Apr 2010

Salumi Artisan Cured Meats – Seattle


As the saying goes, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” In the case of Seattle’s beloved Salumi, the proverbial tree is Armandino Batali and the apple is Mario Batali. After feasting at a slew of the younger Batali’s restaurants in New York City and Los Angeles (see:ย Babbo, Otto, Pizzeria Mozza, Osteria Mozza), I was confident that his father’s temple of charcuterie would rank just as high.


A queue fifteen deep snaked outside the small store when The Astronomer and I arrived at Pioneer Square. It was our final stop before boarding a flight home to Los Angeles, so we were a bit nervous about getting through the crowd.


While waiting for our turn, I noticed a woman making pasta through the window. We fortuitously came to Salumi on a Tuesday, when handmade gnocchi appears on the bill of fare. Nothing whets the appetite like the sight of freshly made pasta.


Armandino Batali opened Salumi after retiring from a career at Boeing as a process-control engineer. His products are a blend of old and modern. Cotto, lardo, and guanciale are on hand to satisfy traditionalists, while unusual flavors like curry and mole are available for those seeking innovation. The Astronomer and I had a difficult time deciding which route to take, so the patient women working behind the counter offered samples of each flavor. Sorry for holding up the line, folks!


Since there are only a handful of seats available inside the store, most customers take their sandwiches and pastas to go. Luckily, two chairs opened up right as we finished placing our orders. The first dish to arrive was the vegetable of the day, new potatoes with peas, mint, and watercress ($6.50). The ingredients were very fresh and simply prepared. There was little to dislike about this straightforward and hearty plate.


The highly-anticipated fresh gnocchi ($9) arrived next. Dunked in boiling water for a hot minute and sauteed with browned butter and sage, the ridged dumplings were light and lovely. I’d line up every week for a hit of gnocchi if I were a Seattleite.


The boxed penne ($9) didn’t have the cache of the gnocchi, but the lamb ragu atop it made up for any shortcomings. The flavor of the tomatoes was bright and tangy, while the lamb was tender and plentiful.


We packed up the bulk of our warm and toasty hot sopressata sandwich with fontina cheeseย  for the road. While our plane mates were munching on stale peanuts, we dug into this monstrosity. Spiced with cayenne and garlic, the thinly sliced sopressata flavored the entire sandwich. The olive bread was plushy and fragrant.

Since this post started off with a saying, I’d like to end with another. Anais Nin onceย  famously said, “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.” Thank goodness for blogging, because it’s been fabulous reliving every meal from my trip to The Emerald City. Damn, I ate well!

Salumi Artisan Cured Meats
309 3rd Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206-223-0817

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20 thoughts on “Salumi Artisan Cured Meats – Seattle

  1. Definitely a destination of mine the next time we’re in Seattle. You covered it perfectly! A friend of mine brought back various varieties of salumi from here and it was mouth-watering good.

    Well done, again. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I’ve had the pleasure of trying the salumi, through mail-order. But am so longing to go to the actual store, especially after seeing your photos of that gnocchi! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Wow, everything here looks absolutely fantastic. I’m practically drooling!

    Cathy, you have singlehandedly helped me plan what I’m eating when I venture to WA next.

  4. Salumi is one of the places I want to drop by someday. Love your food photography by the way.

    Just curious, when you photograph staff, do you ask for permission first? I’ve always been hesitant and knowing Chef Grant Achatz despises it, I’m a bit torn. I’ve resorted to blurring out faces or taking photos of hands, the back of heads, etc. What’s your take?

  5. Jocelyn – I do not ask permission to photograph unless it’s a small place where it would be awkward to just start snapping away. I’ve been taking food and restaurant photos for almost four years, so it’s almost second nature. In regards to you own picture taking, my advice is to be confident and swift ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. If you think the sandwiches at Salumi’s is good, you have GOT to try Paseo’s at Fremont. It’s practically legendary here in Seattle.

  7. I will be stopping in there on my way to the train station in June for my stepmom’s graduation. EXCELLENT.

    I love the mole one. And I love the place. Love most everything about it. Except the lasagna I had once was cold. But, they warmed it RIGHT up.

  8. Ooh, didn’t realize he hailed from Seattle ๐Ÿ˜› I haven’t done my research!
    The line looks pretty bad, but seems to be worth it. One day, Seattle ..

  9. ohhhhhhhh, if you tried all of them, i hope you tried the mole. that was one of my last meals before i moved to VN from seattle…..

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