picture-41For those of you planning to visit Salute of Bellevue on Old Main Street, I have some bad news…After being a fixture on Old Main for many years, Salute suddenly went out of business last week. The Website is still functional, but the giant “For Lease” sign hanging from the Italian villa-themed building pretty much says the pasta party is over. Does anyone know the details?


  1. They were terrible anyway. Had an awful experience with a group of people when we went two years ago. None of us have been back since and thankfully never have to go back again!

  2. Salute was a great Italian restaurant on main!! Sami the owner is a great person, and really took care of you! He decided to sell, it was just time to move on. He now co-owns Bamboo on Alki Beach in Seattle. Will miss Salute!!

  3. Lame food and overpriced Bring on another…

  4. Shame to see another local operator fail but in this case poor food definitely plays into it IMHO.

    Italian in downtown Bellevue is now Lucianos (terrible food) and Maggianos. Maggianos is also terrible IMHO but it’s a large corporate and they just seem better at attracting the 25-35 age group.

    Unless Bellevue residents support their locally owned restaurants then the dining scene is just going to further solidify into corporate owned homogeneity.

    If I get dragged to the Kemper Corner its hard to tell the difference between the food at Joey’s, Palomino, Pearl and others. They’re just all selling the same kind of stuff, have never ending happy hours, same service.

    Maybe this blog could identify locally owned restaurants and champion supporting local business. Otherwise we’ll all be going to the mall to eat.

    Bellevue is losing ethnicaly diverse restaurants. It’s a shame.

  5. Johnydoe:

    Completely agree with your assesement of the restaurants in “Kemper Corner” (I like that name). I’ve been joking with my family that it feels like they share the same kitchen… kind of Disney style, or KFC / Taco Bell. There are little places that we are finding that are much more interesting, but you have to go look for them.. Examples – Thai Grill and OobaTooba.

  6. I am all for supporting local, home-grown restaurants. Luciano’s may have an off day, but generally they have fabulous food, at good prices. Bis on Main never disappoints. For good Italian, Firenze in Crossroads and Guido’s Pizzeria are both family-owned and very good. Tosani’s on Northup, Flo on 106th, Nibbana Thai on 108th…maybe we should make a list to support our unique, local favorites?!

  7. I also agree with the Kemper Corner comments. But there is really a bigger issue here that people need to consider. Yes, corporate owned restaurants are driving out locally owned restaurants, but what concerns me is that all of these restaurants (Joey’s, Palomino, Pearl, Maggiano’s) produce substandard food at over inflated prices – and this in turn drives up the prices everywhere in town for food – with the same level of food quality. In other words, I truly believe that we’ve seen a divergent path in Bellevue restaurants: higher prices, lower quality. There are a few glimmers of hope but not many.

    We’ve tried Firenze and we’ve given it the three strikes and you are out with overcooked pasta, burnt squid, and excessive use of tomato paste over real tomatoes. Tosoni has been good and is a real gem. Luciano (owner) was great when he operated San Souci in the Hyatt, but Luciano is sub-par. Luciano is actually a frustrating place. I want it to be good. And I have gone there, praying, okay this time it will be good, and…it’s been par or worse. And I’m going with low expectations…

    I miss chefs with passion for what they are doing. Someone that can actually elevate the quality and in turn drive a more competitive spirit amongst the locally owned restaurants to actually raise the bar on their quality.

  8. FYI, Pearl is absolutely locally-owned. In fact, the chef (Bradley Dickinson) is also the business owner, which is really rare.

    Blue C and Boom Noodle are locally-owned. As are: Sushi Yama, Ginza, Flo, Yama, Chantanee Thai, Ooba Tooba, King & I, I Love Sushi, Bis on Main, Belle Pastry, Cucina Del Puerco, Monsoon, Med Kitchen, Topolino’s, Garlic Crush, Gilbert’s on Main, Bamboo Garden, 520 Bar & Grill…just to name a few. It sounds like you are only looking at Bellevue Way. Try searching outside just one street- there’s locally owned restaurants thriving in downtown Bellevue.

  9. Great dialogue on downtown Bellevue restaurants, and thanks to Denise for mentioning the “off street” treasures. For those of you who have not visited The Spot Off Main Neighborhood Bar & Billiards check us out. We’re directly behind the 7-11 on Main St. Follow us on Twitter for updates!

  10. Let’s not forget “Kemper’s Corner” just added Boom Noodle and Blue C Sushi both ethnically diverse AND locally owned.

  11. Never been to Salute since I’ve only heard bad reviews, despite the fact that I love Italian and it’s only a couple blocks away. There is a serious lack of variety of food options in this area, and if another Asian restaurant opens I’ll be tempted to hang myself.

  12. Well, Sara, get out the rope because Maru Sushi is opening this Friday.

    Seattle is a Pacific-Rim area; we don’t have a huge Italian community, so while there are tons of yummy Asian restaurants, if you want a great Italian variety you might want to move to the East Coast. 🙂

  13. Toscano at the Belletini is amazing.

  14. Andiamo on 110th has great Italian food! It’s a great place for a date – good wine list.

  15. the biggest problem with old main is lack of parking, it’s just too easy to park at Kemper’s place. I am hoping this changes with the downtown park parking garage…

  16. Angelo’s in Bellevue has your authentic Italian in an old school ambiance. No nonsense, generous portions, decent prices. And..you can park right in front!

  17. Appreciate the call to support local businesses. Very important to local economic recovery. My choice? Flo Sushi #1

  18. Does anyone know what is happening with the Salute building?
    Who owns it? Do they rent it out?