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“Friendly, small restaurant with excellent Italian food” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Montalcino Ristorante Italiano

Montalcino Ristorante Italiano
15 NW Alder Pl, Issaquah, WA 98027-3244
425-270-3677
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Ranked #1 of 138 Restaurants in Issaquah
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Front Street
Bellevue, Washington
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Friendly, small restaurant with excellent Italian food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2012

I grew up on the East Coast and the food here is very reminiscent of restaurants from my childhood. My sister had the lasagna, which I tasted and it was the best I've had in the area. I had lamb chops and they were very good and in a generous portion. My husband had the Pollo di Montalcino and he thought it was very good. The Secondi dishes are served with a nice portion of polenta and vegetables. The bruschetti were very good also. They also had a nice wine selection, but we didn't find out that they had family wines available until after we had finished dinner. I highly recommend reservations since this is a very small restaurant with no waiting area.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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105 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    82
    14
    7
    0
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Sammamish, WA
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Best Italian on the Eastside”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2012

We were so impressed with our first visit to Montalcino that we had to go back three more times to make sure of our impressions before I wrote a review. The pasta is the best I've had in the states. Perfectly cooked on each visit. The house salad is simple and fresh. The house (Nardone) wine is a tremendous value at around $30 a bottle. The limoncello gelato flute is a fantastic end to a great meal. My personal favorites so far have been the pasta alla champion, veal cutlet, and mamma's spaghetti and meatballs. My wife absolutely adores the lasagna classico.

Tony, the strolling musician, has been there during three of our visits. I was initially a bit sceptical, but have come to appreciate the character that he adds to the experience.

The place is very small, so make reservations.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Vintage Italian atomosphere”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2012 via mobile

This family owned restaurant is truly a gem. The small dining area is somewhat small, definately compared to the American standard. This is a remarkable aspect of this venue. I felt as though I had just departed the euro train and entrered into any small town reatraunt in Italy. My wife and I were personally welcomed by the owner and staff. The ambiance was filled with a local serenade artist, who performed gigs in old Italian to shrek tunes in Italian to the children. The lasagna was remarkable and the Italian wine selection is extravagant. Strongly recommend reservations. I would also encourage this venue as a group setting for social gatherings, like small family reunions. Try it, you will not be disappointed.

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Issaquah, Washington
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“UN'esperienza veramente straordinaria cucina italiana.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2012

The most fabulous Italian dining experience on the Eastside. The owners Fernando and Cinzia great you at the door, Tony strums his guitar and serenades you in Italian and English. Small and intimate, you almost feel like you are being invited into the families home for dinner. They talk and visit with you and by the time you leave you they know your name and you feel like family! We will certainly be back to try some more of Mama's wonderful dishes. The lobster ravioli and the tiramisu was divine. Thank you to the Nardones.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Seattle, Washington, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“An amazing little restaurant. You will feel like a member of the family.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2012

As a native of New York's Greewich Village, I have sorely missed the small, family-owned-and-operated restaurants that are such an important part of Village life. Happily, Montalcino Ristorante is as good as the best of the New York version.

Montalcino has a capacity of about 30 diners. There are four waitstaff, at least one of the two owners, and "Mama" there for every meal. This means that service is always excellent and loaded with personal attention. Everyone is greated by one of the two brothers who own the restaurant. Mama (really the brothers' mother) also offers a warm, Italian greeting.
This sort of experience is sorely lacking in the Pacific Northwest. I come from New York City (Greenwich Village). There, little gems like this are on almost every block.

The Nardone family owns and operates Montalcino (the name of a town in southern Italy). Not suprisingly, the family is from the south. Southern Italian cuisine features rich, tomato sauces, delightful pasta, and meats prepared with tomato sauce. Mama makes gnocchi fresh. It is a delightful potato pasta. It's served with an unbelievable meat sauce. This dish is worth the trip!

The restaurant has a nice wine list. Many of the wines are imported from the family's wine business. The house Chanti is delightful.

Be sure to make a reservation. The place is always packed. This is truly a place to love. Oh, Mama frequently bursts into song. She was trained in opera as a girl.

  • Visited March 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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