Sometimes you want to be challenged with unusual preparations and exotic ingredients. But other times you just want to sink into a cushy-comfortable booth and be pampered with ample, richly flavored plates of well-prepared Italian favorites. Pazzo Ristorante is the place to turn for the kind of meal that leaves you relaxed, happy and belly-full of memorable eats. Its traditionally appointed, welcoming dining room provides high-backed booths for secluded romance and an open kitchen for show. Loosen up with a selection from Pazzo’s vaunted wine list, then choose a plate of cured meat and piquant accompaniments to enjoy with the house-baked breads, like perfectly salty, porky prosciutto or lush bresaola. Move on to Northern Italian specialties accented with Northwest ingredients like the wild salmon with rapini and Walla Walla onion. The pastas are among the best in town, especially the tender, housemade gnocchi. Or stop by for lunch to enjoy a thin-crust pizza from the restaurant’s wood-fired oven. (MW)
Signature Dishes: Wood-fired pizza, pastas, grilled meats and fish.
Standouts: Prosciutto with pickled melon; a reverie-inspiring housemade gnocchi with guinea-hen ragù.
Regrets: Service, while friendly, can be intrusively so.