Because it often calls for bewildering ingredients such as prosciutto, roast Vespa, and 1-up mushrooms, Italian cuisine can be a daunting subject for cooking enthusiasts. Start your culinary education with today’s Groupon at Al Boccalino, part of Seattle’s Little Italy in Pioneer Square. Choose between two options:
- For $40, you get a hands-on cooking class for two that results in a four-course meal (a $100 value).
- For $65, you get a four-course regional Italian dinner for two plus a bottle of house wine (a $150 Value).
Classes are held Monday through Saturday starting at 7 p.m.; there’s limited availability on weekends, so please call ahead. Alcohol is not included in the classes’ price.
Drawing inspiration from ancient Roman and regional Italian styles of cooking, Al Boccalino’s gloriously mustachioed owner and chef Luigi Denunzio brings energy to his cooking classes as he shows eight to 12 aspiring foodmakers how to craft scrumptious dishes out of fresh seasonal vegetables, fine herbs, and prime cuts of meat. The four-course lineup (protein, vegetarian, or fish—your choice) is always changing (with your own preferences, allergies, and exact number of taste buds taken into account), but a sample menu might include entrees like linguini with anchovies, medallions of halibut, or zucchini parmesan. Whatever your menu turns out to be, you’ll get to savor the fruits, meats, and sauces of Luigi’s labor as each course is made, then served to your table. This Groupon’s second option allows diners to choose between a four-course meal for two inspired by either the Tuscany or Campania regions of Italy. Try a taste of Tuscany with cremini and shitake mushroom saute and risotto al funghetto, or sample a bit of Campania with penne alla puttenesca and rigatoni al ragu. Finish the gustatory vacation with a delectable dolci.
Though many students enjoy the show over a bottle of wine from Al Boccalino’s kitchen table, you’ll be free to get up close to the action and ask Luigi plenty of questions. Crisp white tablecloths, dark-red walls, warm lighting, and a rustic Italian decor imbue Al Boccalino with a romantic yet domestic atmosphere, much like hanging up one’s laundry during a full moon. Bring a fellow inquisitive foodie and bond with equally culinary couples over an educational feast at Al Boccalino.
Zagat rated Al Boccalino “very good to excellent” and topped the list for service. Though some Yelpers had mixed opinions on the cuisine, others praised Chef Luigi’s teaching style, earning the restaurant a three-star average. Gayot rates Al Boccalino a 13/20: > * Possessing all the charm and character of an old-world Italian bistro, this Pioneer Square restaurant serves classic dishes including pasta, fresh seafood, and seasonal specials in a cozy setting.. – Gayot > * The point was more of a ‘cooking party’. To have fun, eat, drink, and learn that measurements do not matter. We would return. – Merrilee B., Yelp
Luigi's Italian Eatery
Growing up in the Italian port town of Brindisi, Luigi DeNunzio frequented the colorful outdoor markets with his father. Surrounded by stalls bursting with local produce, meat, fish, and dairy, Luigi discovered his love of rustic cuisine composed from the freshest regional ingredients. After immigrating to Seattle in 1977, Luigi amassed experience in both cooking and business while working at a handful of the city's Italian restaurants. In 1989, he opened a restaurant where tables covered in white linen host plates of hearty Italian fare. Since then, Luigi has expanded his oeuvre at Luigi's Italian Eatery to include cooking classes