There was once a pair of friends who shared the same name. These friends?the Gregs?also shared the belief that even casual food should be fresh. So they put their heads together to found Zaw Artisan Pizza in Seattle, where seasonal, organic, unique, local ingredients (endearingly referred to as "S.O.U.L.") top carefully crafted bake-at-home pies. Diners can watch over the counter as pizza artistes decorate traditional white, whole wheat, or gluten-free crusts with toppings such as free-range chicken breast, hearty spinach, and fresh artisan cheeses. Each pie leaves the shop unfrozen?as evidenced by the lack of freezers in the stores?to be baked to a golden crisp inside the customer's oven or backyard iron forge. To further their commitment to quality, the Gregs strive to source local ingredients from neighborhood farmers' markets whenever possible.
Galactic murals and metallic rails grace a comfortably modern chomping environment that's home to pizzas made with fresh spices, vine-ripened tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil, and premium toppings. Flying Saucer Pizza's menu features a bevy of pie options along with a host of salads and pastas. Pizza connoisseurs can begin with a blank-canvas cheese pie as the backdrop for a palette of toppings like blue cheese, Canadian bacon, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, carrots, sprouts, red cabbage, pepperoncinis, and more ($4.75 for an 8-inch before toppings). When inspiration runs dry, a list of specialty pizzas can be called upon. The Cosmic Clucker blends barbecue sauce, roasted chicken, bacon, artichoke hearts, green onions, and cilantro ($7.45 and up), and veggie pizzas feature the likes of the Dr. Zaius pie with spicy peanut sauce, pineapple, carrots, sprouts, red cabbage, chopped nuts, basil, and sesame seeds ($6.75 and up).
Lorenzo Scordamaglia was raised in Tropea, an Italian coastal town known for its fresh, quality produce and seafood. After traveling the world for nine years as a cruise-line waiter, Lorenzo landed in Seattle, where he worked at a number of Italian restaurants. He opened Tropea Ristorante Italiano in 1996, as an homage to his seaside town—from the restaurant's fresh seafood and hearty comfort food, to a mural on the wall that offers a glimpse of the coastal town itself. The restaurant offers sautéed prawns served in a choice of four different sauces, including a white wine and tomato sauce, or butter and hot peppers. But the pastas steal the limelight on the menu; 27 varieties are available, peppered with prosciutto, eggplant, italian sausage, or a host of other authentic ingredients.
At first glance, Apollo's menu of casual food doesn't seem out of the ordinary: in addition to the customizable title dishes, chefs pile pasta plates high and stuff entire meals into calzones and sub loaves. But amidst all the fettuccine alfredo, hawaiian deluxe pizzas, and wings, taste buds visit an unexpected culinary landscape: that of India. Tandoori chicken, curried vegetables, and paneer can be ordered in calzone, sandwich, pizza, and pasta form, and mango lassi is available to refresh pepperoni-scorched palates. Most of the dishes, though, deliver classic American and Mediterranean tastes with meatball subs, gyros, and veggie pizzas.
Because it’s located in a strip mall, Villa Nuova Santana Ristorante Italiano can be easy to overlook. “Don’t let the unassuming cover fool you; Villa Nuova is certainly worth discovering for yourself,” the Herald says in a review. Inside, crisp white tablecloths make space for fresh bread and olive oil seasoned with a house recipe of garlic, red pepper, and top-secret deliciousness. Generous glasses of wine pair with mussels and clams served in a buttery white-wine sauce. Other entrees include heaping helpings of cannelloni and pork tenderloin sautéed in gorgonzola cream sauce. Artwork on the walls evokes the spirit of the Sistine Chapel, except here visitors can eat and enjoy the sights without a permanent crick in their neck.
Bella Vita offers a menu of authentic Italian entrees, traditional weekend brunch, and an expansive, international wine list set amid an inviting interior spotted with low-hanging lights and sleek marble accents. Once the green-napkin flag has been waved, diners are free to tear around the entree track, crashing into Arista alla Milanese, featuring braised pork shoulder stewed in white wine and sage, topped with a sausage-and-bacon sauce, and served snuggled with potatoes ($18). Smoked stacks of salmon fettuccini alfredo will impress even the most critical mermaid dates ($19), as will antipasti dishes such as the olive-oiled caprese ($10) and the gamberi rossi, featuring sautéed prawns with shallots and fresh tomatoes in a white-wine sauce ($12).