As most of you know, a restaurant needs permits and licenses to prepare and serve food to the public. But one restaurant in the Northwest went even further, by getting a certification for the preparation of their pizza. Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria is accredited by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. The VPN, based in Naples, Italy, is an organization which gives special designation to pizzerias that meet strict guidelines of Neapolitan style pizza making. These guidelines include:
- Using only low gluten flour
- Using San Marzano tomatoes (grown in the rich volcanic soil of Mt. Vesuvius)
- Making the dough by hand
- Using a wood-fired oven
So what is so special about this pizza? For starters — it’s amazing! After the first time I tasted this pizza I wanted to order six more and freeze them so I’d have pizza for the rest of the week. These are gourmet pizzas, using top of the line ingredients in wonderful combinations that one person can polish off alone since they’re so thin.
On this particular adventure I feasted on several items including four pizzas. No, I didn’t finish them myself, but if there was a wager involved I’m sure I could make it happen. The Insalata Di Napoli (Naples Salad) is a mix of Genoa salami, fire-roasted chicken breast, pancetta, carrots, artichokes, romaine, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, crumbled gorgonzola, and a blend of Caesar dressing and white balsamic vinaigrette. If this sounds like a ton of ingredients, you’re right. But don’t worry, just trust that Tutta Bella knows what they’re doing. This salad is not for wimps. It’s heavy, yet refreshing and super flavorful.
For starters, I tasted the Carta Da Musica (Flatbread). This is a flat breadstick in the shape of a pizza cut into strips. With all the great tasting herbs on top this is terrific appetizer to share.
The first pizza was the Tutta Bella. It’s topped with mozzarella, roasted onions, sausage, mushrooms and Grana Padano. Tons of flavors are baked into this pizza and you can taste each ingredient in every bite.
The Bianca, an all white pizza without red tomato sauce, was next. It’s got roasted onions, formaggi della casa, goat cheese and Grana Padano. If you don’t like the smooth flavor of roasted garlic or the creaminess of goat cheese then stop reading this paragraph and go to the next one. If you love roasted garlic and goat cheese, then stop reading this and go to Tutta Bella and order the Bianca.
Next up was the Mediterranea (Mediterranean) which is sort of like the Tutta Bella’s cousin. Instead of sausage this pizza had slices of eggplant. The only complaint here is that the eggplant was too thick. Other than that it was yet another amazing pizza.
There are a few important things to know about the pizza at Tutta Bella. It’s not like regular pizza — not in taste, toppings, or appearance. The toppings are different from others you’d find at your local pizzeria. Also, the slices are small and thin which is the traditional way pizza is served in Italy.
One bite of pizza at Tutta Bella will confirm why they were accredited by the VPN. So, take a chance and try something different. You won’t be disappointed. You can find Tutta Bella in Columbia City and in Wallingford.