Restaurant news: Italy on Main Street always welcome, but Ristorante Machiavelli still finding its footing

The exterior of Ristorante Machiavelli.

Ristorante Machiavelli on Main Street opened in the former Chanterelle’s space in mid-December. This was to be the second location for owner Suzette Jarding’s acclaimed Capitol Hill restaurant.

But the restaurant in Seattle recently closed and as an Edmonds resident she is focusing all of her efforts on her new location. The interior of the restaurant has some cosmetic changes but for the most part it will be familiar to those of you who enjoyed Chanterelle’s.

It’s quiet and comfortable, although the dining room is dark (so you might need your phone flashlight to read the menu!). They are open for lunch and dinner and will be adding brunch soon.

Along with the location, Jarding purchased all of the recipes from Chanterelle, including the beloved tomato soup. The soup is available as “Pomodoro” only at lunch and they even have a grilled cheese sandwich (with fontina, cheddar and gruyere) to accompany it.

We were greeted warmly on a Friday evening and surprisingly there was no wait for a table. We ordered wine and perused the dinner menu by snacking on Macrina Bakery bread served with an olive oil/vinegar mixture (although I prefer separate dishes of oil and vinegar as what we were served tasted like watery salad dressing, and ultimately I asked for butter.)

Chicken Piccata

Our waiter was still in training, so be aware that they are still working out service issues. He was not knowledgeable about ingredients so luckily his trainer stepped up quickly to answer our questions.

The menu is divided into appetizers, pizza, pasta, specialty and entrees. We ordered the Caesar Salad with White Anchovies ($8.50) and the Mixed Green Salad with Gorgonzola ($8). Both were fresh, well dressed and tasty; but it’s important to note that they were small salads.

We decided to split an order of the house-made Gnocchi with tomato basil sauce ($18.95). The portion size was generous but the gnocchi was overcooked and the sauce needed basil. It was lackluster to say the least. Gnocchi is always a favorite but this version needs more finesse — texture and sauce are lacking.

Along with the Gnocchi we shared an order of the Chicken Piccata ($27.95) accompanied by vegetables. What arrived was a Chicken Parmesan which the waiter in training erroneously ordered for us; it was quickly remedied and we were served the correct entrée in due time.

The chicken was moist and tender and the butter lemon caper sauce was delicious — almost wanted to lick it off the plate (but there was bread for that!)

Caesar Salad with anchovies

Because of the ordering snafu we were offered a dessert gratis. They only have two choices — a New York Style cheesecake and a Torta Diplomatica. We chose the later which is a traditional cake in Italy; tender sponge cake with a soft chocolate custard and whipped cream.

It had a texture similar to Tiramisu but it did not have the coffee flavor — this one was more like mild chocolate. There was plenty of this very sweet dessert to share for two people and some even came home with us.

Machiavelli’s has a nice wine list (although I expected more wines from Italy) as well as a large cocktail menu. I really wanted to love this new Italian trattoria as I have friends in Seattle who have raved about the Capitol Hill location (especially about their Chicken Parmesan).

It’s clear that both the food and service need more attention to detail. Because they have only been open for three months, I can only hope that the food will get better.

Torta Diplomatica

With tax and tip our bill was just over $100; for my money there are much better places for Italian food in Edmonds. They have a great location but have big shoes to fill.

If you had a better experience at Ristorante Machiavelli, please leave a detailed comment about your meal. With the cost of eating out at a sit-down restaurant, my expectations are high and I left feeling very underwhelmed.

There is a lot of competition for our restaurant dollars and Machiavelli’s needs to step up in order to succeed in a vibrant Edmonds restaurant scene.

Address: 316 Main Street, Edmonds

Phone: 425-774-0650

Note: No reservations


Monday: closed

Tuesday: 11 a.m.–2 p.m., 4–9 p.m.

Wednesday: 11 a.m.–2 p.m., 4–9 p.m.

Thursday: 11 a.m.–2 p.m., 4–9 p.m.

Friday: 11 a.m.–2 p.m., 4–9 p.m.

Saturday: 4–9 p.m.

Sunday: 3–7  p.m.

— Story and photos by Deborah Binder

Deborah Binder lives in Edmonds with her family. She loves to cook from scratch using produce from the gardens she created and maintains with her husband. She attended culinary school on the East Coast and focused on desserts, pastries and bread. She’s worked for restaurants and caterers in the front and back of the house (kitchen) on both coasts. Her current interest in food is learning to eat for health and wellness, while at the same time enjoying the pleasures of the table. Deborah loves experimenting and developing new recipes. As Julia Child once said, “Everything in moderation including butter.” Deborah can be contacted at

  1. I ate at Machiavelli’s a few weeks ago and loved it! My partner and I got the tuna carpaccio, some house wine, spinach ravioli, chicken piccata, and Torta Diplomatica. Everything was delicious. Server was excellent. I appreciated that one could walk in and be seated without much fuss, as it’s getting harder and harder to find a table in downtown these days during the dinner hour.

    Personally, if I’m getting apps, alcohol, entrees, and dessert for two people, $100 is what I’d expect to spend in downtown Edmonds — unless I’m going to Fire and the Feast (love it there, but wow the prices lol).

    1. ‘With tax and tip our bill was just over $100; for my money there are much better places for Italian food in Edmonds. They have a great location but have big shoes to fill.’

      This is how much almost EVERY sit-down restaurant is in Edmonds with a full course meal, including wine – unless you’re having happy hour. I am curious to know which better Italian places you think we have in Edmonds? Expectations and taste vary, and not every restaurant will suit one’s needs. However, locally, Bucatini would be the only equivalent I see around here and, even so, they are a different kind of Italian place with a very different menu and sauces to appreciate. Perhaps if you spend less at other places, your palette is used to lesser-quality Italian food.

      I’ve never had a bad experience at RM The main course service is sometimes slower, because many things are housemade, but I am never in a rush. A new restaurant always needs to work out the kitchen and serving kinks.

      The gnocchi and chicken parm are my faves and have been cooked to perfection every time. I would never choose butter over the housemade oil/vinegar. Service has always been super friendly.

      Your review was honest, but your extreme pickiness and tone was unsavory.

      1. We had a lovely evening at Machiavelli. I found the price to be surprisingly reasonable for Edmonds or anywhere these days, for that matter. Our server was helpful and attentive, the owner came by our table and said hello. Salad and entrees were all tasty and the cheesecake too. We will be back.

  2. I really appreciate your honest review. Dining out is expensive, and I hope this restaurant really takes your assessment to heart (I’ve heard the same from others), and tweaks their menu and becomes great soon.

  3. My family and I dined with Suzette and her amazing staff last Friday and it did not disappoint. Their hospitality was at the forefront of their service and the food was delicious. My mother was celebrating her 77th birthday and the Machiavelli staff made her feel incredibly special and attended to. We started with the Antipasto Platter and ordered an extra bowl of the olives because they are incredible. The bread was served with their signature vinegar and oil, which is always a treat – very balanced. Garlicky, buttery, and rich, the carbonara was enough to share with my husband, along with a caesar salad. Everyone at the table thoroughly enjoyed their food and appreciated not only the quality ingredients but the care that Suzette and her staff took to accommodate our large party. This establishment is a gem and we are so lucky to have them as a part of our community.

  4. Surprised to hear you say it was quiet. I went with friends for dinner in the first few weeks it was open and it was so incredibly loud we could not carry on a conversation. We attributed it to the new flooring because it was not so loud before the change in ownership but who knows.

  5. We were recently there with all of our family, ten of us.
    Service was good but felt the food was mediocre, as did rest of the family.
    I had spaghetti bolognese which I wish had more of a thick tomato sauce but it did taste good. Not sure if we will return

  6. Thanks to all for your comments. I haven’t yet tried Machievelli’s because friends who have been there seem to agree with Ms. Binder’s comments. And I have to admit, I was hoping that if we had to lose Chanterelle, we might get a French restaurant.

  7. My husband and I ate there back in February. I loved the vinaigrette that came with the bread. And prefer it to separate olive oil and balsamic vinegar. My husband felt the portions were a bit on the small side. For me, it was the perfect size. We had the cheesecake for dessert and loved it! Suzette and her staff were very welcoming and gracious. Service was outstanding!! As far as the money spent, it was certainly less than we’ve spent at other Edmonds restaurants!

  8. My friend and I went there before going to ECA for a concert and wanted something light. I had a green salad which was very nice and she had their minestrone soup which she still raves about. She said it was excellent. The server was in training but it wasn’t an issue. We will go back.

  9. We went for the first time about a month ago. We were really disappointed. I had what turned out to be a smallish Caesar salad with not much olive oil or anchovies. Really bland. We both ordered the fettucine carbonara because it was touted in another review as the best dish in the restaurant. It was very “meh” with not enough bacon/pancetta. The flavor was “superficial” and without depth or body. We won’t be returning, alas. We miss Chanterelle.

  10. My adult son and I loved Machiavelli’s in Seattle and would go for special occasions,
    imagine our glee to see it was coming to Edmonds.
    It was not open at brunch as advertised on website but maybe it is now.
    It was WAY to loud and when I mentioned it to hostess she said the floor had just put in and wouldn’t change anytime soon. Maybe curtains? She suggested eating in the bar where it was quieter
    I hope they make it, the food is delicious but not listening to customers does not bode well.

  11. We have been a few times. We had the carbonara once and the lasagna another time. We weren’t impressed with the pasta dishes. I did have the steak one time and it was good. The service was amazing. we haven’t been back because we didn’t enjoy the food as much as we thought we would.

  12. We ate there about a month or so ago, had very similar experience to the writer of the article. We typically enjoy sitting at the bar, We arrived, were seated, then ignored. We found the portions small, the wine list lacking. And the food just meh… I loved the location in Seattle, was very excited to see it arrive in Edmonds.
    We have not been back, but with many other options in Edmonds, not putting this back on the rotation list any time soon.

  13. I have to wonder if those critical of restaurant dining in downtown Edmonds ever think about how much it costs owners to have them in the downtown area, as opposed to Hwy 99, for example. There is a stark cost of doing business in the Bowl.

    The lease price for a space at Brentwood Plaza on Hwy99 starts at $14 sf/yr, whereas downtown can start around $35 sf/yr (the Red Barn). Again, that’s just the lease.

    1. Most of the complaints are about the food and the noise, which make it too expensive for what you get. Improve both, and I suspect few would complain. You have to balance quality with price.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.