Seattle is buzzing about two extraordinary restaurants that overflow with “heart, soul, and terrific food,” said S. Irene Virbila in the Los Angeles Times. Both are in relatively unexplored neighborhoods.

The Corson Building
Young chef Matt Dillon has taken over a 1910 building in the Georgetown section that “needed some tender loving care.” He added a new kitchen; built a brick patio with a wood-burning oven; and installed his own herb and vegetable garden, chicken coop, beehives, and fig, plum, and peach trees. The “charming dining room” contains three communal tables. There’s no wine list—just bottles assembled on a sideboard, from which you can pick. Recent specials included deep-flavored roasted quail, “some of the best gnocchi I’ve had this side of Italy,” braised short ribs accompanied by “glorious chanterelles,” and a “dreamy pumpkin clafouti.” 5609 Corson Ave. S., (206) 762-3330

Cascina Spinasse
Chef Justin Neidermeyer spent a year studying in Italy’s Piedmont region under a “master pasta maker” before returning to open his own restaurant in Capitol Hill. He quickly transformed a decrepit storefront into a place “that feels like one of any of the hill towns outside Alba.” His authentic Piedmontese fare features such appetizers as rabbit loin with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano and salt-cured anchovies in salsa verde sprinkled with chopped hard-boiled egg yolk. Yet “the real deal here” is the pasta. Among the specialties are golden strands sauced simply in butter and sage, or in a light meat ragu; and ravioli stuffed with pumpkin. 1531 14th St., (206) 251-7673