Tutta Bella

Repeatable: Maybe. Visits: 2+

Tutta Bella Pie

Tutta Bella Pie

Seattle is not New York or Chicago, so you can fuhgeddabout all the fine distinctions that make pies worthy of either the Big Apple or the Windy City.

Still, Seattle’s trying. Tutta Bella isn’t exactly news anymore, but it’s representative of the wave of artisanal pizzerias that have recently opened up.

Without naming additional names, let me say that there’s an eerie similarity to these pizzerias, and I’m just holding Tutta Bella up as the most obvious and established offender: paper thin crusts splotched by bubbles of black char.

Burnt dough simply doesn’t taste good–I don’t care how much sauce, cheese, or creative topping is surrounding or covering these ugly boils. And yet for some reason, the local fancy pizzerias insist on offering up these offenders. Why?

Until I actually experience a pizza that is not partially burnt, sooty, or charred, I cannot recommend Tutta Bella without reservations. That simply hasn’t happened yet. At best, I can salvage a piece or two from an entire pie. And then I wonder: Is it really worth the trouble and expense?

That rhetorical question makes me think of the ne plus ultra of American pizzerias, Pizzeria Bianco. Located in, of all places, Phoenix, Arizona, Bianco offers up the kind of pizza that I will gladly suffer a trip to the dessert just to eat–pizza that’s worth a great deal of trouble and expense. (And Phoenix is much closer than Chicago and New York!) In April, we ate there twice; I stood in line for an hour both times to hold our places. As we were boarding the flight back to Seattle, my husband and three children walked on carrying their own boxes from Pizzeria Bianco. “Is it really that good?” someone asked. My children nodded solemnly, clutching their boxes for dear life. They’re still talking about the experience wistfully, asking when we’re going back. “Mama, that pizza was the best pizza in the world.” “Not quite,” I say. “There’s a couple places in Italy I gotta show you…”)

South Lake Union
Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Columbia City:
Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Wallingford:
Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria (Wallingford) on Urbanspoon

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2 Comments

Filed under 15654811, Casual, Italian, Kid Friendly, Lunch, Pizza

2 responses to “Tutta Bella

  1. Eric

    Tutta Bella’s pizza is indeed less than mediocre, but please do be aware that black spots on the crust (aka “bark”) indicate gluten in the wheat having been exposed to extremely high temperatures (like those of a wood fired oven). The taste of these black spots is not burnt, but more carmelized and/or smoky. The reason you are seeing this in nearly every pizzeria is because, well, it’s how “artisan” pizza is made.

    • sumisays

      Eric,
      There is a fine line between a luscious dark mahogany bubble and a circle of cinder–and most of the local “artisanal” pizzas leap over that line with no hesitation–there are only seconds before caramelization turns into char. Granted, it’s often dark in these places, but if you examine the tasty bubbles and freckles in full light, you will find that they are NOT pitch black and do NOT crumble or scrape away into soot. Otherwise, I wholeheartedly agree with you….

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