When you grow up in a place like New York and live in other places like Los Angeles, you don’t have much problem finding great pizza. For that reason, you take it for granted–until you live in a town like Seattle. While Seattle has its share of good Italian restaurants, I really miss the type of informal trattoria that turns out a wickedly delicious homemade pizza from its wood-fired brick oven. Until recently, you couldn’t really find it here (I note that the Accidental Hedonist agrees with me).
But all that’s changed. Now, there are not one, but two pizzeria’s worthy of the name. The irrepressible Tom Douglas, being the terrific food entrepreneur that he is, saw the need and took advantage. The result is Serious Pie. It’s what the French might call a boite, a real hole in the wall tucked in the space behind Dahlia Lounge in Tom’s building. It’s tiny, dark and warm from the ovens, but man does it turn out good pizza! To prove it, take a look at the yummy choices it’s offering these days (see illustration).
Serious Pie’s ovens also turn out Tom’s excellent breads. The ones I recommend most highly are his ficelle (French baguette) and challah. The challah is to die for–as good as anything I’ve eaten in New York or anywhere, which is saying a lot. I’ve eaten my share of challah around the world.
The second standout is Via Tribunali (no website apparently, but see Seattle PI review). It’s actually been open since November 2004. But our twins were born in the same month and you can understand if we haven’t exactly been foodistas since then. So I only discovered Via Tribunali six months ago or so. But it is extraordinary. An attempt by Caffe Vita founder, Mike McConnell to transplant an authentic Neapolitan pizza experience to Capitol Hill. While I’m no expert on such a food tradition and cannot say how well he has captured his prey. I can give a thumbs up on the pie. We had a margherita made with bufala mozzarella (the only pizza I generally prepare at home) and it was superb. For a more precise gastronomic analysis of the pizza by someone who appreciates what I found in it, give Robotic Gourmand’s review a read.
I should add, to be honest, I’ve only eaten here once. Others, like Seattle Weekly have carped about the pizzas. And there were a few things I didn’t like (but not about the pizza). The wait can be interminable unless you come early. The place is definitely not kid friendly (this IS Capitol Hill after all). We brought our brood of three and they were continually underfoot and interfering with the service (the aisle is so narrow that a toddler in it completely stops the show). I think any city worth it’s salt should have a place where a kid can eat a good pizza. Serious Pie passes on that score (though the ambience leaves something to be desired). Via Tribunali doesn’t.
Seattle, WA 98121
913 E. Pike St.