Madison Park and Madison Valley feature some of Seattle’s best when it comes to restaurants and foodie-favorites! Here at the Madison Park in Seattle blog, we thought we’d like to give one of those eateries their own spotlight on a monthly basis, so this month’s feature is on Café Parco!

After August 2011 when the Madison Park Café closed in the cozy restaurant space on 42nd Avenue E where it had been for 32 years, Café Parco moved in. Chef and owner Celinda Norton has been a restaurant owner for 32 years – her restaurant before Café Parco was 94 Stewart in Pike Place Market where she worked her craft for more than six years. Check out the photos below:

Café Parco opened for business in Madison Park in October 2011, and remembers wanting to open what she called a “New World Italian” restaurant with outdoor seating options. Café Parco’s location at 1807 42nd Ave. E fit the bill. It was a big change from the busy Pike Place Market eatery she had owned and run before.

Initially, Norton had hoped to offer unique dishes and culinary creations within New World Italian cuisine, but the neighborhood seemed to be looking for more recognizable menu items. “We reeled back on my art to bring dishes that our guests could have seven days a week,” Norton says. “We branch out a little more in the summer.”

However, that’s hardly to say that Café Parco sacrificed on quality. “We’re always focused on what’s fresh today,” she said. “Italian is a style that allows the quality of the ingredients to show.” From butter-braised shellfish as an appetizer to chicken parmigiana, the dinner menu is full of delicious offerings in Italian cuisine, all prepared by Celinda Norton herself. That’s right – no supporting kitchen staff for this chef!

The outdoor patio offers great opportunities for outdoor dining during the spring and the summer, and the front patio can also seat guests comfortable for a more intimate outdoor setting. Celinda herself recommends the front porch for one of the most romantic dining spots in the city – perfect for a date!

As a whole, Café Parco is an intimate, romantic dining experience. The small room feels cozy and warm, with rich décor to inspire a mood that you’re sitting in some quaint Italian town instead of Seattle’s Madison Park neighborhood. There’s a private dining space downstairs for events and parties, which will be available for use in the spring. Madison Park restaurant Café Parco also offers takeout options on all of their menu items, for more convenience to their customers.

Café Parco is open daily for dinner at 5 p.m., and serves breakfast and lunch on Fridays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (reservations recommended). Parco also features an extensive wine list, with offerings by region and even a collection from the Parco cellar.





Although the wintertime is pretty slow in our neighborhood, we’d like to get the ball rolling on a monthly Madison Park events update so you know what to expect (and plan for) in the coming weeks! Look for our “Things to Do” post in the last week of each month, and plan ahead for fun events and happenings that are in the works.

Here’s what’s coming in Madison Park and Madison Valley for February:

  1. Feb. 1 to Feb. 28 – Madison Art Collective’s Eye on Photography Show: The Madison Art Collective will be displaying the lens work and photography of Satya Curcio, Tony Ise, Karen Messick, and Bob Venezia through the month of February at the Madison Art Collective. The Collective is open Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for viewing and purchases.
  2. Feb. 2 – Fury Consignment Winter Clearance Sale: It’s time for the annual sale! Doors open at 10 a.m., with 30 to 70% off already lowered prices – it’s a shopping event you won’t want to miss on extraordinary consignment items!Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 2.32.22 PM
  3. Feb. 9 – Story Time at the Library: Do you grow your own vegetables? This Saturday morning monthly event at the Miller Library celebrates gardens, plants, and nature through stories and activities. On Feb. 9th at 10:30 a.m., you’ll learn about science while you learn to garden, make a vegetable portrait, and enjoy fun garden-growing stories. All ages welcome,
  4. Feb. 14 – Prix-Fixe Menus at Neighborhood Restaurants: Madison Park and Madison Valley are home to some fabulous dining spots, and we’re sure each of them will be packed for Valentine’s Day! (Note: Café Parco, Luc, Rover’s, Crush and several other notable dining spots will be open for Valentine’s Day dinners, however they didn’t have a prix-fixe menu as far as we could tell).
    • Cafe Flora's polenta, photo credit: Seattleite.
      Cafe Flora’s Polenta, photo credit: Seattleite.

      Café Flora: For the vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free diner, head to Café Flora for your Valentine’s dinner! Their special prix-fixe menu is $50 per person and includes four courses. Check out the menu here, and reserve your table by calling 206-325-9100 ext. 3.

    • Nishino Restaurant’s Valentine’s Day Omakase Dinner: Another Madison Valley restaurant featuring a prix-fixe menu, Nishino will be serving up Japanese cuisine for Valentine’s Day. The cost is $90 per person, and advanced reservations are required. Call 206-322-5800 to reserve your table.
    • The Harvest Vine: Reservations are now being received for The Harvest Vine’s prix-fixe Valentine’s Day Dinner! Click here for the menu. The cost is $65 per person for the five-course dinner. Call 206-320-9771 to reserve your table.

Rovers Restaurant, located at 2808 East Madison Street, in the Madison Valley neighborhood, will be turning off the lights and closing the doors for good come April. After 25 years in business chef Rautureau decided it was time to pull the plug and move onto other opportunities. The restaurant will not be sold. Last year chef Rautureau had signed a one year extension on his current lease and was faced this year with having to renew the lease for 10 years. That apparently was not something Rautureau was interested in doing. Come April, when Rovers finally does close, it will be going out on top, as it was voted the #1 restaurant for food and service in Seattle by Zaggat’s. Congratulations to chef Rautureau, and thanks for all your years of service.

This Friday, December 21st, is the last day to vote on your favorite Seattle restaurants in and around the city! Seattle Magazine is hosting this vote to supply the best recommendations for their readers, and they need your help for suggestions and inspiration. Click here to vote. From the best places to grab a cup of Joe, to the most fantastic late-night or date-night eateries, you can be a part of Seattle Magazine’s references for establishments around the city that provide everything from indulgence to simple nourishment. Who knows? Your vote might make it into the best restaurants of 2013 – see Seattle Magazine’s Best Restaurants of 2012 here, which featured Madison Park’s very own Crush. Support your Madison Park restaurants, or hot foodie spots all over the city by casting your vote before Friday.