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Serious Pie in Seattle


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I recently spent a weekend in Seattle. After much research I came across a little bit of buzz for Serious Pie, the new Tom Douglas restaurant opening downtown. Being from Vancouver, I am spoiled for good food of all budgets and all styles, but pizza is one thing no one here seems to have taken to a high level and mostly the best pizzas I made at home. Well, that was until we ate here. The room is small with comfy high bar style seats, a cozy pizzeria sort of feel. Service was good. The crust was a perfect base. Crispy from the wood fire oven, a nice amount of chew, thin but with enough thickness to hold the toppings well, and a neutral flavour. The "Foraged Mushroom" pizza had chanterelles as well as other wild mushrooms and a truffle cheese. That's it! The mushrooms were full of flavour and since you don't need to do much to a Chanterelle, the fact that they left the ingredient alone with only the addition of a nicely flavoured cheese was fantastic. After it came out of the oven they drizzled olive oil and sprinkled sea salt over top- a nice touch. A couple days later we enjoyed the classic Margherita pizza. San Marzano tomatoes and fresh made mozzarella and sprinkling at the end of a very wonderful dry oregano. Again, great quality ingredients left on their own. There were about 5 pizza's on the menu, not sure how often the menu will change. I really respect the restrained use of quality toppings. That's the way a beautiful, gourmet pizza should be.

Edited by TamiM (log)
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I like the pizza here as well... But my one complaint (and it could just be that I went too early as the regular chef wasn't there yet) is the pizza didn't have as much wood flavor as I wanted. I was watching them make the pizza and they didn't hold it up in the dome. Many wood oven pizza places hold the pizza in the dome of the oven during rotation (and sometimes a little longer) to try and get a bit of the smoke in it.

I did like the number of other dishes they had on the menu that were prepared in the oven and were not pizza. Wood oven's are a great way to cook and can be used for many more things then just pizza.

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The mushroom pizza sounds really, really good. Wow. Might have to make the trek for lunch.

Did anyone try a cannoli? I've never liked cannoli that I've gotten from Italian-American bakeries, but I've always thought the real thing looked (say, in a Saveur article on Sicily) really good.

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The mushroom pizza sounds really, really good. Wow. Might have to make the trek for lunch.

Did anyone try a cannoli? I've never liked cannoli that I've gotten from Italian-American bakeries, but I've always thought the real thing looked (say, in a Saveur article on Sicily) really good.

I had the cannoli, while good I don't think it was truly Italian compared to the Italian bakeries in Chicago I used to go to.

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The mushroom pizza sounds really, really good. Wow. Might have to make the trek for lunch.

Did anyone try a cannoli? I've never liked cannoli that I've gotten from Italian-American bakeries, but I've always thought the real thing looked (say, in a Saveur article on Sicily) really good.

The cannoli is not traditional. It's like a cross between cannoli and a churro. Very good, just not traditional.

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We tried Serious Pie last night and seriously liked it. We had the foraged mushroom and truffle cheese pizza, and the cherry bomb pepper with sweet fennel sausage pizza. Both were delicious.

We didn't have a starter, but the people next to us had a salad served in a big bowl with two plates, a very nice touch. My corked glass of dolcetto was replaced immediately. My husband's request for a Coke (which they don't have - no cola in the house!) was met with an offer by our server to run over to Dahlia Lounge to get one, which he did.

It's not inexpensive - two pizzas,one glass of wine, one Coke, was $42 before the tip, so it's not in the "pizza joint" category at all. Tom Douglas was in the dining room chatting with guests, the room was warm and welcoming despite the rain outdoors, the pizza was excellent, and we're looking forward to going back.

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Deja Vu - in terms of Pizza anyway.

Wednesday night we had the mushroom pizza and the fennel sausage pizza at Serious Pie. And came to a very similiar conclusion - not cheap, but quite good. A welcome change from the rest of Belltown - perfect for a simple dinner before/after a concert at the Moore. I liked the space - warm, cozy and comfortable - in a clean way.

Robin Tyler McWaters

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Ditto. The mushroom pizza would have been even better with a bit of truffle oil, though. I only tasted a teeny bit of truffle in the truffle cheese; just enough to make me want a little more. The sausage/cherry bomb was good. There was quite a crowd there last night, but table turnover was quick and we had wine while we waited, so it was fine. The cannoli filling was good but the shell was just okay.

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stopped into serious pie today for lunch with a friend from school. great sexy space - lofty, beamed ceilings and cozy leather (tall) chairs. my friend and i had the tomato/anchovy/kalamata olive and the foraged mushroom pizzas. i'm an east coast girl, so i was a little bummed to see a crust so thick on the edges, but it was much lighter than it looked. very good texture, with light and even toppings. the anchovy pizza was very strongly flavored (a good thing if you like anchovies as much as i do) the mushroom was good, but it seemed to me that the truffle flavor was on top of, not in the cheese. i like truffle, but i thought there was plenty of it...maybe they're listening kiliki? we had the affogato to finish - the advertised hazelnut was nowhere to be found, but the espresso was divine and the resulting super sweet rich latte-ish beverage was great. *most* important - open everyday 11-11...has anyone but me noticed the dearth of mid-day wine drinking and noshing establishments in this city? does a girl have to drink beer to have a nip at 2pm?

from overheard in new york:

Kid #1: Paper beats rock. BAM! Your rock is blowed up!

Kid #2: "Bam" doesn't blow up, "bam" makes it spicy. Now I got a SPICY ROCK! You can't defeat that!

--6 Train

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Time to be the lone voice of dissent here. I am just not very impressed by Serious Pie at all. I went a few weeks ago and I have to say that I was very dissapointed. I went with two friends and we split the sausage and peppers pizza and the margherita style one. My dissapointment centers on the sausage and pepper pie, the crust was fine but the sauce seemd bland and there was a definite lack of cheese on it, really nothing more than a sprinkling. The sausage was essentially flavorless aside from fennel seed, and not in a oh the fennel seed just dominated everything sort of way. It was more of a Tombstone Pizza it's been in the freezer for a while and the only flavor component that survived is the fennel seed sort of way. The ironic thing to me was that the margherita style pizza had much more cheese than the sausage and peppers pizza. Maybe I was expecting too much, but I'm just not blown away.

Rocky

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Did anyone try a cannoli? I've never liked cannoli that I've gotten from Italian-American bakeries, but I've always thought the real thing looked (say, in a Saveur article on Sicily) really good.

Try to find a bakery (or restaurant) that keeps the shells separate from the filling and waits until each cannoli is ordered before they addd the filling. I've been consistently disappointed in cannoli - even from Italian-Americn bakeries - until I stumbled across a small shop that did them this way.

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Time to be the lone voice of dissent here. 

Rocky

Second visit - in the evening. Thought the fresh marjoram on the fennel sausage cherry pepper pie was the dominant flavor. Not my favorite. Also, the crust was more charred and less airy than the first. Beet salad was pretty good, could have used more vinegar.

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Try to find a bakery (or restaurant) that keeps the shells separate from the filling and waits until each cannoli is ordered before they addd the filling. I've been consistently disappointed in cannoli - even from Italian-Americn bakeries - until I stumbled across a small shop that did them this way.

I think this might have fit that criteria-the shell was not soggy at all. I thought it was a little overbaked, though, and it was way too cinnamon-y. Most other cannolis I've had were filled with mediocre grocery store ricotta and were a bit soft from sitting in a case. But the real Sicilian thing, with sheep's milk ricotta and a fried shell (geez, I'd even be happy with a good quality ricotta), sounds fantastic.

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  • 2 weeks later...

^ Ok wait. This place is called "Serious Pie" yet I am reading about a lot of pizza reviews? Is this serious pizza or serious pie? I'm pretty serious about my pies so when I go I want to make sure they arn't dickin around here. They gotta be serious about their damn pies :biggrin:

I'll be down in Seattle next weekend for a taste. Anyone from Vancouver here that has had both Savoury Pie and Serious Pie? How do they compare?

mmm pie.

[edit] - I jus re-read the blurb on Tom Douglas' site and I guess "serious pie" really is "pizza". Damn him for being such an evil tease. :angry:

Sigh...my search for good pie in Seattle continues...

Edited by fud (log)

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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  • 4 weeks later...
How long should we allow for dinner (pizza and maybe a starter, but probably no dessert) at Serious Pie? Do they take a long time to bring the  pizzas out?

I had a 20 minute wait to get seated. So lots of pizzas ordered ahead of us. I think it took another 20 minutes to get the pizzas, with no starter order. I doubt they take reservations, but I could be wrong.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Went in a group of five and tasted four pizzas. Overall we were all really happy with the pizza. My personal favorite was the cappicola, arugula with soft egg, which melts in your mouth. FANTASTIC. Other faves were the mushroom pizza with truffle cheese and the sausage pizza. But the egg was by far the best in my opinion.

The biggest issue was getting a seat, and for this they won't be forgiven. We had 2 of our party get there at 6:45pm to put our name down. We were told it'd be 45 minutes at 7pm when we checked in. We didn't get seated until 8:15. It was really obnoxious. So would I stop in with one other person? Sure. I wouldn't wait 1 1/2 hours for it ever again, though. Good thing we were meeting friends from out of town and everyone was happy to drink wine at the bar at Lola.

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We (my bride and I) did dinner there last Saturday. Loved it.

Had the ribolitta bread soup (excellent), loved the mushroom, parmesean and sweet fennel sausage pizza. Excellent. Finished up with their cranberry dessert. Kind of a tart thing. Very good. A little disappointed that they don't have coffee (only espresso).

Overall I make better pizza at home but we would go back again. Not as memorable as Lola (which I should add is my favorite place to eat).

We were seated immediately when we walked in the door but we got there at 4:50. By the time we left, they were packed.

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Did anyone try a cannoli? I've never liked cannoli that I've gotten from Italian-American bakeries, but I've always thought the real thing looked (say, in a Saveur article on Sicily) really good.

Try to find a bakery (or restaurant) that keeps the shells separate from the filling and waits until each cannoli is ordered before they addd the filling. I've been consistently disappointed in cannoli - even from Italian-Americn bakeries - until I stumbled across a small shop that did them this way.

Kind of off-topic, but DiLaurenti will fill your cannoli fresh when you order.

Haven't tried one yet, so can't recommend.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I went today at around 1:15 pm and was seated with no wait. My only interest was in the clam,pancetta,lemon thyme and mozzarella tomato pies. The good news for the tomato pie was the tomato sauce was wonderfully juicy and the crust bubbly and chewy. The bad news was that I tasted no clams, just spicy house pancetta on the one pizza I was most looking forward to liking. Yes, I am a transplanted New Yorker and hold very high expectations of anything having to do with clams on pizza since I am a Lombardis White Clam Pie junkie! But still, at least even it up and give equal flavor to the clams and the pancetta. I will go back to SP but not in a serious rush.

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I've got to agree with Rocky's review, above. I just don't think that the pizza at Serious Pie is very good. I first went a week or two after it opened, and had the truffled mushroom pie, which was literally doused in truffle oil. I'm always suspicious of this, because truffle oil has such a strong scent that it hides every other flavor. Ate in anyway, and I could still taste it in the back of my throat all the next day. Not good.

I went back again just yesterday to try the basic buffalo mozzarella and tomato pie, thinking perhaps they had worked out some earlier issues, and that I'd enjoy something a little simpler. It was nice to see that the prices have dropped a bit -- this pizza used to be $15 and now it's down to $12. Unfortunately, I still didn't like it. While the toppings were good, the crust just tasted really floury to me... it reminded me of frozen pizza. All over the top was a liberal dusting of dried oregano -- how tacky! It might seem like a small thing to quibble about, but it's hard for me to believe that Tom Douglas restaurants can't get their hands on some fresh oregano. And if they can't, either stir the dried into the sauce so it rehydrates a bit, or just leave it off completely.

I much, much prefer Via Trib or Tutta Bella.

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Did anyone try a cannoli? I've never liked cannoli that I've gotten from Italian-American bakeries, but I've always thought the real thing looked (say, in a Saveur article on Sicily) really good.

Try to find a bakery (or restaurant) that keeps the shells separate from the filling and waits until each cannoli is ordered before they addd the filling. I've been consistently disappointed in cannoli - even from Italian-Americn bakeries - until I stumbled across a small shop that did them this way.

[minor thread hijack]

Don't all Italian-American bakeries do it that way? I've never seen it done any other way. There's at least half a dozen excellent and legendary bakeries in South Philly (conveniently and dangerously not far from my house) that all leave the shells empty until they're filled to order. They just get soggy otherwise, no?

My favorites are the ones with the chocolate dipped ends and Strega scented ricotta filling from Varallo Bakery. Drool. :wub:

[/minor thread hijack]

Katie M. Loeb
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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

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  • 3 months later...

TallDrinkOfWater and I went last night, 45 minute wait was passed at the bar at Dahlia. Then we were seated, very fun communal tables- I like that, I know others don't. I love the space- it's small but very well used.

We decided to just have pies- I had the clam pie and dayne had the special which was goat cheese, fresh mozz, proscuitto, tasted fennel seeds. We both LOVED it! The crust was exactly how I like it, crunchy thin but with thicker edges with a nice char from the oven. The seasonings were what we loved the best- you could definately taste the salt in the crust which made the pieces a bit addicting. There was not a piece left as dayne finished his and then half of mine!!

We woke up thinking about those pies... seriously! going back- soon!

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