A slice of Sicily comes to Fremont
I haven’t been to Sicily, but I believe I came close to it with Agrodolce. Owner and mastermind Maria Hines—also behind Tilth and Golden Beetle—rattled off more history about Sicilian food and culture in five minutes than you’d learn in an undergrad history class. Her passion for producing local, sustainable and incredible food is unmatched.
Hines even took a trip to Sicily to master the flavors of the region. Agrodolce just opened in December, but it’s already settled itself nicely in the heart of Fremont. The well-lit dining room is built around a long-standing ficus tree. We sat in the lounge area for happy hour. The menu is far from the typical wings-and-nacho selection you find at most happy hours—and Agrodolce has custom cocktails. Better yet—all but one dish are under five bucks.
Agrodolce’s three best happy hour dishes under $10
We picked three or four dishes—but to my delight and surprise, a few more showed up on the table. It’s sincerely hard to narrow it down to three.
The chickpea cakes ($4) were, light but so full of flavor that I kept coming back to them. Flat, square patties are slightly fried with herbs, topped with sea salt and served with a tomato aioli dipping sauce. I’ve tried to come up with a comparison to them, but just can’t. You have to try them for yourself.
Traditional Silican dish arancini ($2)—fried rice balls—are filled with Skagit River ranch beef sugo, carnaroli rice, and rest on a beautiful bright green parsley pesto. The inside wasn’t too hot– just the right temperature– which always makes me happy because then I can bite into the goodness right away. Let’s just say I wasn’t there alone, and I ate both of them.
I have a new habit of ordering shellfish if it’s on the menu at any and all restaurants I’m trying. Agrodolce was no exception. My eyes kept going back to the penn cove mussels ($6) on the menu. They were fresh and flavorful. The mussels are served in an addictive fennel and anchovy vinaigrette with pancetta, and a crostini on the side to dip in the leftover juice.
If you’re a booze drinker, don’t skip the cocktail menu. I cheated on my less-than-10-bucks rule and sucked down the Salty Sicilian ($11); gin, linie aquavit (a Norwegian spirit infused with caraway and other herbs), dolin blanc and garnished with a caper. Agrodolce is impressive, to say the least. Warm up inside for these next few chilly weeks until you can eat, imbibe and experience southern Italy on the patio during the summer.
Agrodolce | 709 N 35th St, Seattle | (206) 547-9707