Business

Italian eatery opens on Snoqualmie Ridge

The delicious aromas of meatballs, lasagna and tomato sauce waft through the air of Sebastiani's, a new Italian restaurant on Center Boulevard Southeast on Snoqualmie Ridge.

Open for dinner since Dec. 28, the restaurant serves dishes such as chicken Parmesan, chicken Marsala, ravioli and linguini. All ingredients are homemade, owner Luis Hernandez said. Desserts include pineapple sundaes, tiramisu, lemon sorbet, vanilla ice cream and spumoni, or Italian ice cream. Originally from Mexico, Hernandez moved to Seattle with his family when he was 16 years old. Many other, extended members of his family had already lived in the Seattle area for about 25 years, he said. Most of those family members were already in the Italian restaurant business, so it was a natural step for Hernandez. He started his restaurant career 13 years ago working in the national Cucina Cucina chain in the Seattle area, he said, and developed a love of cooking.

"I love to cook, especially Italian food," Hernandez said.

After working in the restaurant business for 13 years, he decided to open his own business. He had been spending some time in the Snoqualmie Valley, including visiting the Falls, every couple of weeks. He liked the area, the people and the surroundings. He checked into other places, but nothing fit in quite the same way.

"This is what I liked the most," Hernandez said.

So, he decided to open a restaurant in Snoqualmie, partnering with his father-in-law, Samuel Gonzalez. This is the first restaurant of which Hernandez has been part owner. It is named after Hernandez' 7-month-old son Sebastian, which is Sebastiani in Italian. Although he currently lives in Seattle, he plans to move his family to Snoqualmie by April.

Why choose to open an Italian restaurant over a Mexican restaurant?

"I worked in Italian restaurants," Hernandez said. "I liked it so much. I like it more than Mexican."

Now that the restaurant has been open for a few weeks, Hernandez is beginning to see the rewards.

"I really love when people tell me they love my food," he said. "That's my motivation. It makes me want to keep going. My crew and I work for them, to please them."

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