Review | Gianfranco Ristorante Italiano a Gem of a Restaurant in Downtown Snoqualmie

I LOVE Italian food, but as I get older, my capacity to eat it has lessened. So, when I made plans to dine out in Snoqualmie, I prepped for it.

Last week a friend and I made plans to go out to eat in the Valley. We considered all our favorites, then realized it had been a while since we’d been to Gianfranco Ristorante Italiano. We decided to go again for the first time since Covid restrictions have eased.

Space is a little tight in this small family-owned restaurant at 8150 Railroad Ave SE in historic downtown Snoqualmie. So, we were sure to make reservations and ask for a booth towards the back to be able to chat and make pigs of ourselves in privacy.

That day, knowing how much I adore the food at Gianfranco, I skipped lunch and ate lightly all day to make room for what I knew would be a rich, delicious meal.

We arrived a bit late because of horrible freeway traffic but were greeted warmly by the hostess and immediately seated. While making our menu selections, our waitress took our drink orders and brought water and warm bread accompanied by an olive oil dipping sauce. Although I did not partake in the bread (pacing myself for what was to come), my dinner companion Nancy told me it was delicious.

After talking over the specials with our waitress, I ordered the Penne Gianfranco with Gorgonzola cream and chicken and a glass of Canella Prosecco, and my friend ordered the Lasagne alla Calabrese with Layers of sausage, mozzarella, Bolognese and parmesan accompanied by a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon (I apologize we missed the brand)

We chatted for a short time in the thankfully cool restaurant, sipping our wine while awaiting our food. The room was lively for a Thursday night, making it clear Gianfranco is a well-loved local hangout. So, be aware that your elderly hard-of-hearing parents might struggle to communicate on a busy night. However, we enjoyed the vibrant atmosphere and felt right at home.

Our food arrived quickly, was hot and smelled delicious! I may not be the right person to comment on Gianfranco’s menu as I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten anything BUT the Penne Gianfranco.

My dish was the most heavenly combination of creamy, buttery white sauce with the slight bite of one of my favorites of the blue cheeses, Gorgonzola. The pasta and chicken were cooked to perfection, and I got exactly a quarter of the way into my meal before having to stop before I burst.

Nancy deemed her cheese and sausage-laden Lasagne alla Calabrese “almost as good as mine,” high praise from her, and dug in. She did slightly better than I did, finishing maybe half before pushing back and asking for a doggie bag.

The staff was solicitous, the atmosphere lovely, the service quick & efficient, the food was delectable, and the bill was very reasonable, making Gianfranco Ristorante a solid choice when looking for a place to dine in the Snoqualmie Valley.

Thank you, Gianfranco, for a lovely evening!

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