Tutta Bella Pizzaria (Wallingford)

20Jan10

If you’ve been searching for a brick oven big enough to cook up a VW bug, look no further than Tutta Bella Pizzaria, located just off 45th and Stone Way in an area nudged between Wallingford and Green Lake. (You’ll probably driven by it visiting my former neighbourhood liquor store, which was recently commandeered by dolts over at Archie McPhees.) And in the event you aren’t in the mood to chow down your flame broiled Volkswagen, you’ll have a fine time selecting one of Tutta Bella’s Neopolitan specialties. Once you are smacked in the face with the scent of fire-roasted tomatoes it’s only a matter of moments before your tummy makes home for a true Italian experience. The simple aroma is smoky sweet from divine charred tomatoes that must have joyfully sprang from the ground before they were plucked at the peak of perfection.

If you’re looking for a sweet drink to wash down a pie, try the lemonade with rosemary, as it’s a Tutta Bella specialty. That is if only you can get past the Pine Sol smell. Otherwise, there’s a generous wine list and it’s served in a classic Italian drinking glasses which are just as charming as the building’s décor, where strings of bulbs hang from the rafters meant to evoke visions of twilight eve in a Tuscan piazza, where brick paths were once marched on by Roman soldiers just a few thousand years earlier.

We started our feast with a favourite first course, the Bietola Marinata (beet salad), generously sized for sharing among a table of two chubbies (or perhaps suitable for four skinny folks). I don’t know about you, but I eagerly select beets on restaurant menu, because somebody else is tasked with the messy process of skinning and chopping the veg, leaving everything and everybody it touches stained with a menacing red hue. Properly roasted beets offer a sweet and tender bite and Tutta Bella marries this with a creamy goat cheese and the crunch of salty green pistachios, all dressed in a tangy vinaigrette.

For the pie we chose the Pancetta e Pomodoro, but we have equally enjoyed many of the others. They use a fresh crispy crust akin to flatbread, and doll it up with olive oil and seasonings ready to be paired with their toppings. This wondrous treat included caramelized onions, slabs of pancetta and bits and pieces of tomatoes all charred to perfection in the blazing inferno. The best parts tend to be the crusty edges of various ingredients toppled onto the pie. I have a feeling this enormous brick oven could make a bowl of Cheerios a toasty singed treat.

The meal is concluded with an Italian dessert brought in by a specialty supplier. Get up from your seat and you’ll find open top freezer near the bar featuring gelato from Bottega Italiana in an array of flavours, including plain (you may pronounce vanilla), chocolate, Nutella, coconut, strawberry, pear and chocolate chip. They also offer a seasonal feature which at this point was egg nog, but was spiced pumpkin just a few months ago. Whatever you do, don’t go home without a scoop, even if you have to share.

Join Tutta Bella during the month of January and help celebrate the restaurant’s anniversary by receiving a promotional card for a discount at your next visit. If you’re a Price is Right fan, you’ll enjoy the spin of the die for an opportunity to win a discount on your check, from 10-50%. It’s not exactly Plinko, but it’s a coupon nonetheless.

I may initially go to TB’s just to inhale the enticing fragrance of charred pizza bits, but I fall in love with a new gelato flavour every damn visit. I do admit that toppings are sparse at best, but of at least of good quality. You won’t find pineapple or pepperoni, so if you’ve got little chum chums best make your way to Pizza Hut or stay at home and order in a pie from the Pagliacci’s, which remains a veteran Seattle icon, despite their detestable eastside locations which frankly suck so many cool points out of this joint it’s hard to have much tangible respect left. There is a courteous staff, never a wait and usually you can score a spot in the parking lot tucked behind the building.

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One Response to “Tutta Bella Pizzaria (Wallingford)”

  1. 1 ziege

    I really love goat cheese desserts, their are awesome. If I have guests, I just make goat cheese deserts and they love it. Are there any other good uses for goat cheese?


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