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All You Can Eat

Trend-setting restaurants, Northwest cookbooks, local food news and the people who make them happen.

August 12, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Prize-winner Tutta Bella celebrates with pizza giveaway

Joe Fugere, the amiable owner of Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria, has my permission to say, “Neener, neener, neener!” to the banks that turned him down in 2008 — after he attempted to secure a loan to finance his first Eastside pizzeria. While the numbers-crunchers were saying “fuggetaboutit” and calling his a “risky business,” Joe was hard at work running a first-class operation known for its Neapolitan pizza. Today he has four locations, in Columbia City, Wallingford, Westlake, and as of 2009 (“Neener, neener, neener!”) in Issaquah.

Talk about a good year! Fugere (who opened his first Tutta Bella in 2004 with eight employees and now has 180 on his payroll) was handed a “Hot Concepts” award by the National Restaurant Association at year’s end, named “Full Service Operator of the Year” by the Washington Restaurant Association this spring, and this month earned cover-boy status from the magazine “Pizza Today” crowning Tutta Bella its 2010 “Independent Pizzeria of the Year” among a throng of 33,000 independents. Paying it forward, Fugere and company plan to give thanks with a pizza giveaway.

Joe Fugere, left, at the original Tutta Bella in Columbia City.

[Seattle Times photo: Mark Harrison]

Monday August 16 through Sunday August 22, Tutta Bella is offering a free pizza to every table at each of its four locations. So, it’s a free pizza per-table, regardless of the number of guests seated at yours. (Disclaimer: the offer is available at lunch and dinner for dine-in guests only and not valid with any other coupon or discount.)

They’re giving it away — next week at Tutta Bella, but I was happy to pay for this one.

Funnily enough, I was sitting at the counter at Tutta Bella’s Westlake location two weeks ago, watching the staff do their thing. To a one, they were friendly and efficient and as I sat waiting for my pizza, I took note of that in great appreciation. I also took a photo of these napkins, because they reminded me of something that drives me nuts, which I’ll discuss in a subsequent post — so stay tuned.

At Tutta Bella, even the napkins wave the proud VNP-flag, noting the pizzeria’s Vera Pizza Napoletana certification.

Comments | More in Awards and Contests | Topics: Pizza

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