Restaurant news: Italy on Main Street always welcome, but Ristorante Machiavelli still finding its footing

The exterior of Ristorante Machiavelli.

Ristorante Machiavelli on Main Street opened in the former Chanterelle’s space in mid-December. This was to be the second location for owner Suzette Jarding’s acclaimed Capitol Hill restaurant.

But the restaurant in Seattle recently closed and as an Edmonds resident she is focusing all of her efforts on her new location. The interior of the restaurant has some cosmetic changes but for the most part it will be familiar to those of you who enjoyed Chanterelle’s.

It’s quiet and comfortable, although the dining room is dark (so you might need your phone flashlight to read the menu!). They are open for lunch and dinner and will be adding brunch soon.

Along with the location, Jarding purchased all of the recipes from Chanterelle, including the beloved tomato soup. The soup is available as “Pomodoro” only at lunch and they even have a grilled cheese sandwich (with fontina, cheddar and gruyere) to accompany it.

We were greeted warmly on a Friday evening and surprisingly there was no wait for a table. We ordered wine and perused the dinner menu by snacking on Macrina Bakery bread served with an olive oil/vinegar mixture (although I prefer separate dishes of oil and vinegar as what we were served tasted like watery salad dressing, and ultimately I asked for butter.)

Chicken Piccata

Our waiter was still in training, so be aware that they are still working out service issues. He was not knowledgeable about ingredients so luckily his trainer stepped up quickly to answer our questions.

The menu is divided into appetizers, pizza, pasta, specialty and entrees. We ordered the Caesar Salad with White Anchovies ($8.50) and the Mixed Green Salad with Gorgonzola ($8). Both were fresh, well dressed and tasty; but it’s important to note that they were small salads.

We decided to split an order of the house-made Gnocchi with tomato basil sauce ($18.95). The portion size was generous but the gnocchi was overcooked and the sauce needed basil. It was lackluster to say the least. Gnocchi is always a favorite but this version needs more finesse — texture and sauce are lacking.

Along with the Gnocchi we shared an order of the Chicken Piccata ($27.95) accompanied by vegetables. What arrived was a Chicken Parmesan which the waiter in training erroneously ordered for us; it was quickly remedied and we were served the correct entrée in due time.

The chicken was moist and tender and the butter lemon caper sauce was delicious — almost wanted to lick it off the plate (but there was bread for that!)

Caesar Salad with anchovies

Because of the ordering snafu we were offered a dessert gratis. They only have two choices — a New York Style cheesecake and a Torta Diplomatica. We chose the later which is a traditional cake in Italy; tender sponge cake with a soft chocolate custard and whipped cream.

It had a texture similar to Tiramisu but it did not have the coffee flavor — this one was more like mild chocolate. There was plenty of this very sweet dessert to share for two people and some even came home with us.

Machiavelli’s has a nice wine list (although I expected more wines from Italy) as well as a large cocktail menu. I really wanted to love this new Italian trattoria as I have friends in Seattle who have raved about the Capitol Hill location (especially about their Chicken Parmesan).

It’s clear that both the food and service need more attention to detail. Because they have only been open for three months, I can only hope that the food will get better.

Torta Diplomatica

With tax and tip our bill was just over $100; for my money there are much better places for Italian food in Edmonds. They have a great location but have big shoes to fill.

If you had a better experience at Ristorante Machiavelli, please leave a detailed comment about your meal. With the cost of eating out at a sit-down restaurant, my expectations are high and I left feeling very underwhelmed.

There is a lot of competition for our restaurant dollars and Machiavelli’s needs to step up in order to succeed in a vibrant Edmonds restaurant scene.

Address: 316 Main Street, Edmonds

Phone: 425-774-0650

Note: No reservations


Monday: closed

Tuesday: 11 a.m.–2 p.m., 4–9 p.m.

Wednesday: 11 a.m.–2 p.m., 4–9 p.m.

Thursday: 11 a.m.–2 p.m., 4–9 p.m.

Friday: 11 a.m.–2 p.m., 4–9 p.m.

Saturday: 4–9 p.m.

Sunday: 3–7  p.m.

— Story and photos by Deborah Binder

Deborah Binder lives in Edmonds with her family. She loves to cook from scratch using produce from the gardens she created and maintains with her husband. She attended culinary school on the East Coast and focused on desserts, pastries and bread. She’s worked for restaurants and caterers in the front and back of the house (kitchen) on both coasts. Her current interest in food is learning to eat for health and wellness, while at the same time enjoying the pleasures of the table. Deborah loves experimenting and developing new recipes. As Julia Child once said, “Everything in moderation including butter.” Deborah can be contacted at

  1. I would totally agree with your experience. I was with six ladies who go for dinner every month together; we decided to give Machiavelli’s a try. The acoustics were terrible, the food not so great, the wine not so great, actually, pretty bad and the service was ok. . I do not remember what it everyone ordered, but I ordered the chicken piccata, my favorite. We were all so happy to have a new, great Italian restaurant in Edmonds, but all six of us left unimpressed. Let’s hope the feedback leads to positive changes and a successful Italian Restaurant.

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