A Long and Rich Italian Heritage

By
Title Insurance with First American Title

Renton has a long and rich Italian heritage and it would be hard to imagine old downtown without at least one Italian restaurant. My Mom (who was ironically of Swedish ancestry) was a master of Italian food in a contemporary style that was emerging in the Pacific Northwest in the late 1950's and early 60's.

Grandma Pauline was also a most fabulous cook of the old school, Northern Italy/Southern France (and a strong Belgium/English background for a twist). I call it awesome European peasant food! We weren't officially Italian (but the ties were close). We all shared a lineage of immigrants who came here to carve out a new life through labor.

Pauline's mom, our Great Grandma Celine Boulanger Longville married into the Delaurenti family (circa 1917) in the coal mining town of Newcastle, Washington. We knew all of the area families and every get together (and there were many) was a great reason for wonderful meals and live music.

Italians in those days really loved their accordions and my Dad, being one of the best, was always in high demand for any get together. He new all the old Italian songs. I remember a lot of dancing, singing, bocce, and lively conversation.

Armondo’s Cafe Italiano has changed a lot over the years. It started out in the mid 1980’s as a mostly pizza place. It’s been fun to watch a local boy like Armondo Pavone grow a successful business from such wonderful local traditions.

With the addition of Executive Chef Tom Small I see another new direction. It's a more local and seasonal menu that awakens in me those fond memories of wonderful meals  growing up. It doesn't pretend to be a particular regional Italian cuisine. Yet it's authentic Italian in spirit, concept, and philosophy.

I love the fact Armando's partners with local farmers, schools, the Renton Farmers Market, and Washington wine makers. I was in just recently for lunch and was very pleased and the service as always was very warm and friendly. I’m looking forward to dinner soon on the new Spring Menu.

Check out Tom’s new Chef’s Blog on the website. He’s posting recipes and there’s a teaser for the new cooking show they're developing.

The Blackberry Chronicles
© ARFCO MEDIA 2011

Posted by

René Fabre

"Where there's conversation, there's opportunity."

Please Note - The views expressed herein reflect only the individual’s personal views and are not the views of the author’s employer.

The Blackberry Chronicles, a blog by Rene Fabre and his travels around the Greater Pacific Northwest and beyond. Connect w/ Rene Fabre on Google+. Rene Fabre on Twitter. Rene Fabre writes reviews on Yelp. Rene Fabre on Linkedin.com The Audiorium YouTube Channel by Rene Fabre. Facebook.com/renefabre Rene Fabre loves digital photography and here are his shares on Flickr. Rene Fabre is a musician and composer and shares some of his orginal music and recordings on Soundcloud. Rene Fabre shares his interests on Pinterest.
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Washington King County Renton Downtown
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Posts to Localism
Puget Sound - WA Real Estate
POSITIVE ATTITUDE for the Weary Soul
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Rainmaker
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Greg Saffell
Tucson, AZ
Real Estate Professional Tucson, Oro Valley AZ

Rene, I haven't been to Armondo's in years, maybe it's time for a visit. Thanks for the appetizing update

Apr 26, 2011 08:33 AM #1
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Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
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Greg: You bet... I really do like their new menu. 

Apr 26, 2011 09:28 AM #2
Rainer
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Charles Edwards Bentonville
Coldwell Banker Harris McHaney & Faucette 479-253-3796 - Bentonville, AR
AR REALTOR, Bentonville Real Estate Agent and Broker

Rene, I'm a little hungry right now. Nice localism.

When you visit Eureka Springs we'll go to Ermilio's, our verson of Armondo's. Owner Paul Wilson is a decendent of a nice Italian clan of Ermilios. I think I need to feature Paul in a post.

Celine Boulanger Longville, don't think you can much more French than that. can you?

Apr 26, 2011 11:08 AM #3
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Rene Fabre
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thanks Charles... You definitely need to feature Paul! 

Apr 27, 2011 12:57 PM #4
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Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Rene, you know it is almost Dinner Time now I will have to do some "Italian" Dinner. Love your featuring the local restaurant.

Apr 27, 2011 01:51 PM #5
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Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
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Hi Endre: I know! After writing this I've been hungry for Italian food. I'm thinking this weekend I'll have to get serious about it. What's great to me is Armondo started a little pizza and red sauce place in 1986, a local kid in his 20's. And he's grown the business into one of the nicest restaurants in town.

Apr 27, 2011 02:44 PM #6
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Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

Rene, It sounds like you have a long rich history in Washington.  Our family came to Kansas in wagon trains but I could not wait to get out. 

Apr 27, 2011 04:54 PM #7
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Marchel: I remember growing up, in my later teens... I couldn't wait to get out of here. Then I traveled around a bit and discovered where I came from was a pretty okay place. I didn't think about it much until the last few decades, but my Great Grandmother came here as a widow with 3 kids @ 1911 and my grandfather came here @ 1912. It's hard to imagine how it must have been.

Apr 28, 2011 03:44 AM #8
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Rosi Green
AmeriTitle - Silverton, OR

Rene' my Grandma of German descent married into the DeSantis family and she was the most amzaing Italian cook ever.  See we ARE kindred spirits.  We have a long annual tradition of gathering to make fresh pesto and bags and bags of ravioli for the winter freezer.  Best memories ever.  And the bocce.  Gotta love the bocce.  Ciao Bello.

Apr 28, 2011 05:35 PM #9
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