Owner Mike Salimi mans the counter at Nova Restaurant most days, opening and closing the cash-register drawer and handing over pizzas, homestyle burgers, sandwiches, and seafood to hungry customers. He has finely tuned his pizza recipe throughout the past 20 years, using trial and error to arrive at his current series of steps: hand-making pizza dough, homemade sauce, and toppings that are purchased each day. He also whips together an array of seafood dishes, including oysters, prawns, and Irish-style fish 'n' chips made with halibut or cod and coated in a specialty batter. He hangs colorful abstract paintings on the eatery's yellow walls, which is the closest humankind will ever get to decorating the sun.
At Lucia, the signature spaghetti comes with white truffle-oil fondue, homemade meatballs, pink sauce—and a minimalist backdrop. The restaurant's split-level dining room is a study in simple black and white, brightened by a smattering of red throw pillows and candles. The space's clean lines shift the focus to the culinary team's upscale versions of Italian classics, which have been featured in The Food magazine. Entrees, for example, range from chicken parmigiana with béchamel sauce to grilled wild salmon in a saffron reduction. Pizzas, meanwhile, come crowned with gourmet toppings such as basil pesto, crimini mushrooms, and prosciutto.
Hailing from the Italian island of Sardinia, Fabrizio Loi graduated with honors from Italy's national culinary college. He's put that experience to good use as the owner and head chef at Ristorante Paradiso. There, Fabrizio orchestrates a menu of classic Italian dishes. But instead of strictly adhering to traditional recipes or reading the instructions embedded into every lasagna noodle, Fabrizio puts his own spin on things. Diners reap the benefits of Fabrizio's culinary creativity when they sit down for gourmet pizzas at lunch, or dinner dishes such as cannelloni gratinati—pasta crepes stuffed with ground veal, chicken, and mozzarella and enhanced with a tomato and besciamelle sauce.
With dozens of classic Italian dishes to choose from, it's clear Pegasus Pizza & Pasta is family friendly. Along with its signature pizzas and pastas, Pegasus serves hot oven grinders, calzones, and low-carb options, such as the chef's saut?ed chicken. Kids can order off their own menu or, if they have the appetite of a two-toed sloth aiming to become a three-toed sloth, they can order off the adult menu. While dining in, patrons can participate in trivia on Mondays, take in live music performances on Wednesdays and Fridays, and croon karaoke on Thursdays and Saturdays.
By the Numbers
Awards for Best Pizza in Seattle
Awards for Being Eco-Friendly
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.