One of my work colleagues lives in Queen Anne and always seems to be trying new places and doing fun things around downtown Seattle.
The last few weeks he has been carrying on non-stop about an Italian restaurant he stumbled upon in Ballard called San Fermo. He took his dad there when he came out to visit, took a friend for her birthday, returned for his own birthday, and has recommended it to everyone sitting around us who will listen–myself included.
We don’t typically go out to eat unless we’re on vacation, and even then we don’t usually seek out Italian restaurants– we both love Italian food, but it’s more conducive to a full, delicious, sit down experience versus the tapas and small plate approach we typically take.
Last weekend the Seattle Symphony performed ‘Bugs Bunny at the Symphony,’ a delightful experience where they showed Looney Tunes on the big screen with the live music accompaniment. We opted for the Sunday matinee, giving us a perfect excuse to grab an early dinner downtown at none other than San Fermo!
San Fermo is a small, white, unassuming residential house on a bustling street of tall, brick, lively shops, restaurants and musical venues in Ballard. According to the Seattle Times:
Erected in the 1850s, the twin, two-story structures are believed to be Seattle’s oldest, intact residential properties. Thirty years ago, they were relocated from the Chinatown International District to Ballard.
The restaurant opened in 2016 and is still busy today– we were there with a reservation about 15 minutes before they even opened and people were already standing in line outside. We were barely seated when the tables around us began to fill–the first floor was full when we left around 6:30 p.m. and some people were being seated upstairs as well.
The place is intimate and cozy–open kitchen to your left as you enter and a bar in the back that we could peak into via the tall windows separating the rooms from one another.
But the best part was the food–YUM! We shared an incredible squid ink rock fish bruschetta as our appetizer (note the piles of delicious black fish in the one picture of me below!), and then ordered the two most popular items for our entrees–the bolognese and the carbonara. Both were delicious but we agreed my bolognese was sensational–I have actually thought about it since and now appreciate my colleague’s infatuation with the place!
There are tons of great restaurants in Ballard, but if you have the time and inclination I highly recommend San Fermo. Buon Appetito!