Scampi Osteria was founded by Chef Giovanni “Gianni” Saffioti and partner Devon Drake in July 2019. The Italian restaurant in Birch Bay is adjacent to The C Shop, just a short stroll from the beach. After a successful career of restauranteering in California and Hawaii, Chef Saffioti loves where he’s at now. “I think that we have some fabulous food that you don’t find anywhere else. Nothing is frozen, everything is fresh,” Drake says.
Scampi’s interior is dimly lit, with soft light entering through large windows at the front and from turned-down overhead lighting. The atmosphere has a romantic and upscale feel, with wall art adding a homier touch. Most of the decor comes from Chef Saffioti’s adventures to flea markets, antique shops, or beach trips. If you look close enough, you might even spot some of his personal driftwood and shell art pieces.
The food can be described in one word: incredible. If you arrive around the restaurant’s opening at 5 p.m., you might catch a whiff of the house-made focaccia bread coming out of the oven. Dipped in the house combination of olive oil, balsamic, and garlic, this bread is the perfect start to any meal. Don’t worry about eating too much— if you have to take home leftovers, you’re only extending the experience.
The bruschetta ($14), also served on the heavenly focaccia, is made with local cherry tomatoes and drizzled with olive oil. The tomatoes are sweet and juicy, contrasted with the crisp, fresh bread. It’s an absolute dream.
For an entree, the Calamari Steak ($26) was my unexpected favorite. The traditionally tentacled appetizer is served as a steak-shaped entree, breaded and covered in a decadent white wine sauce. Served on a bed of asparagus, the individual flavors come out perfectly, with no one taste overwhelming another.
The Papardelle Di Mare ($30) was a rich, filling, delicious dish. Fun fact: The jumbo prawns are cooked and served with the heads attached to enhance the flavor. The cream sauce was not too heavy, but perfectly complemented the pasta, prawns, scallops, and mushrooms.
For dessert, the tiramisu is served in a tall, retro-style milkshake glass. After a filling meal, it’s the perfect shareable treat to end a lovely night out in Birch Bay.
4823 Alderson Rd., Blaine
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