Friday, August 20, 2010

Tutta Bella

What you are about to read is the first ever Slice Harvester review by anyone other than myself! This is a momentous day. It's a little over a year since I started this project and I already have my first national correspondent. He is a dear friend of mine, an excellent writer, and a pizzaman at the only good slice joint in the entire Northwest, so his credentials are spotless. And besides, he's qualified because I say he's qualified, I'm piloting this ship, goddammit and I'll make the decisions around here.
-The Slice Harvester


2200 Westlake Ave in Seattle, Washington


Pizza Today is a trade magazine that focuses on the financial end of the pizza business, never actually writing about the taste of anything. They’re about cutting costs, building a pizzeria’s brand, and addressing issues like whether or not managers should hire people with facial piercing and neck tattoos.

Pizza Today named Tutta Bella as 2010’s Independent Pizzeria of the Year. There are four locations in the Seattle area, and collectively they will top $10 million in sales this year. Tutta Bella is approved by the VPN (“Verace Pizza Napoletana, a group that certifies Neapolitan pizzerias throughout the world and verifies the authenticity of their products” says Pizza Today.) Tutta Bella also serves high end coffee drinks, specially imported wine and beer, and fancy desserts.

Anyway, their pizza totally sucks. Tutta Bella doesn’t serve slices. The equivalent of a cheese slice is a personal pizza “Margherita,” which is a small pie that’s mostly sauce with three or four mozzarella globs and a couple basil leaves floating around in it. The sauce tasted like Cambell’s soup, but sweeter. It would maybe be good if you dipped your grilled cheese sandwich in it. The cheese slumped around, actually really didn’t taste much like anything and when slurped up, slides down your throat like a raw oyster. The crust was the best part and it was still bland as hell. Buying this pizza for dinner is $11! What a rip off!

Tutta Bella is like eating pizza at Starbucks. (Which make sense because owner, Joe Fugere, was an executive at Starbucks before he quit to open Tutta Bella in 2004) It’s made to look like high end bohemia, but comes off culturally void and boring. The location we ate at sits atop a Whole Foods (they totally have better pizza) in the “up and coming” neighborhood of South Lake Union. The building is ugly and new, and had these big white statues in front of it that everybody I was with hugged affectionately. We could see the space needle from our table, which is kind of neat, because I love the space needle, and our server was great. But don’t go. Nobody should eat here.


  1. Dear Writer,

    Your facts are incorrect. Perhaps before you write such a negative review of a company and produce, you should learn a few accurate facts about that company and product.

    1. In Seattle alone, there are THREE VPN (Verace Pizza Napoletana) approved pizzerias. They are Tutta Bella, Via Tribunali and Pulcinella pizzeria.

    2. If you bothered to learn anything about Neapolitan pizza before writing this review, you would have known the Margherita pizza is a classic pizza, known for having extremely light toppings (sauce, mozzarella and fresh basil). If you wanted a heavy cheese pizza, perhaps you should have ordered the Quattro Formaggi (four cheese) pizza, which is heavily topped with cheese.

    3. The tomatoes ALL CERTIFIED NEAPOLITAN PIZZERIAS must make their sauce from is the San Marzano, which is naturally higher is sugar than other tomatoes. This means that you are getting a purer sauce, without extra additives (like refined sugar).

    From the end of your post it is fairly clear that you are in love with Whole Foods and their "style" of food. Perhaps you should eat their so Tutta Bella can free up another table for those of us waiting to get in.

  2. Since the business of pizza is mentioned, I thought the readers would find this interesting. It is a comparison between a fancy schmancy new york gourmet pizza place, and a regular joe (the type the Harvester reviews) place. The profits on the regular pizza is higher. Still the numbers are interesting (especially for any of you thinking of opening a pizza place!
    here's the link

  3. Dear anonymous,

    1. You are right that there are other VPN approved pizzerias in Seattle. I got that fact from the Pizza Today article on Tutta Bella. I should have researched it myself. I will change my review.

    2. I've eaten awesome neapolitan pizza before and I typically love margherita style pizzas. One of the greatest eating experiences of my life was eating a margherita pizza at a 150 year old pizzeria in Naples, Italy. Maybe I have high expectations but, in my opinion, the pizza at Tutta Bella is really shitty and super overpriced.

  4. I read the NY Magazine article and since this thread is all about correcting people's errors, I have to say that from my reading, you are wrong. It looked to me that while the markup is higher on the regular slice, the fancy pizzeria makes a larger profit.

    Of course, a $90,000 profit to me doesn't sound that amazing when you consider that the owner probably has to work 12-16 hour days, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year to keep the place running. The article didn't explore that kind of information.

  5. The person that wrote this: you are the worst. Just leave Seattle now please.