I broke my own “no flash photography” rule. This pizza box made me do it. Seriously, can you blame me? I’m sure the couple at the next table found us childish and annoying as we laughed hysterically when it arrived on the table in front of me. B declared it “pizza box porn.” Of course, it’s not quite that bad, but it wasn’t what we were expecting from Via Tribunali and that’s exactly what made it so funny. Sadly, this is the only photo that I could make work from this dinner. Two meals in a row in lovely, dark restaurants mean more words, fewer images.
Friday, November 4, 2011 marked my five year Seattle-versary. B and I marked the occasion with a later than usual Friday night dinner in place of our usual Thursday. Have I mentioned I love Queen Anne? I may have, four or sixteen times. I adore Molly Moon’s Ice Cream. It’s one of my favorite places, though we don’t visit very often. Before they opened their Queen Anne location, we’d make the trek to their Capitol Hill shop. I only call it a trek now because it’s far in comparison to the super convenient Queen Anne shop. On a warm day, a couple blocks walk from the Molly Moon’s Queen Anne to Kerry Park is a perfect place to enjoy a couple scoops.
On our first trip to Molly Moon’s in Queen Anne, we discovered another locations of popular Capitol Hill spot, Via Tribunali, right next door. We’ve only visited them in Capitol Hill once and it’s been a few years. It was fantastic, but what I remembered most was the tremendous wait for a table. It may have deterred us from a return visit. Our discovery of the Queen Anne location, combined with our love for the neighborhood and ease of parking, made it an easy choice for dinner.
We arrived quite a bit later than usual for us, so we were at the tail end of the dinner rush. The hostess said it would be 30 minutes. That’s not so bad except there was nowhere to wait. One party already occupied the small waiting area up front, there’s no entry way to speak of and the tiny (but lovely) back bar was packed. We were left sort of standing too close to one of the tables. Thankfully, not two minutes later, the hostess came to get a fairly large group and we found ourselves with two seats at the bar. As we moved toward them, one of the servers, advised “You better grab those. Fast.” as she breezed by. Excellent advice. With a seat and a cocktail, 30 minutes didn’t seem so bad and it was almost exactly 30 minutes.
Finally at our table, we settled in with the menu. I’m pretty sure our server was the busiest person in the restaurant, if not in the whole neighborhood. He was also the bartender. He held up very well to the pressure.
Via Tribunali is definitely a pizzeria, but a very polished pizzeria. Serving an extensive list of authentic Neapolitan pizzas along with calzones and salads, the menu is a little overwhelming… in a good way. B and I were starving by the time we sat down and started with the Misto Salumi (prosciutto di parma, speck, mortadella, porchetta, castelvetrano olives, grana padano) and flat bread. It was a massive portion, but it was all delicious. We made a decent dent in it, but couldn’t finish knowing dinner was still on the way.
For dinner, B had the Porchetta pizza (pomodoro, fresh mozzarella, porchetta, oven-roasted onions, red bell peppers, grana padano, basil) and I had the Insalata della Casa (seasonal greens, fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, olives, prosciutto cotto) and a slice of B’s pizza. We couldn’t finish the pizza or the salad (hence the scandalous pizza box), but everything was outstanding and worth every bite.
For dessert, we shared the Tartufo Affogato (Caffe Vita espresso over chocolate chunk chocolate gelato). It was every bit as good as it sounds and was a perfect ending to a lovely dinner… and an even nicer start to year six in the Emerald City.