Rigoletto is now open in South Lake Union. The huge, antique-industrial-posh space is in Amazon’s new bedroom community near Mercer and I-5, close to Fierabend and the Victory Lounge. The owner is the founder of also-in-South-Lake-Union bakery La Toscanella. His name is Enrico Ambrosetti, and when former Stranger sweets expert Megan Seling wrote about La Toscanella—which she loved, both for the baked goods and the pasta lunches—Ambrosetti didn't really want to talk:
The recipes come from the northern region of Italy—a region that the cafe's owner says isn't represented much in Seattle, but that's about all he would say. When I called to find out more about him and his food ("How did you learn to make such miraculous desserts?"), he declined to answer, wanting us to focus just on the shop. He appears to be Italian—this past spring, the blog for local Gioia Wines said, "Finally my talented friend Enrico Ambrosetti is opening his new bakery" (I hope that I am not forever banned for printing his name).
Trying to make it about the food and not about the chef's personality is unusual these days, even noble. (Nonetheless, I've asked for more biographical information on Ambrosetti, but was routed to a PR firm and have not heard back yet.) While Rigoletto's Facebook says it serves “Innovative Italian Cuisine,” the menu looks straight-up classic Northern Italian—and pricey, with entrees ranging up to $34. Rigoletto is the name of the accursed hunch-backed court jester in Verdi's famous opera of the same name. (You probably know this song from it—contemporary title translation: "Bitches Be Crazy." Rigoletto is one psycho, misogynist piece of work; check out the plot synopsis, and Rebecca Brown's piece on it and The Rape of Lucretia.)
Meanwhile, Al Pacino ate food in Seattle last Friday at Pioneer Square's Il Terrazzo Carmine. He appeared to enjoy himself, according to an effusive Puget Sound Business Journal. (I ate food at both Il Terrazzo and its new little sister Intermezzo Carmine recently: eh. Here's a long New Yorker profile on Pacino that kind of explains why he's made so many crummy movies along with his incredibly great ones. Hint: $.)