If you can keep up with this month’s incessant restaurant openings on Capitol Hill, you’ve got me beat (hello, Capitol Hill Seattle blog!). So, you been to Big Mario’s New York Style Pizza yet? Me neither, seeing as it’s barely been open 24 hours. But one look at this New York-style pie, courtesy of co-owner Dave Meinert — a guy who knows how to throw a Capitol Hill Block Party — and I’m thinking about getting into my car right now and standing “on line” (as they say in NYC) when the joint opens at 11 a.m. for another go ’round:
That’s a’pizza! Or “pizza-pie” as they repeatedly say where I come from.
You’ll find the place at 1009 East Pike Street, next door to the flagship Caffe Vita (whose owner, Mike McConnell, is among the investors). At Big Mario’s, you can buy your pie whole or by the slice, there’s a full bar, plenty of beer, and a walk-up window open till 2 a.m. — 4 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays (the better to ward-off your hangover).
The pizzeria’s debut was a big success, according to Meinert, with a line out the door within hours of opening. And if I’m to believe the press release — or the early-birds on Yelp — that reason may have everything to do another name behind this venture: “Big” Mario Vellotti, a native of Napoli whose family ties are said to include pizzerias in five New York boroughs.
Speaking of which, two weeks ago I burrowed my pie-hole into this Northwestified New Yawk-accented pizza at Delancey, proving once again that there are many different styles of pizza on offer in and around Seattle. And the list of great ones keeps on growing: which is happy news for those of us who did not grow up eating Domino’s and Little Caesars.
It’s all about the char at Delancey, in Ballard, where pies are constructed with Brooklyn’s Di Fara as the gold standard and with wild mushrooms, including these porcini, as a seasonal specialty.
Feel free to join the chorus, tawking amongst yourselves right here over which local pie — New York-styled or otherwise — is “best.” None comes close to my memories of the big, chewy-crusted, mozz-laden pizzas I ate growing up in Northeast Philly, where there were great, cheap, mom ‘n pop pizza-joints on every corner, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Big Mario’s will assuage that old hunger.