Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pulcinella Pizzeria

10003 Rainier Ave S
(between S 68th Ave & S Cornell Ave)
Seattle, WA 98178
Neighborhood: Rainier Beach
(206) 772-6861

I am second generation Italian - and have grown up with a chain of Italian restaurants in our family - for the last 50 years. ( ) My Uncle Vince Jr, who now runs the chain - has recently opened a new restaurant, not related to the Vince's chain. This is a Neopolitan wood fire pizzaria - with a wood fire oven imported straight from Naples, Italy.

Since I would obviously be biased in my review for this restaurant - I chose to take the photos, and invited two friends to guest write their opinions of the restaurant. Katelyn Hackett is the assistant editor for Sound magazine and writes about music and urban culture in the northwest. GMK is a local HIphop artist, soon to be dropping the CD "Songs for Bloggers" very soon - for more info check his website:

from left to right, GMK, Pulcinella owner Vince Mottola Jr, RA Scion (of Common Market) and Katelyn Hackett.

Katelyn Hackett writes: I was at Pulcinella's with friends, who promised me a delicious pizza no matter what I ordered---unless, they cautioned me, I ordered the tuna one. I skipped the tuna and ordered the Forcella, which involves mozzarella, ham, pepperoni and pepperoncinis along with Pulcinella's housemade tomato sauce. To start, my friend and I split a mozzarella, pomegranate vinegar, and almond salad, which was a little too acidic and could have been balanced by a touch more pomegranate or perhaps less dressing in general, but it was welcome after the antipasto to ready me for the meal's main event.


Mozzarella, pomegranate and almond salad

My Forcella was, as promised, great wood-fired pizza: chewy, light, charred crust, fresh, sweet tomato sauce, simple mozzarella, quality meats, and just the right amount of chopped pepperoncini to give the whole affair some zip. I doctored mine up with some of the spicy olive oil on the table and a dash or two of the black pepper. The pie was medium-sized, more than enough for my appetite. (Trust me on this one, I love pizza and this was the perfect size.) I also sampled a slice of my friend's fancy proscuitto and caper pie, which tasted just as fresh and delectable as my pizza did.

Pizza Forcella (Tomato, Mozzarella, Ham, Pepperoni, Pepperoncini)

Pizza Sorrento (Tomato, Mozzarella, Prosciutto, Mushrooms, Kalamata Olives, Capers, Basil)

Dessert was, at first, a sweet mascarpone, coffee liqueur, and chocolate pizza, topped with fast-melting whipped cream; sweet and delicious, but the refreshing, subtly citrused limoncello gelato set in front of me after I finished my slice of the dessert pizza was more to my taste.

Overall, I loved and can recommend the food and the company without reservation. My criticisms: the music was a little cheesy (easy to fix with a different set of cds), and the restaurant's ambience was a little impersonal without quite ascending to fancypants status (the upside-down Lakeside Tavern signage was a welcome, humorous touch). I think time and neighborhood involvement will humanize and weather the restaurant's interior to a more comfortable feel, however. It's a brand new restaurant, and it feels new. I came home pleasantly full, raving about the food to my housemate, and waving around a box of leftovers. The cold pizza, by the way, made for an excellent breakfast the next morning!

GMK writes: I have to say my experience at Pulcinella was more then grand. It's atmosphere combined with good company equal awesome. Out of all the prime choices of pizza I went with the Posillipo pizza.*Salami, fresh mozzarella and tomato. Wood fired to perfection, I thought the portions were not to much and no to little.

Pizza Posillipo (Salami, fresh mozzarella and tomato)

Pizza Chaiaia ( Tomato, Eggplant Parmigiana, Mozzarella)

I would assume that feeling full and satisfied would have been enough. At the end of it all I was served some of the best dessert I've had in 6 months. I call it a party in my mouth. What came out was Segreto di Pulcinella. It had me saying this can't be real and slowly detecting each ingredient. Cinnamon, Chocolate, Whip Cream, Vanilla.

Il Segreto di Pulcinella: (a "secret" combination of marscapone, espresso and coffee liqueur spread expertly on a pizza skin and then baked. Served right out of the wood fire oven and topped lightly with a rich chocolate sauce)

To top that off, next came this lemon iced liquor. (see photo above) Unfortunately the name skips my memory. Spoiled is what I'd have to call this dining experience. Would definitely go back, give it 5 stars and a sure recommend.

Total rating: ***** 5 stars - you must try this place!

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