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Originally published Friday, June 6, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Santorini Pizza & Pasta serves up hot stuff with lots of warmth

A lot of my neighbors in Seattle's Wedgwood and Meadowbrook neighborhoods probably don't want you to discover Santorini Pizza & Pasta...

Seattle Times assistant metro editor

Santorini Pizza & Pasta

Italian-Greek

11001 35th Ave. N.E., Seattle

206-440-8499

www.santorinipizza.com

Hours: 4-10 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays.

Etc: Takeout available. Free parking. Most credit cards accepted. Reservations taken for parties of six or more.

Prices: $

A lot of my neighbors in Seattle's Wedgwood and Meadowbrook neighborhoods probably don't want you to discover Santorini Pizza & Pasta. It sometimes can be hard enough to get a table as it is.

Since 1994, this genuine mom-and-pop restaurant (think "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" without the Windex), camouflaged in a gray building by Nathan Hale High School, has been charming folks with generous pizza and Italian-Greek entrees and a family-friendly vibe.

The menu: At first glance, it's a standard rundown, but don't be fooled. The pizzas ($13.95-$17.95) are thick and cheesy, piled up with everything you usually demand for your ravenous crew. Or try the Odyssey, with feta, eggplant, zucchini, garlic, kalamata olives and a healthy helping of gyro meat.

But don't shy away from the pasta. The Hylopetes, a Greek pasta ($12.95 with a passable salad and plenty of excellent garlic bread), is full of pesto, crisp-tender broccoli and shrimp, clams or chicken. The fettuccini alfredo ($10.95-$12.95, depending on meat choice) was satisfying, if a little unremarkable.

Nightly specials, entree-sized salads ($9.95), open-faced sandwiches ($10.95 with salad) and a limited kids menu ($5.95-$7.95) round out the family-oriented menu.

When my mother-in-law dove into the Lasagna Verdi ($11.95), which arrived still bubbling hot, the vegetarian dish was a little too saucy. But as it cooled, the rich flavors of roasted garlic and perfectly cooked spinach won the day.

What to write home about: Save room for dessert. The homemade tiramisu ($6.50) is stacked high like a sugary Jenga, with plenty of dark rum. "Dinner was great, but this is outstanding!," mother-in-law raved. The house-made baklava ($4.95) also pops with the taste of cinnamon and cloves.

The setting: The no-frills, sparse décor is overcome by the warm hospitality of the family owners.

Summing up: Three adults overate with three entrees, which include salad and bread, along with two desserts for about $50. We had leftovers to tote home, where mother-in-law threatened to visit often, now that she knows about Santorini in our neighborhood.

Ian Ith: 206-464-2109

or iith@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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