spring hill spaghetti night
“hi!” the tiny hostess exclaimed, “you’re here for spaghetti night?”
uh…i guess we were. we had taken the bus all the way to west seattle, after all, and if experiencing spring hill meant bolognese instead of black cod, well, so be it.
the open kitchen runs the length of the restaurant, making both for views (tonight lots of parmesan sprinkling and garlic bread cutting) a wonderfully warm room, though the décor is somewhat less so. it’s not as chilly as poppy, but i still couldn’t shake a mental comparison to a mall pizza parlor; the heat lamps, the thin mirror running the length of the room, the unpadded booths. i had to remember i was there for spaghetti night, though, and that the room might seem more fitting were i eating the upscale northwest cuisine i’d crossed the bridge for.
spaghetti night is simple. it’s a way to get people in the door on an otherwise iffy night (monday, that is), and a way to underline it’s reputation as a neighborhood place. there’s ceasar salad for two (light croutons that won’t break your teeth, tangy and savory though anchovy-free dressing), minestrone soup, spaghetti with red sauce, spaghetti with white sauce, and giant three-dollar meatballs.
first, though, i had a cocktail the same price as my entrée ($9). with food this affordable, splurging on drinks seemed a natural thing to do. the smith included green apple water, apple sorbet and sparkling wine. it was clean, refreshing, and visually notable, the layer of sorbet melting seamlessly into the foam of the wine.
the salad, one order of red pasta, and two meatballs was easily enough for two. they’re truly big balls – also succulent and more than enough to satisfy a meat craving. thick white rafts of garlic bread clung to the side of the bowl, patiently waiting to help with the dregs.
there wasn’t much lingering over the wine list – the special, simple $6 glass of chianti would do just fine. the dainty scoop of spumoni ice cream was just enough dessert.
this wasn’t the night we’d expected (i couldn’t believe i was only spending $80 on a dinner for two, the mysteriously $9 campari and soda included). and yet, isn’t that supposed to be the fun of dining out? had i wanted a predictable night, i could have stayed home and gotten pagliacci or made oatmeal. i’d expected a multi-course, paco-jetted meal and gotten meatballs. why do so many diners thing that that kind of surprise prevents them from having a good time?
perhaps i’m feeling overly sentimental and fortunate after watching blood diamond last night, but flexibility is truly an integral part of dining out. get your steak cooked more if you must, have another cocktail if you have to wait for your table. then get over it and enjoy yourself.