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[SEA] Via Tribunali

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I still say the mushrooms are crap. I pulled two of them out of my calzone leftovers for closer inspection, and they are indistinguishable from tan-colored canned/sliced/brined mushrooms of the supermarket variety.

Hey, at least they are tan and not greenish gray. Without going into the gory details of where and why, I had a couple of really horrific canned mushroom experiences recently.

I'll try Via Tribunali's again when I'm fully recovered and see if fell into a trap of relativism.

Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

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  • 2 weeks later...

FWIW: I tried Via Tribunali last night and have to give it a slight edge over Tutta Bella in terms of the "Vera Pizza Napolitana" rankings.

I tried the margherita, via Tribunali, and the Calzone al Salame.

Complaints: a little soggy in the middle of the 2 pizzas, and a relative lack of char and bubbly cheese on top. I noticed that they don't lift their pizzas up to the top of the oven for the last few seconds as they do at Tutta Bella. It's also quite a bit more expensive than Tutta Bella, with a Margherita priced at $10, vs $6.95 at Tutta Bella.

What makes it better: I found the crust a little more authentic, it just tasted "right". Via Trib's pizzas are not as dry and have more tomato/olive oil, making for a better tasting experience. I liked their mozzarella fresca better too.

The Calzone was awesome, and held up better (not so floppy/soggy). The Salame was excellent.

I'll definitely eat there again.

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  • 2 months later...

Matthew and I enjoyed two pizzas at VT last week. I had dinner there with my sister in March; we shared a caprese salad and a Primavera, I think, pizza (tomatoes, mozz, arugula). Everything was very delicious. My sister has lived in Italy and she said it was very much like pizza she ate there, floppy in the middle, knife and fork. I'd never had pizza like that before and I thought it was delicious. Matthew and I shared the same pizza and one with salame. Both were good but the latter quite greasy; for me at least, lightweight toppings work best on this style of pizza.

They now give takeout, which I think is appalling. How could this pizza not be inedible after even ten minutes out of the oven?

While I think it is definitely NOT a good place to take kids (it's small, crowded, adult-oriented), evidently other parents judge differently as on both visits I was disappointed to run into small children. (I love small children, except when I'm having a rare adult evening out without my child.) I recommend NOT taking children there.

Both dinners, we arrived between 5 and 5:30 and were seated immediately, but every table was filled soon after. We peeked in at the back room with the group table--gorgeous and definitely a fun place for a party.

Hungry Monkey May 2009
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Heres my take on this place. Im from Brooklyn and I know pizza.

I love DiFara's in Brooklyn and have been going there for years.

My favorite Pizza in the world is in New Haven, CT at Sally's.

Here are my complaints/comments about this dreadful place:

1)This place is overhyped and has a terrible attitude problem.

2)They dont keep normal hours- Any business that opens and closes as they wish wont be around for long.

3)The European style warm water bothers me but thats an insignifigant complaint.

4)They dont cut their Pizza or offer a suitable knife which is pretentious bullshit.

5)The Pizza is not allowed the correct amount of time to cool and the sauce can be soupy which leads to a sometimes soggy crust.

6)They dont do any substitutions and couldnt honor a simple request such as adding basil to one of my Pizzas.

7)Can you say OVERPRICED?

My meal there wasnt terrible and everything tasted OK. Obviously, it sure beats the hell out of Domino's but i'll just hold out until im back home. Cafe Lago has a better attitude it seems. Tutta Bella's pizza sucks.

Edited by joeforte (log)
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Went to Via Trib for the second time last week. I'm still in love with this place!

It was warm out and they had the big garage door rolled up, so nice to have it open to the street. They also have a sign now in tile above the door.

We waited 15 mins for a table for 3. Had well made martini's while we waited.

Started with the Salumi plate, excellent as it should be. Both our waitress and busboy were exceptionally nice, polite and answered lots of questions from us.

We each ordered a pizza- one Via Trib, one proscuitto and one lasagne. All were delish but I liked the smokey flavor of ricotta on the Via Trib best.

We shared 2 dessets, the chocolate gelato with espresso and the ricotta tart with citrus. YUM!

I really don't know what all the fuss is about the plates and knives! We haven't had any problems cutting our pizza. How is this pretentious??? anyway I guess I just don't have problems using utensils :wink:

I can't wait to go back again!!!

Edited by little ms foodie (log)
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I want to jump in and add that Cam and I have been back to Via Trib a few times since our initial postings. The pizzas have ranged from pretty good to downright amazing, and the service is always cordial. The "vesuvio" has become my menu favorite... the addition of a second thin crust and sauce on top solves the crust-to-toppings ratio issue for me quite nicely.

I suppose that if someone forced me to choose, I would pick Lago's pizza over Via Trib's. But other than being thin-crust wood-fired pizzas, they're really very different pies; I like them both, most of the time. And Lago isn't open when we get done at the theater, which is when we usually go to Via Trib.


Edited by ScorchedPalate (log)

Anita Crotty travel writer & mexican-food addictwww.marriedwithdinner.com

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Scrat and I (and the munchkin, sorry Laurie) had our first Via Trib experience last week. Started with ubiquitous tomato/mozz/basil salad, I thought the cheese was of extraordinary quality. We then split the primavera pizza which I liked a lot. The VT crust has very good flavor, although I'd like it cooked more. I wish everyone here could try the pizza from Filiberto's, down in my hood, without having to schlep all the way to it. Anyways, their crust comes out more blistered, which I prefer. The fresh arugula on the pizza was nice although I'm generally opposed to the whole salad on a pizza concept. Service was fine although we felt somewhat rushed.

If anyone is interested, those lighted stained-glass windows they have came from a chapel at Seattle U that was remodeled into a non-denominational space. They kept the larger ones and you can seem them in a number buildings around campus, particularly in the building where the bookstore is. Check them out if you get a chance. I believe the light fixtures above the bar were leftovers from the ones used in the St Ignatius Chapel.

Pietro and Sabrina (owners of La Spiga) were there along with their kids. Although I understand your point Laurie, I think a pizza place, even an adult-oriented one, is inevitably going to attract people with kids.

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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I agree completely with what Anita says about the Lago pizza style being differentfrom Via T, despite the common thin crusts and wood fire. Via T does a beautiful neoplitan pizza and many Italians from Rome have commented that Lago pizza is very much in the style of classic Roman pizza. I'll take that with great happiness. :biggrin:


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Started with ubiquitous tomato/mozz/basil salad, I thought the cheese was of extraordinary quality.

I'm with you, tighe. I think that the mozz at Via Trib is eye-poppingly good.


i play the rock. you shake the booty.
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I really enjoyed our visit to VT. The primavera was superb, and looking over the pizza list, I didn't see anything that struck me as more appealing (it's not a very diverse list, but that's not a criticism). We were in a hurry, which is why we didn't order a calzone, but we'll definitely do so next time.

I think more pizzas should have salad on them. In fact, I think salad is underused as an ingredient. I've never enjoyed a standalone salad as much as a salad on top of pizza or steak, or a salad under a piece of fish.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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  • 3 months later...

We made out first VT visit last night and had a lot of fun. When we arrived the place was packed with 20-somethings. Shel and I looked at each other, wondering if we dared enter such a Den Of Youth. There was a cute guy, maybe 19, with a cute accent, at the podium. I asked him "Are we too old to eat here?" He laughed and said "Oh no, you are beautiful!" Ok, now it's for sure that I'm going in.

The service all evening was exceptional. Fast, competent, friendly, and thoroughly tatooed. We decided that we were more under-tatooed than over-age.

Like many of you, we shared the Armandino spread - that mortadella is a revelation. It was the only one on the board that I hadn't had before, and I've always thought that mortadella was yucky and stodgy, but this one is ethereal.

We shared the Via Trib pizza, and both liked it a lot. We could and did fold the slices, but a bit droopily. NOTE: we asked our server whether in the future we could ask for the pizza extra-crispy, and she said definitely, please do, lots of people do, but be aware that the Via Trib pizza specifically will always be a bit "soupy" because of the water content of the fresh mozz.

We had the half-litre of the house red for the same price as a glass of name-brand wine, and I thought it was just like being at a little place in Italy, with wine that was good enough but no better than it needed to be, and cheap too.

The Tartufo Affogato we shared was divine. We were making it a date, and sharing everything, or else I would have insisted on having one of my own.

We liked the place a lot, and will certainly go there again when we want to have a fun evening of feeling young, beautiful, and well fed.

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Hey, I was there last night, too! I was eating early at the bar, so we probably didn't cross paths. I was going to get a calzone, but I decided it was too hot for a calzone and had the primavera instead, which was great as always.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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I, too, just enjoyed my first dinner at Via Tribunali on Wednesday night. For two, we were told by the host that there was a 20 minute wait, although we were graciously offered a glass of wine to make the time pass a little less painfully. After about 25 minutes, we were told there were two seats at the bar, if we were interested. I love sitting at the bar in restaurants -- it's definitely the best place to sit observe how a place really operates.

I must admit that my Italian is not perfect, even my "restaurant Italian," but one thing immediately stood out to me -- a couple of dishes with buffalo mozzarella! I’m MAD for buffalo mozzarella! It’s an entirely different cheese, and, opposed to cow’s milk mozzarella, it actually has flavor. So we simply had to order the caprese, the Via Trib pizza, and a green salad in between. A glass of Sangiovese went well with all of it.

We completely lucked out on the caprese -- the bartender told us that they were making it with heirloom tomatoes that night, for no extra charge. It arrived in a lovely multi-colored stack, with red, yellow and purplish tomatoes layered between the mozzarella. What kind of olive oil do they use? It’s delicious! More basil would have been nice (it just had one lovely leaf resting on top).

The pizza was also amazing.... The smoky flavor that gets in there from the wood oven, well, I’ve never had anything like it. We also employed "the fold" to our pizza, which worked just fine. And more buffalo mozzarella! (As an aside, I thought the knives they provide were perfectly acceptable for cutting the pizza.)

With all that, we were far too full for desert, although I could have eaten more pizza. My dining companion and I considered going back for lunch the following day; instead I think we’ll just be back in for dinner very soon.

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It arrived in a lovely multi-colored stack, with red, yellow and purplish tomatoes layered between the mozzarella.  What kind of olive oil do they use?  It’s delicious!  More basil would have been nice (it just had one lovely leaf resting on top).

(rant mode on) This drives me nuts. Lots of restaurants do this. Why skimp on basil?? I want to taste it with EVERY bite! (rant mode off)

OK, I'm fine now.

Born Free, Now Expensive

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I'm sorry to be a killjoy, but I just don't feel the love for this place. They put up a good front, with stylish servers and all the requisite urban-dining flourishes: exposed brick, high ceilings and bowling-alley quality noise levels. But God save the back of the house, whose suppliers must just be following orders when they deliver those five-gallon cans of mushrooms and logs of Gallo salami. Via has a Butch Blum dining room but the kitchen is strictly Bon bargain basement.

We started with house salads, which the kitchen underdressed so severely we partook of the bottles of oil and vinegar at the table. One should tell the salad guy to stop salad-spinning the greens after they are dressed. The lettuce itself was nicely cultivated, however.

On to the main course: calzones. My wife's was so blackened it could have come from the maw of Vesuvius itself. Hers contained the vile canned mushrooms, which rendered the whole thing characterless. My own hot pocket was loaded with salami, but not the Salumi advertised elsewhere on the menu. No friends, it was Gallo (or a similarly ghastly factory-made meat product), ridden with salt and boasting a springy texture, like that of latex gloves. Why not use fresh mushrooms? Why not spare a sixteenth of a pound of Armandino's best? At $16.00 apiece, these 'zones were a maddening rip-off.

We wisely skipped desert, opting instead for a couple cups of Caffe Vita just down the road. I know it's the same owner, but he roasts beans a lot better than he cooks. Too bad. I really wanted to like this place.

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We had a party for 16 in the private room last saturday for a birthday. pizza crusts were a bit softer this time ( I need to remember to ask for the extra crispy) but the flavors on top were great. I had the primavera which was wonderful. desserts were all big winners with the ball of papaya, mango and raspberry sorbet dipped in white chocolate being the HUGE winner.

The place is FUN for a party but I think 12 in that private room should be max

p.s. I never order the mushrooms!

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