The Chef: Walter Pisano is classically trained in European cuisines, and was the first American to work as a sous chef at the Jean-Louis restaurant at DC’s Watergate Hotel.
Where to Sit
Fun Fact: Tulio follows many eco-friendly practices, including converting excess cooking oils into biodiesel fuel, using biodegradable cleaning products, and relying on energy-efficient lighting.
Awards and Acclaim
Burrata: a ball of cheese consisting of a thin shell of mozzarella on the outside, and a rich blend of cheese curd and cream on the the inside. Derived from the Italian for “buttered” or “buttery”.
Orecchiette: a type of small, round pasta. It’s name means “small ear” in Italian, a reference to the pasta’s unusual shape.
While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Explore a selection of unique home decor, jewelry, and gifts at far4 (1020 1st Ave).
After: Sip on cocktails by the 1,900-gallon freshwater aquarium in the Musicquarium Lounge at The Triple Door (216 Union St).
East Coasters know they’re in the right place when they walk through the door at Italian Family Pizza. There’s the distinctive New York pizza smell, the red and white checkered vinyl tablecloths and shakers full of red pepper, oregano and parmesan. Italian Family Pizza proffers New York-inspired pies with a simple red sauce and tender, slightly puffy dough. The toppings are basic – no fancy fennel pollen – and satisfying, like sausage, pepperoni and olives. A small pizza is enough for one or two, and the 24-inch large is simply gigantic. Longtime locals may know the eatery as the former home of Myers Music, where many established Seattle musicians bought their instruments, including Quincy Jones and Jimi Hendrix. Now it’s decked out with family photos, a long line of wines along one wall and big booths and tables with those old-school checkered tablecloths.
Modern pies at downtown’s Mod Pizza hit the spot for a quick lunch or early dinner that’s fresh, natural and satisfying. The 11-inch thin crust pizzas are the same price no matter what you want on them and can be made vegan or gluten-free, as desired. Both the dough and two kinds of tomato sauces are made daily, with no additives or preservatives. This bustling location on Sixth Avenue was actually the first Mod Pizza ever, breaking the cheesy pizza parlor mold with a sleek, chic industrial look and plenty of seats beyond the ordering counter. Located inside the One Union Square office tower, this fast casual pizza mini-chain is right in the heart of the city, and handy for shoppers or office workers looking for a bite and place to relax for a bit.
Fresh sandwiches, salads, soups, and pizzas star on Harried and Hungry’s lunch-only menu, and are a quick and tasty fix for office workers and shoppers with growling tummies. The family-run spot has tried-and-true choices for a fast lunch, like the popular chicken pesto sandwich or the pear and goat cheese house pizza. With its cheery green entrance, the simple café is perfect for grabbing a midday meal or a snack, and it seems there’s always enough space to sit down while you munch. Still, for some, Harried and Hungry’s lightning-quick service simply isn’t fast enough; some diners opt to skip the line and pre-order lunch online, for pick up at the front counter. Local office workers also like the café’s convenient catering business, which is perfect for staff meeting treats and lunches.
Inside Tip: Taste is located at the Seattle Art Museum, making it easy to combine cultural and culinary bliss in one stop.
When to Go: Stop by during happy hour for discounted meals and snacks, such as polenta fries with red pepper aioli, deviled eggs, and salt cod fritters, that can be paired with featured cocktails or domestic drafts. Otherwise, head in for Sunday brunch (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) to try what the Seattle Magazine called the “Best Northwest Spin on Chicken and Waffles.”
The Diller Room is a friendly booze hall located in an 1890 Gold Rush hotel, with inventive cocktails, house pizzas and a diverse clientele. The Diller Room’s original brick walls and stained glass give it a “way back when” feel, and the drinks include old standbys like gimlets and sidecars. There are modern touches, of course, including the much-loved Dillerlicious, made with house-infused blueberry vodka. Pizzas also fall along traditional lines, like the Margherita and the sausage models, although a few seasonal pies like the Autumn Apple Pizza may include such contemporary favorites as bleu cheese, caramelized onions and apple slices. Sports fans love that The Diller Room is a straight shot down First Avenue to Safeco Field for Mariners baseball games, and to CenturyLink Field for Sounders soccer games and Seahawks football, with plenty of bus and light rail transportation close by.