The Eats: La Romanza, 4521 California Ave. SW, 906-9914. Italian inspired cuisine, with a Venetian afternoon tea service, happy hour, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch.
The Deets: What began as the Tuscan Tea Room (conceived by Aimee Pellegrini, the daughter of Giulio and Janie of La Rustica), has evolved into a full-fledged Italian restaurant, complete with white linens, refined service, and elegant dishes. The decor is upscale, offset by an upright piano and gold-framed oil paintings, but the dining room is small and feels cozy. In light of such high-quality surroundings that sometimes include live jazz, prices are quite reasonable (though you have to wonder if this is a result of the restaurant sharing a front door--and nearby patio space--with the humble West Seattle Wing Dome).
The Beets: Though La Romanza's brunch is peppered with prosciutto, the vegetarian choices on the menu are tantalizing and full of variety. Of the eight dishes on offer: four different style crepes, a panzanella salad, a peppered berry and brie omelet, "Frangelico Toast," and a rustic Eggs Benedict, my boyfriend and I ordered the Porcini Crepe with mushroom, onion, asiago, and truffle cream, and the Il Verde vegetarian crepe with spinach, eggplant, asparagus, pesto, roasted red peppers, and provolone cheese (doesn't that string of ingredients just make you salivate?!).
They were exceptional. The crimini crepe was savory and delicate, with great, truffly aromatics and a lovely cream. The Il Verde was rich but the crisp veggies lightened the load, and every bite was a mouthful of warm, simple flavors and pleasing texture. At $10 an entree, both were served with a generous serving of impeccably fresh fruit and roasted red potatoes. In the sumptuous finery of La Romanza's beautiful room, sipping an Americano out of a delicate tea cup, I made a mental note to return--and soon.
The Tweet: For an upscale brunch experience in West Seattle, La Romanza remembers vegetarians are a cheap date.