Via Tribunali

Written by on November 11, 2010 in I Eat Seattle, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Capital Hill
How I heard of this place: My friend Justice recommended it for good happy hour pizza at an excellent price.
Type of cuisine: Pizza, pasta and salads with a selection of alcoholic beverages. “We opened our first pizzeria in 2004 in the burgeoning Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. For months before we opened curious onlookers poked their heads in the former auto body shop, and outlandish rumors spread quickly throughout Seattle. One person saw a team of masons reportedly flown in from Naples to build a gargantuan wood-fired oven, someone heard that the bricks also came from Naples rich with Vesuvian ash, a reporter ran a story about a taxi driver leading our owner down a dark Neaopolitan street to meet a talented Pizzaiolo who was then whisked to an airport…. As it turns out almost all of the tall tales are true – on opening night people began lining up for the authentic Neaopolitan pizza and since then our ovens have only gotten busier. Via Tribunali has been called “more authentic than the pizzeria’s of Naples,” and even though that is a flattering exaggeration it is fair to say that our pizzeria’s have grown out of an almost unnatural passion for the food and wine of Southern Italy.”
Ambiance: Hip, seductive and upscale, old world authenticity are words that have been used to describe Via Tribunali. The space is dimly lit and difficult to spot when zooming by in a car. Large windows are only at the front of the long, rectangular establishment which beautifully combines the exposed brick with huge wooden beams across the tall, wooden ceilings. Iron chandeliers with yellowed votive holders shimmering with the light of what appear to be candles are found above the chairs/tables and booths in the front and at the back, where a small, brick room hosts a set of stairs lined by a wrought iron railing. Stained glass artwork of St. Augustine and others are used as decor on the brick wall. To your front and left as you enter the space, pizza-makers roll and beat the dough into perfect circles before placing them into the white-tiled wood-fired oven. The air is sexy, cozy, intimate and reminiscent of a modern-day old Italian dining spot. The feel of The Da Vinci Code is present as you expect to see secret passageways and through-fares in unlikely spots.
What I ordered: Six of us were at Via Tribunali after hearing about the great happy hour offer: $5 per pizza! When we got there, only three of us were ordering, and we were offered one of four miniature pizzas for $5 each: margherita with pomodoro, fresh mozzarella and basil, marinara with pomodoro, oregano and garlic, salame with pomodoro, fresh mozzarella and salame, or the salsiccia with pomodoro, fresh mozzarella and Italian sausage. Two of us ordered the margherita and one opted for the caprese salad ($12), prepared and presented as usual with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil.
What I loved: Having only sampled the one pizza, I have to say it was a good one. The dough light and thin. The fresh mozzarella was sparse but its mild flavor easily complemented the tart, acidity of the fresh tomato sauce.
Why I loved it: The feel of the space and the large booths seating all six of us made for a cozy yet intimate dining experience on this late, Thursday evening.
Cost: Average ($11-$16 for thin-crust, Italian style, dinner pizzas; $5 per happy hour pizza, limited selection)

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