Arts and Entertainment

The art of Italian ciao

‘Shake Off Those Winter Blahs’ with Italian chef Roberto Russo at Monica’s Waterfront Bakery.

Here’s another spot of art overlapping guilty pleasures — this one a bit closer to home at the center of the known universe for coffee and comfort, Monica’s Waterfront Bakery in Old Town Silverdale.

This weekend, the bakery welcomes back Italian chef and cookbook author Roberto Russo for the cleverly-themed “Shake Off Those Winter Blahs” party from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 10, 3472 NW Byron St. in Silverdale.

Russo will be coming to town from Tuscany, Italy to meet and mingle, talk ciao and sign copies of his cookbook “Good Ciao” on the afternoon.

Monica’s will offer up Italian coffee, food and wine specials and samples while Washington Academy of Music students will provide the ambience.

“Roberto has been here a few times and has done a five-course dinner, a couple of book signings and a couple of celebration-style parties like we are doing on the 10th,” said Monica’s owner/operator Monica Downen. “We always have a great time.”

Russo owns a 16th century convent-turned-agriturismo (a farm/resort) near Tuscany where Downen said she stayed on her first (“and so far, only”) trip to Italy a couple years ago.

Incidentally, at the close of the Winter Blahs party Jan. 10, there will be an informational open house about her next planned trip — an eight-day, 20-person food and wine tour of Tuscany and Umbria with both Mark and Monica of the Waterfront Bakery — slated for October of 2009. The public is invited.

But to join that party, you’ll need a reservation.

To reserve, or for more info, go to or call (360) 698-2991.

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