The old firehouse just off Market Street that housed Hi-Life for 15 years has undergone a transformation, and is set to reopen next week as an Italian restaurant and bar named Valentinetti’s.
The owners, Peter Levy and Chef/partner Anthony Hubbard of Chow Foods, closed Hi-Life in September to renovate and reimagine the space. The restaurant is named for Aurora Valentinetti, godmother of Levy’s wife Betty and former UW professor, known and loved for her puppetry courses. Valentinetti is 99 years old now, and has a puppet museum named for her in Bremerton. In honor of Valentinetti, the restaurant will host occasional puppet shows starting in 2020.
The space has been changed to feel more intimate, with an Italian menu featuring a unique form of pizza known as “pinsa”. Pinsa is a brick oven, Roman-style oval pizza made with fermented dough made of wheat, rice, and soy from Italy.
Once the dough is mixed, it’s cold-fermented, and then shaped and topped with ingredients before cooking in a 700-degree brick oven. The non-GMO flour and fermentation process is meant to be more digestible compared to traditional wheat crust.
The menu will also feature a number of gluten-free, non-dairy and vegetarian options.
Alongside Chef Anthony will be Noelle Huerta, whose grandparents hail from Sicily and Northern Italy. Valentinetti’s house-baked bread is a recipe inspired by her family’s bocce ball league gatherings: crusty, with refined extra virgin olive oil and aged vinegar for dipping.
The bar will serve PNW and Italian wines, Ballard-sourced microbrews (Stoup and Maritime), and some Italian beers and cocktails such as Viola’s Uncle, a housemade limoncello with thyme simple and lemon.
The menu also includes house baked bread, salads, soups and desserts.
Valentinetti’s will open on Oct. 24, with dinner service to be offered daily from 5pm to 10pm. Weekend brunch will start on Saturday, Nov. 2, and will be served 8am to 3pm every Saturday and Sunday and some holidays. Weekday lunch will start Monday, Nov. 4, and will be from 11am to 4pm in the 21+ bar. They’ll also start offering weekday private breakfast or lunch parties in the main dining room, Monday to Friday for up to 60 guests.
When they open, reservations can be made online.