Cafe Revo, at 2940 S.W. Avalon Way, offers an authentic Italian experience.
101 Things To Do in West Seattle: Tiny Italian village meets small town at Café Revò
For months as we drove down Avalon, West Seattleites have been beckoned by the flirty Italian gal on a Vespa (not on the road, mind you, but in the mural painted on the south side of Café Revò). Now you can finally meet her, or at least her proud relatives, as after much anticipation the doors of this Northern Italian restaurant are now open.
Café Revò (pronounced rev-VOH), founded by West Seattle’s own Chef Sean Goff and Sofia Zadra Goff, is named after a town of 3,000 in Northern Italy just two hours south of Austria in the Italian Alps. But Revò isn’t just any little Italian town, it’s home to Sofia’s extended family—a town of pioneers, survivors, fantastic cooks, and relatives of many who immigrated to West Seattle. That’s right, there are dozens of West Seattleites with roots in Revò and they’re ecstatic to have a place to gather and celebrate their heritage.
Sofia is a fourth generation West Seattleite who compares her “village” here to the village of Revò.
“We are excited to be even more a part of the community we love and welcome people to visit our second home, here at Café Revò," she said.
Not just a subtle throw back to the town’s namesake, the café replicates the town’s recipes and décor right down to the pink walls and signage of Hotel Revò (re-created by local artist Glenn Case who's work is often seen at Easy Street).
“My great grandparents came to Seattle in the early 1900's from Revò because they were starving,” Sofia reminisced. “My grandma (the famous Nonna whose framed photo you’ll see watching over the restaurant) ran an apartment building and my grandpa worked for the trolley lines.”
What a joy to think the descendants of a once-starving family can now feast together in a restaurant they created and dedicated to the very village their ancestors once fled.
“Uncle Zio Luciano told me, ‘Sofia, you are living the American dream—what you are doing today (opening your own business to serve your community), is why our great grand parents came in the first place.'"
They were very brave souls to make that journey—from Italy by boat to Ellis Island, then by train across the country, without knowing the language, and never looking back.
“Every time I get scared about starting our venture I compare it to my family’s journey, and it gives me the courage to pursue our dreams knowing I’m being watched over (by Nonna, among others),” smiled an emotional Sofia as she points out her relatives on the family “wall of fame.”
After all, Sofia has been in training her whole life for this business.
“Growing up, my grandma always had guests who I helped entertain. She taught me how to make people feel comfortable and welcome. She always had an extra plate set on her table for the possibility of unexpected guests…ready to take them in and treat them like family, just like we hope to do with our guests at Café Revò.”
So how does one become a part of the family? Wander in with an appetite, on your own, or with 83 of your closest friends. The restaurant seats 64 people at its handmade wooden tables (with plenty of space for a large gathering in the Hotel Revò room and 10-12 more in the intimate Nonna’s Nook), plus room for 20 in the Bar Italia (also known by the owners as the “jewel box” for it’s gorgeous maple bar top imbedded with remnants of beach glass from Nonna’s Beach Drive home).
You can start with a glass of Chianti, a signature Spritz Giulia, or a “Chano-sized” mug of birre (named after the 6 foot 7 inch Chef Sean, aka Chano). Or, try a cup of Nonna’s Canederli con Brodo (prosciutto and salami dumpling soup) as you peruse the menu.
When asked what Chef Sean recommends for the main course, he said, “Just eat!” After years of training in cooking schools, on the job, and by all the little nonnas in Revò, in the true Italian spirit, of course he wants you to try it all.
The menu features rustic Northern Italian dishes with a Germanic influence (many family recipes you won’t find anywhere else) along with Pacific Northwest offerings, such as fresh, local seafood.
The Puttanesca and the Piccata di Vitello were our waiter’s favorites. And for sentimentality’s sake, (not to mention a tasty option for a vegetarian entrée) the Pasta Sofia Bella is a fine choice made with Gemelli pasta, grilled asparagus, and toasted pistachios tossed in a light garlic cream sauce.
“Chef Sean originally made this curly pasta dish (inspired by my curly blonde hair) when we were dating. He said if we ever opened a restaurant… this is what we’d serve.”
And for dessert? Grandma Nonni’s biscotti with Husky’s homemade ice cream is a treat. Rumor has it Husky is working on a few signature flavors for Café Revò, so stay tuned…did I hear a request for biscotti dough ice cream, and perhaps tiramisu? Speaking of, the Diva Maria Tiramisu (made by Sofia’s opera-singing sister Maria) is densely delizioso. You can also enjoy a Revò classic, Espresso con Grappa—a drink Sofia’s family would often enjoy after a day of working in the fields.
Revò’s menu will be ever-evolving and growing using fresh, available ingredients with the changing of the seasons. So if you’d like to discover some authentic eats from a far-off Italian village without ever leaving your own little village in West Seattle, Chef Sean, Sofia, managers Milo and Kevin, and that flirty Italian gal on the Vespa invite you to come “Mangia, bevi e godi!” (Eat, drink and enjoy).
2940 S.W. Avalon Way (in the old Murphy’s Furniture building)
Seattle WA 98126
Lunch & Dinner
Mon-Thur 11 a.m.-10 p.m.;
Fri & Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.;
Sun Noon-9 p.m.