A Love For All Seasons

November 17, 2016
By Tamara Thomson

The Kingfish Café called the corner of 19th and Madison in upper Capitol Hill home for almost an astonishing 20 years before deciding to close its doors on January 25th, 2015. The departure of this legendary restaurant left some pretty big shoes to fill for anyone who was willing to take over this now vacant space. Leave it to Guild Seattle Team to fill them with the introduction of the ever so lovely Ernest Loves Agnes.

img_2207We were seated in the bar area. The main dining area is to the right.

This unconventional Italian restaurant was named after a romance that took place between Ernest Hemingway and a Red Cross nurse named Agnes Von Kurowsky whom he met after he was wounded on the Italian front during World War I. This 3,500 sq. ft. restaurant seats 49 and has a warm, cozy and lively interior surrounded by delicate tiles, beautiful hardwood floors and lots of lush green plants. And of course, no Hemingway inspired restaurant would be complete without a bar which was heavily influenced by a trip to Buenos Aires. 

img_2212My Restaurant Week first course: Heirloom Caprese Salad-heirloom tomatoes, burrata, garlic and chili oil topped with spicy breadcrumbs and basil.

img_2211Off the regular menu: Roasted half acorn squash served with brown butter, fried sage, and toasted pumpkin seeds.

The restaurant features a fairly extensive and varied menu of Italian dishes with a touch of the Pacific Northwest. Items like: Octopus Terrine with Nduja, apple and chicory or beets with cured steelhead, yogurt, fennel and pistachios and apparently, they serve the best lamb meatballs in town served with whipped ricotta, red onions, tomato sauce and fresh mint. I was fortunate enough to get a table during this fall’s Restaurant Week which takes place from October 9th-20th and again in Spring from April 10th-21st. Now I’ve been to a few restaurants during Restaurant Weeks in the past and what surprised me the most about this time around was the portion of the dishes. They we’re insanely generous, incredibly fresh and most importantly delicious.

img_2215My Restaurant Week main dish: Chicken Piccata-served with lemon, capers, white wine, garlic and roasted potatoes. The chicken was fantastic. So tender, juicy and full of flavor.

img_2213A delicious pasta dish off the regular menu served with squash, mushrooms and fresh arugula.

Sadly, Restaurant Week has ended for now but there are still some amazing dishes to be had. 5 different pastas with 2 different sizes to choose from, 9 signature pizza’s like the Delicata Squash topped with kale, mozzarella, garlic and oregano and a huge array of appetizers to choose from. Ernest Loves Agnes is a lovely neighborhood restaurant equipped with an endearing and delightful staff just waiting to charm you the way Hemingway charmed his readers.

img_2217And for the last course of my Restaurant Week experience: Rosemary olive oil cake with cream cheese frosting.