Pettirosso

The menu at Pettirosso is almost as abbreviated as the space itself: mostly panini (on Essential Baking Company's excellent Scala bread, $5.90 whole, $3.75 half) and breakfast bagels, available all day, perhaps to lure in comfort-food-seeking students from nearby Seattle University. To vegetarians, though, it offers a rich array of choices: a majority of the sandwiches are meatless, and a veggie BLT is available in both hot and cold versions (fans of the late lamented Vegete rejoice!). The portobello panino renewed my faith in this mushroom: shaved into thin slices, tender without being watery and intensely mushroomy. It's almost like portobello prosciutto, and the tang of parmesan in the artichoke pesto spread provided a nice counterpoint to the mushroom's woodsiness. Despite its cutesy decor, the cafe attracts a nice mix of students, low-key hipsters, and office types. Lamps hanging low over each table transform the space into a collection of cozy nooks perfect for reading and lingering. 1101 E. Pike St., 206-323-4830. CAPITOL HILL

 
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