Seattle: Via Tribunali, Neapolitan-Style Pizza
There are five Via Tribunali locations in Seattle, each of them VPN-certified. I don't know what the other four look like (though I get a bit of an idea looking at the VT website), but the one in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood, attached to the Crocodile, is dark, moody, and menacing, if only in a sort of pretend-menacing kind of way. In perhaps a nod to Mt. Vesuvius and the fire of the wood oven, there are ink-black and fiery-orange paintings of erupting volcanoes on the wall. The chandeliers hold glowing-red candelabra bulbs, their imitation flames flickering. Tall-back booths look more like Catholic confessionals than places to eat pizza. And rather than Italianate, the room almost has the feel of a Spanish mission. In a nutshell, if the Hotel California had a pizzeria attached for guests to eat at, this is what it would look like.
Do you see what I mean? Or am I talking out my ass yet again?
The Via Tribunali Margherita was a notch above Tutta Bella's, with a cornicione (end crust) that's nice and puffy, soft and crisp and chewy. Good char and "leopard spotting" on the crust, which had some salt and tang to it. The cheese was standard fresh mozz, not much to write home about in terms of flavor, so I don't know if the fact that it was applied sparingly was good or bad. (It also was largely unmelted.) The standard San Marzano tomato sauce was also a bit bland.