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Topic: Pizza

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July 5, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Bar del Corso: Jerry gets a place of his own, on Beacon Hill

Some chefs get all the glory. And then there’s Jerry Corso, whose name may not be familiar to you — yet. But that’s about to change. After 30 years spent cooking on two coasts and two continents, the Northwest native has put his name on a new “pizzeria con cucina.”

Jerry first came to my attention as the coolly capable right-hand man working the tapas bar at the Harvest Vine. Later, he helped open Crow, then lent an occasional hand at Spinasse, making pasta. Most recently, I’ve been privileged to sit at his kitchen counter at Crow’s sister-restaurant, Betty, going gonzo for his perfect pan-seared chicken breast.

Bar del Corso, with Corso presiding in the cucina — and his graphic designer-bride Gina Tolentino as marketing manager — will celebrate its grand opening on Beacon Hill next week. Last week, Corso took time from his busy schedule to chat.

Jerry Corso at Bar del Corso, making its public debut next week at 3057 Beacon Avenue South. That shirt says “beacon rocks!” not “bacon rocks!” Though bacon does too, of course. [Seattle Times/Mike Siegel]

Here’s what he had to tell me:

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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]

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July 16, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Yo, Big Mario! Gimme a slice of that pizza-pie!

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.

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April 9, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Essential in Georgetown, ‘Zaw on Queen Anne, pizza at both

The Essential Baking Company’s third bakery cafe opened this morning in Georgetown, joining sister-shops in Wallingford and Madison Valley. The folks at Essential are celebrating by handing out complimentary bites of the certified-organic bakery’s signature brownies at their newest store at 5601 First Avenue South — while they last. Of course, it would be nice if you’d be a sport and buy something from the Essential bread basket, or even show up for lunch (they’re keeping tradesman’s hours: Mondays-Fridays 6:45 a.m.-2:15 p.m.). P.S. the cafe’s expanded menu focuses on something new from founder and head-baker George DePasquale: pizza.

Bread. It’s Essential. [photo: courtesy The Essential Baking Company]

Speaking of pizza, ‘Zaw, the artisan bake at home pizza joint with a trio of stores — on Capitol Hill, South Lake Union and in Ballard — is opening a fourth take-out and delivery shop at 1635 Queen Anne Avenue North. “We started training in the store last night,” co-founder Greg Waring told me today, and after pounding a few more nails tonight, operators should be standing by for your order in time for the Saturday debut. Or you can order on-line.

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September 24, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Gad Zeeks! — in Issaquah: city councilman-to-be talks pizza

Say the word “pizza” (as I have, recently), and you’ll get people talking. But will it get folks buying condos in the Issaquah Highlands? The brain trust at Incolo hopes so and sent me a news-release today detailing the offer. During a fall promotion, they’re giving away a year’s worth of Zeeks Pizza to anyone who takes a Starpoint condo off their hands.

That’s approximately a $1000 incentive explained Mark Mullet, owner of the new Zeeks in the Highlands, when I called to get his take on the creative ways in which real estate agents are attempting to lure buyers to this “urban village.” Mullet was more than happy to oblige the creative minds who came up with the promo.

That’s a large pizza a week, diner’s choice, says the Zeeks franchisee, who’s new to the pizza-purveying game. “People who live in those condos are in the restaurant a lot. They come in all the time,” he said of the denizens of the mixed-use complex housing 92 residential condos.

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September 22, 2009 at 5:52 PM

Pizza flour: what to use at home? Depends on who’s baking.

It’s not uncommon for someone to ask me, “How’s John Hinterberger?” — the Seattle Times columnist who reigned as the voice of food and restaurants for 25 years before retiring in 1998. Sometimes I get an e-mail from a reader who’s lost a tattered copy of his recipe for spaghetti with clam sauce, or a call from another who asks about a pizza joint Hint reviewed umpteen years ago (“I can’t remember its name, but it was downtown and run by a guy who . . .”). Today it was an Eater who read my post extolling the virtues of local flour, then posed a question:

“Long ago, there was a John Hinterberger column where he told the story of how he found the best flour to make pizza crust. Unfortunately the smallest unit of flour he could buy was a 50 pound sack. Or maybe it was 100. He only wanted 2 pounds but bought the sack anyhow. So maybe the whole story was him trying to sell the rest of the flour to his co-workers. I searched using `Hinterberger pizza flour’ but didn’t see the story in the search results. Anyone know what flour he was using?”

I do. He was using Power and Mondako brand flours, a trademark now owned by Pendleton Flour Mills.

My predecessor, John Hinterberger, power-lunching at Chinook’s last year.

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July 15, 2009 at 3:02 PM

Crossing (fingers for) Delancey: pizzeria to open “soon”

When a longtime Seattle chef-celeb like Tom Douglas opens a pizzeria, you expect the place to garner lots of early buzz. But why is Delancey — the Brooklyn-styled pizzeria dreamed up by 27-year-old Brandon Pettit — getting so much juice when Ballard’s already got umpteen pizza parlors?

Maybe it’s because the cook and former music-teacher has been offering us the blow-by-blow of his buildout via his Twitter page, keeping us in-the-know when he installs beer taps and bar-tops, scavenges at Goodwill and suffers the agony of the “economic anti-stimulous package” — his description of the inevitable permitting and inspection delays. Perhaps Delancey’s hot before it’s even hot because it sits right next door to Seattle’s latest red-hot bakeshop, Honore Artisan Bakery . There, the neighborhood is closely watching Brandon’s every move, and not infrequently joining him for pain au chocolat.

Or maybe it’s just because he’s as earnest as he is adorable.

Cleft chin, curly hair, makes a mean pizza using great products, or so I hear.

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June 1, 2009 at 5:15 PM

Basketball queens stormin’ Queen Anne pizza parlor

Who: Pagliacci and Seattle Storm What: Storm serving slices – Seattle Storm players will be serving slices @ QA Paliacci When: Wednesday, June 3, 5p.m.-6p.m.; during that hour, buy a slice and get the second for $1.50 Where: Queen Anne Pagliacci (550 Queen Anne Ave. N. Seattle) Why: Pagliacci and Seattle Storm each celebrating big anniversaries: This…

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