October 11, 2008

serious pie (seattle)

Best. Pizza. EVER.

Okay well I've never been to Rome or Naples so I'll qualify that statement, nevertheless, this is the best pizza I've ever had thus far. Enough that I dream about the delightfully perfect crispness of the crust, how all the individual flavours shine, and how the quality of the ingredients shine through.

It's the latest child in the Tom Douglas restaurant empire located directly behind Dahlia Lounge (and I suspect, sharing facilities as well) on Virginia, it's a small rectangular room, almost indistinguishable from the street, but one constant is that it's always packed. A freezer filled with various salumi, and a large wood burning oven greet you as you enter the room, and the decorations are kept dark yet warming with thick wooden tables all set up for family style sharing, and tall stools as in classic-pizzeria style.

The advantage of a pizzeria is that you can guarantee quick turnover as transforming a piece of dough into a master piece of flatbread takes 15 minutes at the most, so don't let the line-up or wait fool you, you'll get in soon enough. The menu changes constantly, but in my repeated visits, I have seen some favourites who seem to be regulars.

A few that we've tried:

Arugula, pancetta, egg:
I love arugula. I could eat it all day long. This is a beautifully woodsy pizza, warming and transporting on a hot day with the bitterness and bite of the arugula toned down by the introduction of the egg, and the pancetta presenting a nice salty contrast to the proceedings.

Clams, pancetta:
I've had this pie twice now and there's a spicy hit to each bite that I have yet to decipher. Regardless, the clams hold a touch of the brininess that's usually lost completely with any clam dish, let alone one sent into the fiery hells of a pizza oven. That sir, is just mastery of the art.

The classic basil, mozzarella and tomato pizza. Competently done, but nothing special. I have had other marguerites that transport this pie from it's humble beginnings into something extraordinary... and sadly this was not one of them.

Lamb, figs, rosemary:
I believe this one is a daily special, and I'd love to have it again. The lamb was tender (somehow!) and still very flavourful. The figs help cut through the gamey-ness of the lamb with a sweet burst of flavour with each bite, and there were at least 2 large bits of fig on each slice, and it was welcoming on a cold blustery nite.

The pizzas are oval shaped, divided into 8 (possibly 10) equal slices. Very rustic style with a bubbled crust, served atop a thin black cutting board. The crust is sensory overload for me. It gives an amazing crunch, and there's so much flavour baked into it with each type. As much as I love the freshness and the ability to taste each ingredient, it's dreams of the crust that keeps me up at night.

I'm done. Go get the perfect pizza (at least in this part of the country) at Serious Pie
located on 316 Virgina, between 3rd and 4th Ave in Seattle.

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