Last night was one for the ages. I got to have dinner at one of my favorite restaurants (Il Terrazzo Carmine) with two of my all-time favorite people: my Godfather Pete Barbas, AKA Nouno, AKA Poop Deck Pete, or as my Dad used to call him, Poopy, and my best friend, who was also the best man at my wedding, Michael Don Rico, AKA MDR, AKA Don Rizzle, AKA The Don, AKA Uncle Rico, AKA Reek, AKA The Prince of Belltown. I’ve been wanting to set this dinner up for a while, and since I had a break from school this week, we were able to make it happen.
If you love Italian food, there is no better restaurant in Seattle than Il Terrazzo Carmine. It’s a classic place with a lot of history, outstanding food, and a very impressive clientele. A few tables down from us was the former Mayor of Seattle, and its not uncommon to find other Seattle icons like Gene Juarez hanging out there regularly. Over the course of four hours we enjoyed an antipasti platter, Kushi oysters from BC, Burrata cheese salad with golden beets, veal al limone, sea bass saltimboca, tiramisu, and a variety of wines, beers, and cocktails. When I first walked in I quickly ran into an old friend named Victoria that Rico and I used to work with for years at El Gaucho. She ended up serving us all night and took outstanding care of us. She new exactly how to deal with Pete holding court and really added to the overall experience.
The only thing better than the food and service was the conversation. Pete is a Seattle legend and Rico and I wanted nothing more than to soak up a bunch of his stories from the old days of the Seattle bar and restaurant scene. He told us about his days running “Poop Deck Pete’s”, which was Seattle’s original Jazz club that he opened at the age of 21 and ran for 5 years. He also told stories about purchasing a tavern in Beacon Hill, which he renamed to “Pete’s Take 5”, and completely transformed the place. He took it from being a hole in the wall joint that only went through 9 kegs a month, to a standing room only establishment going through 55 kegs a month, and he did all this with no employees, working 100 hours a week! Unbelievable work ethic.
Rico is well on his way to becoming a Seattle legend, and is probably the most well-known person today in the Seattle restaurant scene. If you’ve worked at a nice restaurant in Seattle you’ve either worked with Rico, heard about him, or served him at some point. Regardless of his local fame and notoriety, he’s been a big brother/uncle to me for a long time now and I really love that guy. He will always be family to Jess and I, and we are very excited to have him over this Sunday for brunch; he hasn’t met the girls yet and we’re long overdue at this point.
Pete was in rare form last night and had Rico and me howling at his jokes and stories. He kept saying that we need to do this more often, so I made a promise to setup another dinner in the next month or so. Next time I’m definitely brining Jessica; I know how much she will enjoy hanging out with everyone. By the time we were leaving the restaurant last night, Rico and I were talking about how 30 years from now we’ll still be talking about this night, that’s how epic and special it was. I’ve probably got more great memories with Rico than any other of my friends, but this one has to go right up near the top of that list, mostly because of Pete being such a character.
I’ve got a couple more days off school before resuming the quarter. As always, it’s been super nice not to have to worry about homework, but at this point I’ve only got about 4 months to go so I just want to finish strong and be done with it. Jessica and the girls have been doing great; we just made plans to spend our anniversary weekend in Vancouver, BC this April. Amy and Tom will be coming up to take care of both girls while we’re gone, meaning this will be the first time we’ve been away without either of them. We’re going to a hockey game while we’re up there, plus will be exploring some different parts of the city that we didn’t spend much time in last year. Obviously we’ll being eating well as well.
Tomorrow Elise turns 7 months, meaning that we’ll have some new photos of her up very soon. For now, here’s a few new pics of Ava, as well as a couple shots from dinner last night.
Pete and Rico
Pete, Rico and me
Our little painter
Ava at the Seahawks parade, before her meltdown
Having fun at the zoo