotria just signed a lease and hope to open in mid-February. “I was looking for a partner who was mostly a chef,” says LaValle, who closed his popular red-sauce restaurant in August 2011. “I’m more of a front-of-house guy, so I thought we would make a good team.” 

Right now the partners are testing and finalizing the menu. But LaValle says some favorites from his restaurant (like a killer red sauce) and his partner’s (Hahne reportedly makes a killer porchetta) will be on the menu. Tinello will lean Mediterranean and southern Italian. Expect lots of pasta. 

The name, says LaValle, means “a dinette, or a small, casual eating spot with an open kitchen.” Plus it does trip off the tongue nicely. Tinello will initially open for lunch and happy hour, shutting things down around 7pm. But come summer, LaValle’s hoping to stay open for dinner, especially since the wide sidewalks beg for some outdoor tables.  LaValle says there’s also talk of a few special evening meals on weekends before then, since his regulars from the Rialto days “are dinner people.” The daytime menu will also focus on soups, sandwiches, a few chopped salads and both day and (eventual) evening menus will have a small-plate focus.

The person responsible for designing the 40-seat space will be LaValle’s daughter, Cassandra, who just happens to be the woman behind uberpopular local design and lifestyle blog Coco + Kelley. Follow Tinello's progress right over here.