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Review

Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria

$$$$
Written by

There are only two pizza restaurants in Columbia City. One of them is Pagliacci, which you should only order from if you’re hosting a middle school soccer team at your home. The other is Tutta Bella, a Seattle mini-chain that serves delicious Neapolitan pies and is one of the best sit-down spots for a meal in Columbia City.

You’ll want to keep things simple when you’re at Tutta Bella. Fill your table with a couple of pies, like the margherita, which proves that all you need to make charred dough delicious is buffalo mozzarella, san marzano tomatoes, and a few leaves of fresh basil, or a white pie with cauliflower, fennel, caciocavallo cheese, and a splash of cream. We’ve also found that asking them to leave the pizzas in the oven for an extra minute or two makes every pie here way better since there’s a little more crunch to the crust. Don’t tell anyone from Naples.

The rest of the menu is filled with mostly small plates, salads, and pastas, but stick with the salads if you’re looking for something other than pizza. The Palermo with arugula, oranges, and kalamata olives or the Salerno with romaine, cucumbers, and dijon are our favorite plates of leaves here. And you’ll want to avoid the more complicated pizzas, like The Roberto, a sausage pie topped with two different cheeses and a pistachio puree that is unfortunately too reminiscent of peanut butter.

If you’re anywhere else in town, you should go to one of the places on this list. But Tutta Bella’s your best pizza option if you’re in Columbia City. And even if you have a minivan full of ravenous teenage athletes, we’ll bet a few Neapolitan pies would make them happy, too.

Food Rundown

Minestrone

Dunking the grilled bread that comes with this bland minestrone is the best part. But you’re not here for something that Progresso can pull off. Skip this soup.

Salerno Salad

Tutta Bella has a bunch of crowd-pleasing salads to have with your pizza. The Salerno, with romaine, cucumber, fennel, fresh mozzarella, basil, tomato, and a dijon vinaigrette, is crunchy, tart, and our favorite plate of greens here.

Margherita DOC

This is the best pizza here, with or without soppressata added. Ask them to cook your pie for an extra minute and the crust will stand up to the wet toppings much better.

Roberto

On paper, this pie sounds terrific - sausage, smoked buffalo mozzarella, basil, and pistachio. The problem is that the nuts are in the form of puree dollops, which taste way too similar to peanut butter and clash with all of the other ingredients.

Cauliflower With Fennel

If you want to order a white pie that’s a little different, go with this one. It’s creamy but has some nuttiness from the caciocavallo and provolone cheeses along with a nice crunch from roasted cauliflower and shaved fennel. As tasty as this one is, the tomato-sauced pizzas are still better.

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