And now a word from the Department of Unlikelies: A restaurant of real verve has opened on the ground floor of a retirement community in a quiet corner of downtown Bellevue. If you haven’t looked in a while, that burgeoning business and residential district is finally luring more restaurants—Seattle stalwarts Monsoon and Wild Ginger soon among them—and this elegant white-tablecloth new player with the golden atmosphere and the many-room sprawl is already attracting regulars. Solicitous old-school service is one reason (“Will you be wanting your usual booth, Mr. Jones?”); Mediterranean-charged inventions—grilled prawns with poached apricots in a velvety sherry sauce deepened with smoked paprika and cayenne—is another. (Lots of folks are talking about Sunday brunch, too.) So presentations are precious, expense accounters love the joint, and some dishes err on the tame side. There is apparent substance at Toscano—and that’s great news for Bellevue.

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