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Bites Nearby: Ristorante Simone Brings Century of Homemade Italian Food

The restaurant serves food daily - but its doors open at 4 pm.

Editor's note: Sammamish Patch is starting Bites Nearby, a weekly feature that looks at restaurants on the Plateau and, yes, nearby.

The goal is to offer readers a place to consider for good grub, fine dining or just a tasty down-home but away from home experience. Restaurant stories - about the people who run them - are just as important as the food.

Want to recommend a place? Suggest one in the comment box.

FAMILY HISTORY, HOMEMADE ITALIAN FOOD AT RISTORANTE SIMONE

Sammamish is a relatively young city since it only incorporated in 1999.

But nestled in the Saffron shopping center, dishes up traditional Italian family cooking that stretches back more than 140 years.

The family traces its history to the Italian towns of Muro Lucano and Roccella Ionica. By 1917, though, family members had made their way to Seattle's Rainier Valley.

That in itself could qualify the family-run restaurant to be a gem on the Sammamish Plateau.

The food looks tempting.

On the pasta side, the menu offers a variety of choices, ranging from homemade potato dumplings with a veal short rib ragu ($18) to spaghetti bathed in garlic white wine sauce and served with clams ($19).

For $20, you can order a sauteed chicken breast with fresh basil pesto to tempt your taste buds. Pizza lovers can rejoice at the offerings that range from $12 to $16.

Similar to some restaurants in Italy, Ristorante Simone only opens at 4 pm. So, if you're hungry for homemade Italian food in Sammamish, save your appetite for the early evening.

Sammamish is young.

But the people who live on the Plateau or its slopes - and do business in it - can bring depth and a rich background that you might not notice on first blush.

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