First there was Ponti, which this April turned its bar into Cafe Ponti, a lower-priced, more casual version of its exacting Mediterranean-fishhouse self. Here, running clothes and $10 entrees are the rule.
It’s a savvy way to stay flexible to the drop-in casual way we’re eating today and the lower tabs we want to pay…and, hence, stay solvent in these lean times. A lot of joints are catching on.
Over in Magnolia, the good folks at Mondello Ristorante have opened an around-the-corner Italian takeout/family kitchen, La Mondellina, where diners can grab ready-to-prepare housemade ravioli to go, or enjoy a nibble there.
Salty’s at Redondo has opened its outdoor Fish Bar, a walk-up window with picnic tables that does a vigorous fish ‘n’ chip trade every summer. (Pssst: Call ’em at 253-946-0636 before you head out, and your lunch will be ready when you arrive.)
Finally, Serafina, that sexy Eastlake boite now owned solely by the great Susan Kaufman, is about to annex its architecturally modern neighboring building to become Serafina Cicchetti (pr. chi-KET-ee), a sort of Italian tapas bar with a view of Lake Union.