Seattle, Washington—Tradition has it that come September, a pizza is served at Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzerias that has such guest anticipation, requests are fielded by the staff as to the date it will be available and the length of its run (fact!). Executive Chef Brian Gojdics will tell you that by far, the most popular pizza “speciale” of the year is the Calabrese.
A typical comment about the pizza is found on Urbanspoon.com: “We had the special white pizza with mission figs, goat cheese, rosemary, olive oil and other heavenly decadent ingredients. I might cry that this is not on the menu all year-long (due to seasonality of the figs). I think it was called Calabrese or similar. Run…don’t walk… before they’re gone.”
Well, the time is now and the Calabrese is coming out of the oven! Tutta Bella‘s menu focuses as much as possible on the foods indigenous to the sun-drenched mountains of southern Italy (south of Campania), where figs not only grow in abundance but are an integral part of the history of the region. Remnants of figs have been found in excavation sites traced as far back as at least 5,000 B.C. It is not uncommon for Italian immigrants who live in the Seattle area to have carried the fig culture with them, planting trees bearing the sweet, mouthwatering fruit in their own yards.
The Calabrese pizza features fresh Black Mission figs with prosciutto di Parma, goat cheese and drizzled with a balsamic reduction. Some describe it as sweet, but it is actually a savory. All of Tutta Bella’s pizzas are created on a thin, crispy authentic Neapolitan crust. According to Chef Gojdics, “The pizza will run for approximately four weeks. It depends on the market and how long figs are available. Due to the fact that we run this pizza only once a year and it is so popular, we try to serve it as long as possible.” The Calabrese pizza is priced at $13.50.
Each month’s “vino speciale” highlights an appropriately paired Italian wine specially selected by Tutta Bella Westlake General Manager RC Jennings to complement the “pizza speciale”, available at all locations. A distinctive cocktail is also crafted each month, served at the Issaquah and Westlake restaurants only.
Tutta Bella is the Northwest’s first Vera Pizza Napoletana (VPN) certified Neapolitan pizzeria and as such is held accountable to the Association’s high culinary standards. In addition to pizza, menu items include calzone, antipasti, signature salads, house-made desserts and gelato. Tutta Bella also serves Attibassi espresso, flown in weekly direct from Italy, which is prepared at the true Neapolitan style espresso bar, featuring a traditional lever-action Italian espresso machine made by Victoria Arduino.
Tutta Bella has four locations: the original in Columbia City and three others located in Issaquah, Stone Way and Westlake.
Columbia City 4918 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle 98118 (206) 721-3501
Issaquah 715 NW Gilman Boulevard, Issaquah 98027 (425) 391-6838
Stone Way 4411 Stone Way North, Seattle 98103 (206) 633-3800
Westlake 2200 Westlake Avenue, Suite 112, Seattle 98121 (206) 624-4422